Mad #270 (Nick Meglin and John Ficarra) - El San Banana Issue - April 1987

These "... of the Year" interview articles are usually not very good, but the genius of Kurtzman & Elder made Lou Silverstone's "Banana Republic Dictator of the Year" the best article in the issue by far.  In the splash frame, paintings of El Presidente are in the same pose as the dictator (who is a Bush supporter for 1988) replete with chicken leg and glass of wine.  Other political jabs are aimed at Ed Meese (trash-can in-box) and Oliver North ("Need a loan? ... Call ... 1-555-IRANSCAM").  I like the banana-shaped smoke ring, the running "viva" jokes and the changing initials on the recorder box that "Pill Wurry" carries.  Without a doubt, the team of Kurtzman & Elder was producing the wackiest drawings of the time and showing the rest of the gang how to be Mad. 

When Antonio Prohias was unable to draw for Mad, the editors called upon the team of Don Edwing and Bob Clarke to create "Spy vs. Spy" for this issue.  However, the result is not the same.  Clarke is great at copying other drawing styles but the lines seem to be too clean and the "A Prohias" signature is missing.  I realize that the spies are a very popular Mad feature but I would rather not see any artist try to copy Prohias.  And, I believe that the Mad editors were less than honest by omitting writing and art credits.  [JAM 7/24/2011]

Look for Mr. Whipple, Alf, Miss Piggy, George Burns, Woody Allen and the cast of Barney Miller in the issue.

Raking Whoopi - Jumbled Joke Flash
Cruising for a New-Man - The Color of Monotony
Turner Back the Hands of Time - Peggy Got Stewed and Married
Don Martin - One Fine Morning on E. 69th Street; One Fine Morning in the Maternity Ward
Reported in Front of a Live Audience - Mad's All-Inclusive, Do-It-Yourself Rock Concert Newspaper Story
Berg's-Eye View - The Lighter Side
Disc-Claimers - More Badly Needed Warning Labels for Rock Albums
Fickle Single of Fate - A Mad Guide to People Even Lonelier than the Maytag Repairman
Stat's Entertainment - Mad's Record Book for Televised Sports
Pains in the Ash - Other Dangers of Smoking
Joke And Dagger - Spy vs. Spy
Military Coup-Coos - Mad's Banana Republic Dictator of the Year
Tech-No Logic - State of the Art Is ...
Sergio Aragones - A Mad Look at Moving
Immigrating on Our Nerves - Perfectly Strange
The Shape of Rings-To-Come - Future Phone Gimmicks
Up, Up And Oy Vey - Living on the Edge

Fold-In (back cover) - Phone Sex