Mad #505 (John Ficarra) - Wizard of O Issue - October 2010

Partisan politics dominated this issue.  Writer Desmond Devlin used a thinly-disguised parody of The Wizard of Oz to skewer the pundits and politicos of the day.  Artist Tom Richmond accepted the daunting task of character caricatures.  Both attempted to fairly include the personalities on the left and right of the political spectrum.  My favorites are the "Witless Witch of the North" (Sarah Palin), the scary Fox straw-man in the "No Spin Zone" corn field (Bill O'Reilly) and the cowardly, illogical, crying lion (Glenn Beck).  Devlin's message seems to be that the wonderful wizard (Barack Obama) is charged with the unenviable task of unraveling the tangled mess he inherited from the dysfunctional Bush II administration, and that all of the opinion-heads (especially those who lurk exclusively on the FOX channel) are hindering the effort.  I think the best of the Richmond caricatures are James Carville, Pat Buchanan, Arianna Huffington, Jon Stewart and O'Reilly.  This six-page parody/satire ranks among the best ever to appear in Mad.  The earliest Mad parody of Oz ("The Guru of Ours") appeared in Mad #128.

Sergio Aragones ("Presents a Mad Look at Racial Profiling") tried to find some humor in current events associated with immigration and racial diversity, led by the insensitive state government in Arizona.  Nice try Sergio but the plight of undocumented aliens is more tragedy than comedy.

I also believe that writer Stan Sinberg and artist Herman Mejia captured the idiocy and thinly-disguised racism of the Republican-enabled Tea Party movement in "Tea-Bagger Proof that Obama is a Terrorist/Socialist."  Sure, let's all vote for stupid people to run the country. [JAM 8/1/2010]

There is an error in the index.  "Testicular Homicide Department" does not appear in this issue.

Random Acts of Mindless - The Fundalini Pages
All the World's an Awkward Stage - A Mad Public Service Announcement Poster
Red State of Confusion - Teabagger Proof That Obama is a Terrorist/Socialist
Serge-In General - A Mad Look at Racial Profiling
Shelf Loathing - Worst-Selling Children's Books
Joke And Dagger - Spy vs. Spy
Don't Phrase Me, Bro - Inspirational Wall Plaques That Never Caught On
In Blog We Trust - Planet Tad!!!!!
Trying Our Patients - 9 Ways to Pass the Time in Your Doctor's Waiting Room
The Vampire Strikes Back - Mad's Oh-So Negative True Blood Outtakes
Carry On, My Hayward Son - A Letter from BP
Pen And Stink - The Strip Club
The Splashin' of the Christ - If Jesus Walked Among Us: The Gulf Coast
Look Who's Stalking - TMZzz
For Letter or Worse - Rejected Stamp Collections
Berg's-Eye Eschew - The Darker Side of ... The Lighter Side
Toto Recall - The Wizard of O
The Articles Formerly Known as Reprints - The Mad Vault
Release the Crappin' - It Happened One Morning

Fold-In - Luggage