Mad #51 (Albert Feldstein) - Etaoin Shrdlu Issue - December 1959

The phrase: "... etaoin shrdlu ..." first appeared in editor Albert B. Feldstein's parody of high school newspapers in Mad number 39.  The true meaning of etaoin shrdlu is qazxdr tgbnj mk owsxcft.  (etaoinshrdlu are the most frequently used letters in the alphabet.)

Although Feldstein finally agreed to give byline credits to writers is issue number 49, he continued to omit credit to himself for his contributions.  Since all contributors (except Feldstein) were now named in conjunction with their articles, it was redundant to list them on the index page.  Therefore, they were all lumped into "the usual gang of idiots" category.  "Idiot" is an affectionate term that the Mad staff often used to identify themselves.  Early evidence can be found on the inside front cover of issue number 34 which listed "12 of America's Most Famous Idiots." [MADlog #13]

"Etaoin shrdlu" appears on the letters page and page 29.

Departments:
Gray Flannel-Mouth - Advertising Slogans Will Ruin Everyday Conversation
Don Martin - The Man with the Sprung Neck; The Great Hotel Fire; The Escaped Convict
Lights, Camera, Auction - The Price Is All Right
Digitalent - Painting by the Numbers
Verse of the People - The Mad Treasury of Unknown Poetry, Vol. II
Solar Plexus - Testing Civilians for Space Flight
Hollywood - More "Scenes We'd Like to See"
Scrawls Well That Reads Well - The Mad Guide to Handwriting Analysis
Television - More "TV Ads We'd Like to See"
Blackboard Bungle - Mad Looks at Adult Education
Berg's-Eye View - Hide-A-Bed
Prose for the Cons - Madison Avenue Turns to History and Literature
Way Off-Side - Grandstand Football
Pomp-Adore - Teenage Magazine