Are there any loyal readers of Mad Magazine still out there? I’m talking to you ancient scions of decades past, who still remember what it to hold an actual printed publication in hand, with sole purpose of seeking out a few yuk-yuks in order to remind yourself of the lighter side of life (see what I did there?).
Well if Mad TV was never really enough for you Mad Magazine purists out there, then maybe you’ll be happy to hear that the (arguably) best element of that show – the animated portions – are now being set center stage in their own TV series on the Cartoon Network, appropriately title MAD.
The series debuted this past Monday (Labor Day) at 8:30 pm on Cartoon Network. The format is a 15-minute show (a la Robot Chicken) and features such classic Mad Magazine characters such as “Spy vs. Spy” along with the more topical parodies that made Mad Magazine the king of irreverent lampoons for so many years (See: “2012 Dalmatians” and “Batman Family Feud“).
Hero Complex was given a sneak peek at the MAD cartoon series a few weeks back, and below you can find a video clip from the show:
In addition to the clip, Hero Complex interviewed MAD producers Mark Marek (Crank Yankers) and Kevin Shinick (Robot Chicken) for a quick Q&A. You can check out some snippets from the interview below:
MM: Quite honestly, we’re wondering why it took so long to get this show going, because Mad has been so popular for so many years, and you would think that it would have been produced by now. But I know one of the things was “MADtv” was on the air, and they didn’t want to have this kind of show at the same time. And when that was canceled, a few months after that, a year after that, it was decided, “Hey, Warner Bros. owns this property; let’s do something with it.”
KS: [It really is] a hub of many different styles. Whereas other shows may point to a specific style for their take on what their show is, I really revel in the idea that we are a chaos of cartoons, a chaos of comedy…It took so long for James Cameron to do “Avatar” because the technology wasn’t there, and yet it takes us this long to do “Avaturd” because we just waited for the right material. Sometimes it takes a while, but it will be worth it.
MM: And it’s a very fast-moving pop culture, so if we’re at all bored with the current Justin Bieber, next week it will be his brother.
KS: A lot of these things we try to make — I don’t want to say timeless — but not so dated. In other words, a lot of these movie parodies will be cross references. Like we did a “CSiCarly.” So you don’t have just one reference there. And within one sketch, you’ll have references to characters you see in other shows. So it doesn’t necessarily feel dated. It’s not like, “Oh, that show is done, it’s over.” It has its own life. It exists as an anomaly. That kind of gives it a little extra time and life.
MM: First you look at who the magazine initially appealed to, and way back in the ’50s and ’60s, it was kids who were bucking authority, and it probably even inspired eventually a “National Lampoon” crowd. We certainly are shooting for a demographic on Cartoon Network, but I know Kevin and I are both hoping that it bleeds into college kids and older people and people that loved the magazine 30 years ago.
KS: Fortunately, we have a very basic, crass sense of humor. But that being said, I think everyone growing up kind of discovers Mad somewhere between the ages of 8 and 15, when all of a sudden you begin to question authority, and I think that’s the demographic we want to shoot for. But we want this to be funny for everybody — college kids, adults — and I think we’re doing that. … We really do make stuff that makes ourselves laugh, and I think you have to start from that place, because if you’re on board, then other people will follow.
For more of the interview, be sure to head over to Hero Complex.
Personally, I loved Mad Magazine when I was a teenager. Sure, the rise of the digital age and all the animated shows inspired in part by Mad lured me away from the magazine’s pages. Regardless of our long separation, there is still a special place in my heart for Mad and knowing that this cartoon is out there, I will be tuning in – if only to see if this animated series can actually recapture what made the magazine so much fun for me in my younger years. Here’s hoping.
You can catch MAD Mondays @ 8:30 on Cartoon Network
Source: Hero Complex