Mental Floss
THROWBACK

How Mad Magazine Changed Comedy Forever

Alvin Ward
William Gaines, publisher of Mad magazine, arrives at London's Heathrow Airport for a promotional tour in 1971.
William Gaines, publisher of Mad magazine, arrives at London's Heathrow Airport for a promotional tour in 1971. / Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
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Before the internet, kids had to get their juvenile humor from the black and white pages of Mad, the humor magazine brought to us by "The Usual Gang of Idiots." No person or institution was too sacred, including the U.S. government—which found Mad's swipes at J. Edgar Hoover in poor taste and its satirical counterfeit bill serious enough to warrant a visit from Treasury agents.

Join Mental Floss editor-in-chief Erin McCarthy as we revisit some of the most ignoble moments from seven decades of illustrated irreverence in this installment of Throwback.

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