Dave Berg was a contributor to MAD for 46 years, from his first appearance in 1957 up until his death in 2002. He did quite a few different things for the magazine early on but he was most famous for his feature “The Lighter Side of…”, which first appeared in MAD #66 in October of 1961. When Berg died in 2002 he had a number of “The Lighter Side of…” gags in the works for MAD #427, written but unfinished. MAD assigned these to eighteen different MAD artists to complete and published them as a tribute to Dave in that issue. These included work by Jack Davis (his last published MAD work), Mort Drucker, Angelo Torres, Sergio Aragonés, George Woodbridge (also his last published MAD work), Sam Viviano, and others… a long list of great artists who were happy to pay tribute to a fellow member of the Usual Gang of Idiots who was one of the backbones of the magazine.
Sadly, being a very new artist there when this all took place (I had only been with MAD for a little over a year at the time) I was not one of the artists invited to do a tribute. Of course since that time many other new Idiots have joined the MAD family, and so when MAD put together the book MAD’s Greatest Artists: Dave Berg the editors took 14 classic Berg strips from over the years and assigned them to some of “the new guys and gals” as part of the book, combining them with the ones done for the magazine in 2002. This time I made the cut. In fact, I was given a choice of which one I wanted. I was tempted to do a “The Office” gag but could not resist doing a classic “Doctors” gag featuring Roger Kaputnik (aka Berg himself). My finished piece is above, pencil sketch here:
I never met Dave. He’s one of many classic MAD artists I never got the opportunity to meet.
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