Mad #458 (John Ficarra) - Planet Tad!!!!! Issue - October 2005

Tim Carvell was the head writer for The Daily Show with John Stewart when, in his spare time, he helped to drag Mad into the 21st century with his blog parody, Planet Tad!!!!!  This clever concept, with drawings by Brian Durniak, has become a regular feature of the magazine since its beginning in this issue. 

There was also much ado in this issue about Seth McFarlane's Family Guy, and how much of it had been stolen from The Simpsons.  The cover shows the merging of cartoon characters.  Senior Editor Charlie Kadau wrote the triple parody: "Selected Scenes from Trading Spouses" in which the shows again merge and the moms run away from their dysfunctional families.  Finally, writer David Richards (?), in his one-and-only Mad article (could be a pseudonym) offers "Mad's Exclusive Backstage Tour of the Family Guy".  Numerous cartoon characters and creators of cartoons merge in this triple-splash-page by Tom Richmond.  Much ado.

This David Richards guy (if that is your real name) seems to know a lot about the inside workings at Mad.  On page 39, the Mad writer reveals that Contributing Editor Nick Meglin is the one responsible for those clever "department headings" that introduce every Mad article.  Harvey Kurtzman started the department heading with Mad #1 (Terror, Science-Fiction, Crime & Western).  These slowly devolved into joke headings during the comic book period (i.e. "Cut-Your-Own-Throat Dept." in Mads numbered 17 & 21.  Then, department names were muted (Classics, Crime, Do-It-Yourself, Education, Literature, Movie, News, Newspaper Comics, Puzzle, Science, Sports & T.V.) for the first magazine issue (#24) that was designed to look like the major magazines of the day.  When Albert Feldstein took over as editor (Mad #29), continued with similar headings until Mad #31 ("Increase the Circulation Dept.", etc.).  Coincidentally, Mad #31 showed "Nick Megliola" (now "Meglin") in the masthead in charge of "Ideas".  I assume that many of Nick's ideas for the next 400+ issues included a majority of the clever department-heading puns.  [JAM 8/31/2014]

The advertisements (White Castle) have reached the front cover for the first time.

Color Pages: 55 of 64 pages (86%)
Humorous Content: 42 of 64 pages (66%)

Random Acts of Mindless - The Fundalini Pages  [Celebrity Cause-of-Death Betting Odds - Lindsay Lohan]
A Wife-Altering Experience - Selected Scenes from Trading Spouses: Special Animated Edition
In Blog We Trust - Planet Tad!!!!!
Soldiers of Misfortune - Little Green Army Men of Today's Army
Rall or Nothing - 7 Periods Closer to Death
The Longest Yawn - A Day in the Life of Adam Sandler
Serge-In General - A Mad Look at School Security
Drama Sutra - Favorite Sexual Positions as Chosen by Shakespearean Scholars  [fake department]
Angster's Paradise - Monroe and ... The Hospital Stay
Quahog Wild - Mad's Exclusive Backstage Tour of the Family Guy
Out of Controllers - If There Were No Such Things as Video Games
Show-Floppers - Mad's Fall TV Preview: 2005
Joke And Dagger - Spy vs. Spy
License to Shill - Go Fetch!
No Cruise is Good Cruise - Bore of the Worlds

Fold-In - Camera