MAD’s Tom Koch- RIP

April 3rd, 2015 | Posted in MAD Magazine


Tom Koch, a veteran writer for MAD and yet another of the “old guard” I never got a chance to meet, passed away back on March 22nd. I’d have posted about this earlier but I didn’t seen any decent obits about him until today.

Tom was a comedy writer for television and performers, and worked in the 50’s with the well-known comedy team Bob & Ray. His first few assignments for MAD were for the short-lived “Bob & Ray” feature in the magazine, featuring some of the earliest MAD artwork from a young, up-and-coming artist named Mort Drucker, back in 1957. He continued to write for MAD regularly until the early 90’s. He did a lot of TV writing over his career, for shows like “The Lucy Show” and “My Mother the Car”.

Tom’s biggest hit for MAD was easily the classic “43 Man Squamish” article in MAD #95, illustrated by George Woodbridge. It was a parody of the convoluted rules of team sports. The article gained quite a following, with several colleges attempting to play the game by the impossible rules Koch had dreamed up, and sending in pictures to MAD of their teams. It remains one of the most remembered and referenced MAD articles… according to MAD’s post on Tom’s passing, “43 Man Squamish” “remains MAD‘s most requested reprint”. If you’ve read any of the MAD parodies of the Harry Potter films, you might have noticed writer Desmond Devlin giving a nod to Tom by replacing “quidditch with “squamish” throughout.

Sorry I never got to meet Tom. He wrote some very funny stuff over a long career.


  1. Al Mtz. says:

    to the unusual gang of idiots and the upcoming same, my condolences to his loved ones and fellow fans alike, tom has only gone to say hi to many of the departed artists and contributors to MAD magazine, bill gaines will be there to greet him, let’s not forget lou silverstone and many that are in that MAD office in the sky with dave berg, jack davis, george woodbridge, i thank MAD magazine to make my adolescent years fun, may they rest in peace, well miss them, thanks.

  2. Wow, I may have read “43 Man Squamish” in the original issue. It looks so familiar. I would have been nine, nearly the perfect age for MAD.

    “Play begins with the Probate Judge flipping a new Spanish peseta.” I can only think of Bill Cosby’s “Toss of the Coin” routine from 1963. Interesting that organized sports were a big target fifty years ago. Issue 95 was 1965.


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