Speaking as an enormous “Mad Magazine “nerd, it fills me with an almost psychotic level of joy that Alan Bernstein and Doug Gilford have started a –so far very successful- Kickstarter campaign to fund a documentary entitled When We Went Mad that chronicles the legacy and influence of the magazine.
The project has managed to wrangle interviews with most of the magazine’s living contributors and will also be incorporating smaller faux documentaries such as “a Ken Burns-ian look at 43 Man Squamish”. Gilford and Bernstein are also hoping to interview celebrity fans of the magazine, so there’s a possibility we could see the likes of Stephen Spielberg (who owns several pieces of original art from Mad) and George Lucas - who once declared that Mad contributors Mort Drucker and Dick DeBartolo were the “George Bernard Shaw and Leonardo DaVinci of comic satire”- putting in small appearances .
However, it’s a shame that this documentary didn’t happen about twenty five years sooner when Mad Magazine’s founder Harvey Kurtzman and Will Elder, Russ Heath John Severin and some of its other artists were still alive. It’s disappointing that the details about the magazine’s early years – when it was still a comic book- are coming second hand. Nonetheless, Bernstein and Gilford’s documentary looks promising and it’s something that all fans of comedy should be looking forward to.