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.

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