INSIDE MAD REVIEW – It’s a book, with words and pictures and stuff

MAD-Magazine-Inside-MAD-CoverINSIDE MAD (On sale Oct. 29th – for download now probably)
Writers: Lots of them in the loosest sense of the word
Artists: Much better than the writers
Publisher: 3 drunk chipmunks and Time Home Entertainment
Reviewer: Rob Patey ( aka – Optimous Douche, Ain’t It Cool News)

INSIDE MAD is the best book MAD has produced sine the last time MAD produced a book.

For anyone else who agrees that celebrities don’t get enough exposure in today’s society, INSIDE MAD is the deep well of celebrity self-gratification that one just can’t get from TV or the Internet. It’s like a 100 plus pages of  gleeful anecdotal masturbation, but glossier. It’s all in here folks, printed on new age paper with space age binding – every celebrity who has ever accidentally used the toilet at the MAD office (or in the case of Judd Apatow pissed on the side of the building) telling us their favorite MAD moments (except Apatow, probably because he’s illiterate, his intro was recorded on one of those plastic records that used to come in Tiger Beat. After listening I even found myself pining for the musical genius of the David Cassidy).

Since the actual MAD team fester in cartoon obscurity and most Americans can’t identify anyone unless they’ve seen them on TV, I’ll skip the 100 or so pages where the MAD team recount their favorite moments of the book. Also, let’s just gloss overt the painstaking cutting and pasting of old material done by the editors to accompany each hazy reflection of long repressed memories. Most people today cut to feel, MAD still relies on good old emotional versus physical flagellation.

So what do the celebutantes have to say about how MAD changed their lives? Let’s break it down.

Judd Apatow starts the fun with a nod to MAD shaping his childhood and a deep lament that the magazine never parodied his movies. That problem is quickly fixed with two pages of brand new content starring everyone from the Apatow universe. What was most amazing about these three pages is they were able to be produced without Leslie Mann or the moppet like Apatettes.

Roseanne Barr helps keep the heavy hasidic front load on the book. She recounts her time as a self-loathing Jew from the Mid-West where she and her Father would propagate the stereotype of cheapness by perusing and never buying a copy of the book. That is until they perpetually ruined every copy on the shelf and the proprietor chased them out by threatening to serve them vegetables.

Todd McFarlane creator of SPAWN and one of the four horseman of the comic apocalypse discusses how MAD artist Mort Drucker served as his muse in younger years. If you need to see proof of this pudding, I highly recommend finding your local comic shop and then looking down at the boxes marked “$1 OBO.”

Whoopi Goldberg wrote a few nice words. Ted Danson covered himself in feces to pay tribute.

Dane Cook tells how MAD anthropomorphised into a creature that resembled his drunk uncle and then proceeded to attack him. Once I figure out what the hell Dane is talking about I’ll let the rest of you know.

Ken Burns writes a sentence. This is probably for the best since PBS isn’t real television. We don’t need any damn commies messing up the well oiled machine that is American capitalism.

John Stamos recounts how shitty he helped make 80s television, how MAD helped propagate the garbage that was “Full House,”  and he then cackles like a mad scientist over how our pain allowed him to bang the hottest women on the planet.

Tony Hawk rides skateboards. I think this is a page he inserted before the comp hit my doorstep.

ICE-T gives wonderful dissertation on the differences between Southern and Northern iced tea.

Slash the famed Guns n’ Roses guitarist has the most unique entry in the book. It scared me. I would say more, but I don’t want to wet myself again in my office.

Penn Jillette the mouthpiece of Penn & Teller  has a stroke in the first part of his write-up discussing a detective story from the 1930’s. He eventually recovers though, and brings it all home back to MAD’s Bill Gaines. If you buy a copy of this book, you can get a 10 minute visit from Teller who will make sad faces while you read.

Jeff Probst of Survivor fame recommends eating his write-up for nourishment in front of millions of viewers. I am still suffering from acid reflux, probably because I could only get my wife and dog to watch me after donning a loin cloth and not showering for a week.

Pendleton Ward the man who is ensuring the next generation will drop copious amounts of acid in their eyeballs like those young rabble-rousers in Looper doesn’t write anything. His page is just a pull out fake beard and complimentary dose.

Harry Hamlin…no I’m serious Harry Hamlin…look stop laughing, the man is a cultural treasure. OK, Harry Hamlin talks about how MAD helped mold his life and get his son into Princeton – not the university, just the town. His son is a huge fan of PJ’s Pancake house on Nassau street. For all the younger readers out there in their 30’s, Hamlin was responsible for resurrecting Susan Day’;s career in the 80’s. Susan Day was on the Partridge Family. The Partridge Family was a show in the 1970s about a family that sang on a bus. Why were they on a bus? OK, this is getting too difficult to explain, just read Harry’s write-up and read the LA Law spoof afterwards.  Oh, IU should mention Harry is responsible for body dysmorphia in millions of Gen Xers because our lips didn’t protrude past our chin.

David Lynch explores how MAD was like family and Alfred E. Neuman was like a brother. The page then stabs you in the face while a midget talks backwards.

Matthew Weiner is responsible fro introducing a whole new generation to misogyny and the belief that alcoholism is OK as long as you make a lot of money. MAD influenced this. White men everywhere thank you both.

John Slattery…wait a minute he’s on Mad Men, I smell a conspiracy. If the next page has Christina Hendricks on it I’m going to go drink a scotch and slap a secretary’s ass. Oh, John writes a very nice homage about the pride he felt ins ending in a magazine subscription.

George Lopez is our second to last entry, merely because it would have been racist  to put him all the way at the back of the bus…I mean book. George draws a compelling comparison to Hispanics and Spy vs. Spy – basically they all enjoy gardening and busing tables.

Paul Feig is poetically the last entry since he’s been following behind Judd Apatow since the late 90’s. It only makes sense he’s given the page that no reader in America will ever get to, much like his name in the credits of any Apatow production.

<Serious Pants On> Honestly the celebrity is not what makes this book. It’s the 61 years that MAD has been lampooning our fucked up culture, it’s the stories behind those cultural lampoons told by men who have created a cultural icon that’s entranced three generations. The fact this gorgeous tome is only $30 astounds me. I’ve paid more for coffee table books of penguins and got nowhere near the laughter, enjoyment and only half the masturbatory inspiration that I received from INSIDE MAD. If you’re a human being you will want this book.<Serious Pants Off>

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