Mad Magazine and Modern PC Humor

Commentary In 1971, Mad magazine published a parody of Barbara Streisand. Streisand, already a superstar who was active in liberal politics, became Buddy (the Yiddish word for grandmother) Strident in the film “On a Clear Day You Can See a Funny Girl Singing Forever.” Streisand would not be touched by most comics today, which is one reason to miss the old Mad magazine, which is now only sporadically published. The history and cultural impact of Mad is addressed in “Seeing Mad: Essays on Mad Magazine’s Humor and Legacy,” a 500-page academic tome edited by Judith Yaross Lee and John Bird. Lee and Bird are both emeritus professors. For younger readers: Mad was a satirical magazine that published from 1952 to 2018. It parodied movies, TV, novels, politics, and everyday American life, using slapstick, irony, parody, burlesque, and mockery. It’s tempting to joke about a group of scholars taking on Mad, …

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