MAD Magazine Taught Us How to Laugh at Fame and Power

When it launched in 1952, there had been nothing like MAD — a comics magazine dedicated to humor and satire aimed at a broad range of targets. In particular, MAD exposed the cultural fakery behind familiar and beloved images that originated on television, in the movies, and in sports and politics. Led by creators Harvey Kurtzman and William Gaines, MAD's cartoonists peeled back these images to expose calculated manipulation of the American populace by newly powerful postwar corporations. A retrospective exhibit on MAD opens this weekend at the Cartoon Art Museum.

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