Mad #429 (Nick Meglin and John Ficarra) - SpongeBob Issue - May 2003

SpongeBob SquarePants is a cartoon series created by marine biologist, Stephen Hillenburg in 1999.  Hillenburg also worked on the excellent series, Rocko's Modern Life.  As SpongeBob reached a significant position in popular culture, the Mad editors decided to devote a major part of an issue to this cartoon series.  Since SpongeBob is an unconventional cartoon series that generally parodies the cartoons that have preceded it, the standard Mad television parody was out of the question.  To attack this problem, the editors assigned four humor concepts to five writers (Jeff Kruse, Greg Leitman, Arie Kaplan, Scott Sonneborn and Charlie Kadau).  In addition, the SpongeAlf on the cover was drawn by Art Director Sam Viviano (aka Jack Syracuse).  Co-Editor Nick Meglin cameoed as Captain Scrapbook on page 8. Kruse and artist Gary Hallgren were given the assignment to find some new underwater characters for the show.  The best one is "Dr. Sigmund Fluke".  Leitman captioned the mostly-fumetti portion ("SpongeBob SquarePants: Pre-Stardom Acting Gigs").  Fortunately, this was only a two-page article.  Drew Friedman was the star of the Kaplan & Sonneborn effort ("M. Night Shyamalan's Proposal for the SpongeBob Movie") with excellent drawings of Woody Allen et al.  Finally, Senior Editor Kadau identified ten other Bobs who might be spongy as drawn by Jack Syracuse.  How many times can you tell the same joke?  Person named Bob now looks like a sponge - ten times.  These eight pages are not the best of Mad but they cannot all be winners.  The better article in the issue is Dick DeBartolo's parody of 24 ("24 Viewers").  This six-page television parody was the first and only article drawn by Bob Julian for Mad.  What happened to him?  [JAM 5/5/2014]

Color Pages: 41 of 60 pages (68%)
Humorous Content: 46 of 60 pages (77%)

Our Sea Creature Presentation - The SpongeBob Scrapbook; New SpongeBob SquarePants Characters for the Upcoming Season; SpongeBob SquarePants Pre-Stardom Acting Gigs; M. Night Shyamalan's Proposal for the SpongeBob Movie; SpongeBobs Everywhere
The Chat 'N Stat - Mad Deconstructs TV Talk Shows -This Month: Jerry Springer
Serge-In General - A Mad Look at Home Improvement
Brands Across America - When Corporate Naming Gets out of Control
Angster's Paradise - Monroe and ... The Exterminators
The Sound of Mutants - Mad's Genetically-Altered Outtakes from X-Men 2
Rancid Meets - Mad's Field-Tested Tips for Your First Date
Joke And Dagger - Spy vs. Spy vs. Spy
Blix Are for Kids - When the U.N. Sends Inspectors to Michael Jackson's Neverland  [fake department]
Disappoints to Ponder - Things That You'll Probably Read in the Review of the Video Game Your Parents Just Gave You
Binge Thinking - Mad's 2003 Spring Break Course Selections
The Odds Must Be Crazy - Sure Bets in Vegas
Hour Gang - 24 Viewers

Fold-In - Simon Cowell