In case you were unaware, MAD Magazine is alive and well, and this week the publication celebrates cover boy Alfred E. Neuman's 57th birthday. In his honor, here are some little-known facts about Neuman, plus seven of the parody covers for which the magazine is famous. We especially like the one that ridicules Justin Bieber, because that guy is the absolute worst.
• As MAD’s official (gap-toothed and grinning) mascot, Alfred made his first MAD cover appearance on the cover for MAD #30 (1956). Every year on April Fool’s Day, the magazine celebrates Alfred’s birthday.
• Although Alfred has appeared on the front of most issues of MAD, he has not appeared on every cover.
• Over the years, Alfred has been depicted in a wide variety of roles, including Uncle Sam, George Washington, Barack Obama, Rosemary’s baby, Michael Jackson, Justin Bieber, and Batman.
• Alfred has run for president every election since 1956 with the campaign motto, “You could do worse, and always have!”
• Alfred’s eyes are not aligned straight, yet they always manage to make contact with the reader. He is never depicted in profile.
• In 1983, a man wore an Alfred E. Neuman mask while attempting to hold up a gas station in Michigan. The attendant working at the station could not take the man seriously and the robber left the scene without any money.
• In MAD #322 (October, 1993), the magazine asked readers which real life celebrity Alfred E. Neuman most closely resembled – David Letterman, Ted Koppel, or Prince Charles of England. While TV personality Letterman was leading the vote for the majority of the polling period, a last-minute influx of votes from Canadian readers crowned Prince Charles the victor of the competition. This was appropriate considering that in 1958, MAD received a letter from Buckingham Palace (reprinted in MAD #48) to shoot down comparisons between Charles and Alfred. To this day, nobody knows if the note in fact came from Prince Charles himself.
• As MAD’s mascot, Alfred is often referred to by the Usual Gang of Idiots at MAD as the magazine’s “Playboy rabbit.”
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