MAD and what not CDAMBROSIO1 at
Sat Mar 19 00:55:56 CET 1994

Greetings all,

	Ironically enough I had just gotten off the phone with the 
letter column editor (Associate Ed. Charlie Kadau) when I went to 
check my e mail and found David's response to Don's response to my
earlier question.  And now I'm kind of confused.

	David writes "MAD is NO LONGER aimed at kids."   It never was.
MAD has always strived to be funny, satirical, etc in the eyes of its
creators first and foremost.  There's no doubt that kids are a good deal
of its audience, but there has never been any survey of any kind (b/c
Bill Gaines didn't want to pigeonhole the magazine and give advertisers
a sense of the audience), until the current newstand issue which has a 
card asking "what age did you start reading MAD?"  how often do you buy 
it and where, sex, and age.  
	MAD is one of the few magazines that could be placed in a 
dentist's office and appeal to parents and kids alike.   But I'm not 
going to take the space here pointing out things that kids will just
never understand and adults will.  What I do question is David's 
statement - "I picked up a current issue and was startled by thousands
of very obvious references to sex...  [stuff deleted] MAD is making a 
mistake in this age of teen pregnancy and AIDS."
	As far as sex goes, I searched MADly and could find few overt 
things in the most recent issue (326)  -- a picture of Adam and Eve in 
an article "What if technology invaded history" with post it notes in 
place of fig leaves, and a picture of a woman holding up an issue of 
Penthouse with the words being :"What does it say about playing by the rules
when... ...the only Miss America in the last 25 years to get anywhere in 
Show Biz is the one who posed starkers in Penthouse."  The woman being 
Vanessa Williams.  Checking three or four issues before there is nothing
that says and promotes "everybody's doing it."
	On the contrary, in numerous places do they criticize teen pregnancy
in one case it's "thirty years ago Nurse Dweezel treats the fifth grade's
first case of whooping cough!" -- "today Nurse Dweezel treats the fifth 
grade's first case of morning sickness!"  
	Anyway, to wrap it up, MAD has never been just for kids, will never 
be just for kids.  And I don't see that it has ever declined, sure there have
been some simple articles over the years, though.  In fact, I think it's been
very strong over the past four years, but enough.  
	If I haven't made myself clear or anything, I blame it all on the 
fact that I can't edit on this system.  For now, fare thee well...
						Butch D'Ambrosio

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