Mad Magazine by Alfred E. Newman (what me worry?)

Let’s get this out of the way. Is MAD magazine offensive? Yes. Is it inappropriate? Yes. Is it laugh out loud funny? Yes! Where else can a pre-adolescent boy go for boobie jokes and other moderately sexist satire? My 13 year old son understands the age appropriate references. He’s up on current events enough to understand the Lance Armstrong’s a cheater reference, but young enough that he doesn’t know who Monika Lewinski is or why they keep referring to her blue dress. Some humor is definitely dated. On one page, a man points to his sore back and leaves his wife for a massage. His wife pictures a burly man rubbing her husband’s back. The husband, of course, enters a burlesque massage parlor smiling from ear to ear. The part of the magazine my son likes best is the ad parodies. One shows Liam Neeson on a porcelain throne, jeans around his ankles (with a lot of dark shading of course) and holding a gun. The movie tease is “First they took his daughter, now they’re coming for him….they’re going to have to wait.” Movie title: Taking a #2. Perfect 13 year old boy humor.

We have always taught our boys that sometimes things on tv, magazines, and movies are funny because they are shocking or rude. We do not repeat that rudeness around others. He who does not follow this simple rule will be restricted to watching Dora the Explorer until further notice, a truly fearsome threat. Most letters to the MAD editor are from 11 year old boys. My 11 year old is too young for this magazine yet. However, I do think we need to give our older pre-adolescents room to be slightly naughty, a little inappropriate, and silly. My son with the MAD subscription is 13. His magazines stay in his room. Truthfully, though, if my 11 year old read them, he doesn’t follow the news or pop culture at all and would not understand most of the jokes.

MAD is also a tv show more appropriate for younger audiences. MAD magazine and show can be followed on Facebook.

EC Publications, Inc. (2013, February). Mad Magazine, 519, all.