Downtown Burbank, CA—Kenny's Parking Lots, the owner of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Magazine (formerly Mad Hatter Magazine, which was published by the Red Hats Society of Displaced Social Matrons) is officially out of business.
Well, almost. The magazine, which has been in decline for some time now (since 1952, when it was founded), announced that it is ceasing the publication of “fresh material.” Instead, it will print only anal, uh, annual “specials” of rehashed tripe.
CEO Alfred E. Newman attributed the cessation of the magazine's publication to “creative difficulties” with its publisher. Manny Kenny and his silent partner, mobster Abby (“The Rat”) Zwillman, wanted the magazine to feature “comic riffs” on valets and funeral homes. (The New Joisey parking lot company has merged with a funeral home franchise and has recently expanded its operations to include car rentals, office, cleaning, construction, and publishing, among other shady enterprises.)
In its heyday (1974), MADD boasted an “amazing” number of subscribers, mostly adolescent males. “We had about .009 percent of the nation's population,” Newman recalled. Since then, the number of regular readers has declined to a mere .004 percent.
“Nobody wants our magazine anymore,” Newman whined.
“I have news for Al,” 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Peter Butgig, an Alfred E. Newman lookalike, contended. “MADD was never funny.”
“His candidacy is, though,” Neuman quipped, in a rare attempt at humor.
Kenny insisted that MADD move its offices, such as they are, to Downtown Burbank, so he could “keep an eye on them.” Since then, the magazine has exhibited a new “tone,” which, some industry experts say, has ruined the publication.
In 1972, a former editor of the magazine, Harvey Klutz, now deceased, groused, “Nothing we print today is funny. What's humorous about hippies, the generation gap, psychoanalysis, politics, war, or drug addicts? We've been there, done that. We need something fresh, like—well, like—uh—”
Has-been comedian Micky J. Fox, who asked to remain anonymous, told late talk show host John E. Carson, “The only thing MADD ever did that was funny was draw my head.”
Counterculture artist R. Krumb, who's now rich enough to thumb his nose at society from Paris, France, recalled, of MADD's influence on him “as both an artist and a man,” “The damned thing always made me feel inadequate.”
Ellen Degenerate, the “TV talk show hostess with the mostest,” said, “MADD made me the woman I am today. Without its influence, I wouldn't be half as funny as I pretend to be.”
Canadian author (yes, there is one!) Joyce Carroll Oatz said, “MADD taught me everything I know about the United States.” She plans to write a novel about “both the magazine's and my own formative years, fictionalized, of course. My story will present the magazine as having been funny, and myself as having been talented.”
Hugh Hef once said his favorite feature was MADD's fold-in section, which gave him the idea for his own magazine's two-page spread featuring naked women and inspired Playboy cartoons. MADD also inspired his idea to have his cremains interred “on top of Marilyn Monroe's ashes.” Funny, eh?
Over the years, MADD featured artwork by Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and Hieronymus Bosch and stories by Mark Twain, Jonathan Swift, Miguel de Cervantes, and other artists whose work is in the public domain.
In a full-page, paid ad in the magazine's final issue, MADD thanks itself for having become “an American icon,” and, in a picture of Alfred E. Neuman lying in state, features an ad for “discount funerals” at the publisher's funeral home franchise, Buried Treasure.
Psychiatrists say the “real reason” MADD is now defunct is that its staff of self-described “idiots” has finally been cured of mental illness.
Newman disagreed. "I'm still bat-shit crazy. I just wish I were funny."
The editors of The Spoof advanced another theory concerning the magazine's demise, contending, "We killed MADD."