One of the characteristics of Mad Magazine that I enjoy the most is the jokes found in the drawings. To see all of them you have to look carefully through all the non-balloon dialog areas and that is always fun. The dialog is intelligently stupid in the sense that it appears to be at the lowest common denominator but if you read it carefully you will often find that it is a very intelligent phrase lampooning some human activity. This book contains eight lengthy and two short satirical pieces that contain drawings with many embedded jokes. The lengthy ones are:
*) Melvin of the Apes! A parody of Tarzan. *) Book! Movie! A satire on the differences when a story is told via book vs. as a movie. *) Robin Hood! A satire on the legend of Robin Hood. *) G. I. Shmoe! A parody of the war comics and how they glorify war and feature apparently indestructible characters. *) Frank N. Stein! A parody of the Frankenstein's monster horror story. *) Little Orphan Melven! A parody of the "Little Orphan Annie" comic strip. *) The Raven! A parody of the classic poem. *) The supermarket! A satire on the "advantages" of shopping at the super large grocery store.
The short pieces are:
*) Stagecoach! A parody of the classic western scene where the hero rides up to the runaway stagecoach jumps on the horses and gets them to stop. *) The race! A satire on the story of the girl jockey getting on the horse at the last second and winning the race.
All are done in that hilarious Mad style that makes you laugh and groan, sometimes even simultaneously. This is a demonstration of a style of humor that is being lost, replaced by "expletives maximus", where swearing is perceived as the only route to humor.