Mad #500 (John Ficarra) - Bailout Issue - 2009

The much anticipated (by me) 500th issue is here.  I was expecting more.  The "anniversary" efforts were ten pages of collages from past issues and a few "Mad Factoids."  I appreciate that stuff but I would also have liked some excellent stories and drawings by the classic Mad gang.  The best of the issue is: "The Bailout Hymn of the Republic" written by the great Frank Jacobs with only one drawing by the fantastic Mort Drucker.  I did enjoy seeing the brief offerings by old-timers Duck Edwing, Bob Clarke, Paul Peter Porges, Paul Coker, Sergio Aragones, Angelo Torres and of course, Al Jaffee.  Desmond Devlin wrote some good stories and Bunk is bunk.  I would love to see how Will Elder or Wally Wood would have drawn Devlin's "The Dead Celebrity Apprentice."  However, I continue to be disappointed with the "lazy-editor-syndrome" as shown by the twelve pages of disconnected "Fundalini Pages" and "Strip Club."  Any New Yorker cartoon would fit in there.  In this electronic age, there does not seem to be a place for Mad and their numerous internet parodies just seem to fall flat.  The demise of Mad is best illustrated by comparing pages 16-17 (Mad 1-100) to pages 50-51 (Mad 401-500).  In the 1950s and 1960s, the artists were better and the humor was sharper not cruder.  As we finally learn on page 55, Mad is now a quarterly.  I have been reading it for 50+ years.  I once read ever page and searched every drawing for the hidden gems.  Now, I search in vain for something to remind me of the glorious Golden Age of Mad. [JAM 4/25/2009]

Random Acts of Mindless - The Fundalini Pages  [Celebrity Cause-of-Death Betting Odds - The Jonas Brothers]
Fleece is the Word - The Notorious A.I.G.
Failing out of Collage - 500 Issues of Mad: A Visual History
You're Expired - Dead Celebrity Apprentice
Joke And Dagger - Spy vs. Spy
In Blog We Trust - Planet Tad!!!!!
Serge-In General - A Mad Look at Marginals
Flush Limbaugh - Obey
Pen And Stink - The Mad Strip Club
Unlimited Tights And Weekends - What If Acrobats Ran the Cell Phone Companies?  [fake department]
Paint Misbehavin' - Great Art Masterpieces and What They Would be Saying Today
Map Smear - Mad Googles Google's Headquarters
Just Hugh And I - Insanity Claws: An Unhealthy Obsession with Wolverine
Frank on a Roll - The Bailout Hymn of the Republic
The Jiggle's Up - The Mad Guide to Man Boobs

Fold-In - Alfred E. Neuman