Mad #506 (John Ficarra) - BP Oil Spill Issue - December 2010

We expect Mad to make jokes about the popular culture and major news of the day.  But what is funny about a huge leak that spills millions of gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico causing damage to the ecology for decades to come?  Mad's most prolific artist, Sergio Aragones accepted the challenge ("A Mad Look at the Oil Spill") with jabs at BP, cleaning stations, fishing boats, restaurants and beach parties.  Other Mad writers used the subject to satirize political figures.  The Farrelly brothers saw the disaster as a conspiracy theory for FOX wingnut, Glenn Beck.  Charlie Kadau thought the spill might be one of "The Deleted Passages from George W. Bush's New Book" with Georgie happily writing that the tragedy in the gulf would make everyone forget his dysfunctional response to Hurricane Katrina-caused floods in New Orleans.  Finally, Andy Ross echoed the fears of many regarding the seafood supply with his unappetizing parody ("Dead Lobster") of the popular restaurant chain.  Anyone want some "Grilled Blackfish Tuna?"

Certainly, the main parody ("glee-tarded") and cover subject of the issue is the popular television show, Glee.  I have never seen it but I am sure that there is a lot of spontaneous singing and dancing involved.  I appreciate Tom Richmond's double splash page.  He has definitely taken the position of lead caricaturist once held by the master, Mort Drucker.  It was good to see Mr. Drucker's drawings on page 6 ("How the GOP Is Planning to Recapture the House and Senate" by Jeff Kruse). 

Also, it seems that Lady Gaga is everywhere today.  Artist Jack Syracuse depicts the flamboyant singer on page 11 in conjunction with the bullet-point list suggesting that Ms. G does not shop at Talbots.  Richmond placed Gaga as a statue in the schoolyard replacing President Hayes.  Keith Knight found her wearing an occupied hot tub as a head ornament.  And, Stan Sinberg hints that women who wear Gaga boots don't like to be bothered by short guys.

Although I am not a fan of Glee, Lady Gaga or massive oil spills, I did find many things that I liked about this issue:

1. The envelope art by Reader Ed Meisner (page 4) is terrific.
2. Bob Staake's caricature of Lebron James (page 8) is the best I have seen.
3. The bonus fold-in by Al Jaffee (page 9) surprised me.  Mad editors have always used clever concepts for their product ads.
4. Corey Pandolph's parody of Cathy (page 12) is excellent and timely.
5. Archie, Jughead, Betty & Veronica are at the wrong high school (page 15).
6. The oil tanker of Aragones (page 21) found Aquaman.
7. Barry Liebmann and Paul Coker absolutely nailed the lunacy and hypocrisy of the Tea Party Republicans (page 28).
8. Woody and Buzz seem to be really out of place in "Mad's Handy Quick Primer to World of WarCraft" by Desmond Devlin and Hermann Mejia.  This is an attractive article but I must confess that I got off that boat after Pong and Pac-Man.
9. Again, "Dead Lobster" is a classic ad parody that might have been in National Lampoon if Doug Kenney (1946-1980) was still alive. [JAM 10/16/2010]

[Note to Mad editors: Where is "What If Elton John Sang at Jeff Bezos' Funeral?"  It's not on page 34.]

Random Acts of Mindless - The Fundalini Pages
High School Snooz-icle - Glee-tarded
Serge-In General - A Mad Look at the Oil Spill
So You Think You Can Rant - Rosetta Stone - Mel Gibson Edition
Spare Change You Can Believe In - A Beginner's Guide to a More Prosperous Career in Panhandling
The Beast And the Brightest - Mad's Inspirational Animal Stories
A Grass Roots Movement - Tea Party Logic
Move-In Violation - Signs You've Got a Bad Roommate
Case Clothes - The Mad World of Fashion
Omission Accomplished - Deleted Passages From George W. Bush's New Book
Grint And Bear It - Mad's Less-Than-Magical Outtakes from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Joke And Dagger - Spy vs. Spy
Bargain De-Basement - The 2010 Lack-of-Entertainment Book
Pen And Stink - The Mad Strip Club
Surely, You Quest - Mad's Handy Quick Primer to World of Warcraft
The Articles Formerly Known as Reprints - The Mad Vault
Oil You Can Eat - Dead Lobster

Fold-In - Kim Kardashian  (and Cartoon Network)