Mad Magazine’s 1976 Christmas Issue: Still Relevant, Still Memorized–Years Later

*Per a few requests, another omitted ditty was added below.  –Kevin 12/24/14 It was a Christmas party when my wife first called me “The King of Useless Information.” I fell into the trap and correctly answered the question, probably too quickly, “Who played Gopher on Love Boat?” Fred Grandy. Who didn’t know that?? But the title really had its roots in 1976, the year I began collecting Mad magazines as a fifth grader while waiting for my mom in the checkout at the A&P. Like my son’s favorite episodes of South Park, Family Guy and The Simpsons, each issue is a time capsule of current events and a cross-section of American culture and attitudes. Just skimming the cover of the January 1977 issue that came out in late November of 1976, the clever artwork depicting Steve Austin and Jaime Sommers exchanging D-cells was worth it enough. But then to glance… Read More…

Bigfoot, Leonard Nimoy and Fears of the Dark: “In Search Of”

It’s what kept my curtains closed each evening–even on the 2nd floor of a relatively safe suburban neighborhood, far from the Pacific Northwest the natural habitat of sasquatch and, most recently, teenage vampires. On the eve of Leonard Nimoy’s return for another installment as the logical Mr. Spock in Star Trek Into Darkness, I am reminded of that cool, calculating, “It’s not logical, Jim” voice taking me through the late 1970’s show,  In Search Of. As a natural segue from Bob Phillips’s blog on Tuesday analyzing the staying-power of the Star Trek franchise, I was reminded of Nimoy’s H.A.L.-like presence that always made me nervous with those reruns of the space-opera I’d watch on Detroit’s Channel 50.  Psychologists have long compared the Super Ego of Spock to James Kirk’s impulsive galaxy and bed-jumping behavior. Spock was always that logical voice that I didn’t really want to listen to.  He was… Read More…