Mad #327 (Nick Meglin and John Ficarra) - Return of Arthur Issue - May 1994

Arthur the avocado tree first appeared in Mad #67.  The potted plant was a constant presence in issues for many years but had recently almost disappeared from view.  In Mad #327, there was an obvious effort to include Arthur in the action.  Mort Drucker put the tree on a table with Julia Louis-Dreyfus and friend in "Swinefilled."  Rick Tulka put Arthur and the Mad zeppelin on the excellent splash page for Frank Jacobs' "Mad's Billy Joel Songbook."  Later in the issue, Dave Berg's slimmer Arthur was given the punch-line in "The Lighter Side of the (Mad) Office" with the late publisher Bill Gaines watching over six of the Mad staffers.  And finally, a leafier Angelo Torres Arthur has a sarcastic opinion of actor Pierce Brosnan in Stan Hart's "Mrs. Doubtful."

The best drawings in the issue are by Sam Viviano for the six-page parody of the animated television series, X-Men written by Dick DeBartolo.  The double-splash page is excellent with guest appearances by Mad staffers Viviano, DeBartolo, Charlie Kadau, Nick Meglin, John Ficarra & Len Brenner, and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  Viviano also shows his cartooning talents with drawings of ten Warner Brothers characters on page 47.  Although the issue was loaded with excellent articles, the cover photo ranks as the worst ever. [JAM 6/14/2012]

Look for Lucy van Pelt, Alfred E. Neuman and Superman in the audience for Mrs. Doubtful.

Disasters of Their Domain - Swine-Filled
Tales From the Duck Side - The Bodacious Bird Bewilderment; The Rotten Royal Ruse; The Traumatic Transparent Tragedy
Rectory Examination - When Priests Go Bad
A Plague of Focus - Thanks to Home Video Cameras We Now Have on Tape
Help Hogan - The Future Occupations for Today's Top Wrestlers
It's Ill Rock and Roll to Me - Mad's Billy Joel Songbook
A Slap on the Risk - Adding Thrills and Adventure to Boring Hobbies
Confuser Friendly - Mad's 11-Point Plan for Reducing Brain Clutter
Joke And Dagger - Spy vs. Spy [2]
Berg's-Eye View - The Lighter Side
Eh, What's That, Doc? - Things You Never Want to Experience if Your Anesthesia Wears Off
Tootsie Rolled - Mrs. Doubtful
Disc-Claimers - Even More Badly Needed Rock Album Warning Labels
Super Zeros - Ecch-Men
Stat's All, Folks! - Mad Charts

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