Mad #222 (Albert Feldstein) - Spilled Coffee Issue - April 1981

"The new blood of the editorship (with John Ficarra climbing aboard) had immediate and vitalizing effects for the magazine, with this issue being infinitely better than four issues ago.  Gone was the gloominess and in its place a spontaneity unseen since about the 1973 issues.  Even those issues without any Frank Jacobs articles (#223 and #227) didn't suffer too significantly.  The real masterwork of this issue was DeBartolo/Torres' combination spoof of "Real People" and "That's Incredible," two junky early 80s shows that truly were of their era, and thankfully never rerun.  A long-awaited savaging that finds DeBartolo in fine seething form ... one letter-writer of two issues later wasn't too terribly far off the bat when declaring it Mad's greatest satire ever.  Other highlights as well, like Kogen/Drucker's Dressed to Kill spoof; Jacobs depicting the fearsome aspects of an actor as president in a nice 'Foto-Play' style piece (I didn't like quite as much Jacobs' 'Rhyming Signs,' but the huge final panel -- Bob Clarke illustrating -- more than makes up for it).  Even Tom Koch, my least-liked writer, doesn't oppress too much, with at least one neat article, 'What TV Says, And What It Really Means,' with Jack Davis ensuring its winner status. Don Martin's 'no riding on shoulder' gag took me by surprise (call me gullible, I guess); and Jaffee gives us a nice offbeat treat with his Mother Goose fold-in.  All this AND Aragones' grinning-Alfie jumbo jet.  An issue that goes down like ice cream (but don't spill the coffee, please)." [Neil Wahlert (guest writer) 11/6/2010]

As John Ficarra was added to the mastehead as "associate editor" replacing Jerry DeFuccio, Nick Meglin was promoted to "senior editor."  One of these editors changed the titles of Ficarra's article (page 32) and DeBartolo's article (page 43) for the index.

The devil is in the audience of "That's Real Incredible, People!"

It's a Drag! - Undressed to Kill
Don Martin - Early One Morning in a Hotel Room; Late One Afternoon on an Interstate Highway; Late One Night in a Bank
Speaking From Pictures - Now Playing ... At the White House
Ad Nausea - We'll Always Be Suckers for Clever Advertising
Joke And Dagger - Spy vs. Spy
Berg's-Eye View - The Lighter Side
Two Sides of the Con - What TV Says ... And What It Really Means
Finishing Lines - A Mad Look at Some Not-So-Famous Last Words
Paper Lyin' - 18 Mad Excuses Why Don't You Do Your Homework?
From Ad to Verse - Rhyming Ads
Wronging the Wright Brothers - A Mad Look at Air Travel
Sicky Minutes - That's Real Incredible, People!

Fold-In - Scrambled Eggs