Surf’s Up Dept.

January 12th, 2008 | Posted in General

This Saturday’s “Surf’s Up Dept.” is very MAD video-centric, with a few other stories tossed in.

Revenge of the Mommy Dept.

Des Moines mom Jane Hambleton proclaimed herself the “Meanest Mom on the Planet” when she sold her son’s car through the want ads of the Des Moines Register after finding alcohol under the seat of the vehicle. The ad read:

OLDS 1999 Intrigue. Totally uncool parents who obviously don’t love teenage son, selling his car. Only driven for three weeks before snoopy mom who needs to get a life found booze under front seat. $3,700/offer. Call meanest mom on the planet.

Hambleton was then undulated with calls and e-mails from people supporting and applauding her for being tough on her kid and following through on her rules. Hambleton said she had only two rules with the car, which she bought for her 19 year old son around Thanksgiving: “Keep it locked, and no alcohol.” After finding the booze, she made her son face the consequences.

I also applaud this lady for following through on her rules and the punishment of their being broken. Too many parents today won’t do that because they either don’t want to be inconvenienced by actually having to raise their children, or they are too busy wanting to be their kid’s “friend” and can’t handle the confrontation. You can’t be a “friend” and a “parent” at the same time. Be strong with your kids and teach them right from wrong, and they’ll thank you for it later in life. Then you can get your revenge for all the “I hate you’s” and slamming doors by spoiling your grandkids rotten and then leaving the discipline for their parents!

Better Safer than Sorry Dept.

Here’s a video of a late 1980’s interview by Morely Safer on 60 Minutes with MAD Magazine idiots BIll Gaines, Nick Meglin, John Ficarra and Dick DeBartolo. It’s long but worth watching

It’s interesting that Safer right away questions MAD‘s ability to keep up it’s subversive, shocking reputation in the face of what he says is “more outrageous stuff than you guys are” that is available to young people. That was in the late 1980’s. Today we have the likes of the Farley Brothers and Judd Apatow setting the tone for comedic films and media. Is it any wonder that MAD has become much more riske and racy in these days, with the tone set by the Borat‘s of the world?

It’s also ironic to hear Gaines talk about how he feels about advertising and merchandising, as these are the very arguments MAD purists make against advertising in the magazine. “You can’t make fun of Pepsi Cola and take money from Coca Cola”, says Gaines. That may have been true back in the days of real corporate sponsorship, when advertisers would literally dictate the content of the shows and publications they were in or else yank their ad dollars. Today advertisers only care about circulation numbers and demographics… they WANT MAD to keep doing what they do so their target audience is reached. That’s why MAD can run ads of video games in an issue where the lead article is “The 50 Wost Things about Video Games” (MAD #457). Even the hypocrisy of that situation is ripe for MAD to make fun of, which they regularly do. MAD‘s self-depreciating humor is not just for show.


I have to admit, I have never watched a single episode of MAD TV.

The funny thing is, MAD TV might be more exposed than MAD itself these days. It used to be every time I drew a kid at the theme park with big ears and a grin, I got a lot of “that looks like the kid from MAD” from the onlookers. Nowadays I hear “that looks like the kid from MAD TV” more and more. In fact, some kids I talked to had no idea there was a magazine that the show was named after. That just goes to show that kids spend a lot more time in front of the boob tube than they do reading publications.

The other day I saw this first MAD TV clip posted on an Apple fan website. It makes fun of the “Fiest” iPod Nano ad, and really hits the nail on the head with the frustrating nature of Apple’s product releases.

I also ran into a few other MAD TV clips that I thought were pretty funny.


  1. Antzo8 says:

    RE: Revenge of the Mommy.
    I know my parents were tough on me when I was young, and I am VERY thankful for it when I look at some of the kids that are around today. I just hope that when I get kids I be as good as my parents were.

    RE: Better Safer than Sorry.
    Comedy has to be riske and pushing the envelope if it wants to stand out above the rest, (anybody who watches The Chaser’s War on Everything will know what I’m talking about -if not, watch some clips on YouTube. There’s hundreds of them.) because even if it isn’t very good, the controversy and deliberate offensiveness keep people watching. Many comedians and comedy shows name MAD as an influence, citing the edgyness, but to many people edgyness is simply telling it like it is, and MAD is -and has always been- good at that.

  2. Matt. says:

    MAD TV is the worst. Especially the terrible comedians they invite on, like Carlos Mencia.

  3. Mark Hill says:

    I had the same reaction after reading the story about the mom selling her son’s car, and agreed with your assessment. –Good for her! (I thought her classified ad was clever and well-written, too.)

    Too many parents are so busy with their own lives that they are M.I.A., or want to be friends with their kids to the detriment of actually parenting. Worse yet, some even want to make up for the strict upbringings they had…thinking they can do just as well with permissiveness. It almost always backfires.

  4. That iPad ad was horrible… and had me laughing the most. The Heroes spoof was pretty cool too.


New profile pic courtesy of my self-caricature for the Scott Maiko penned article “Gotcha! Mug Shots of Common (but Despicable) Criminals” from MAD 550

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