German MAD Magazine issue #138


Big Bird, Ernie, Bert, Cookie Monster, Herry Monster and Betty Lou on the front cover of Mad About TV; art by Mort Drucker

Muppet laundry

"A MAD Look at Big-Time TV"

Kermit - MAD-Magazine-Green-Lunk-Art

MAD Magazine is a satiric publication that began in 1952. The Muppets and Sesame Street have been spoofed many times in the magazine's pages.

The cover for the Mad Magazine book Mad About TV featured several TV sets with images of famous TV characters, and one of those TV sets features Big Bird, Ernie, Bert, Cookie Monster, Herry Monster (miscolored as green), and Betty Lou.

MAD contributors Jack Davis and Al Jaffee illustrated some of the early Sesame Street merchandise in 1970, and Harvey Kurtzman contributed designs for animated inserts on the series in 1972. Dick DeBartolo contributed an E.T. spoof for the premiere issue of Muppet Magazine. In 1980 MAD sponsored (and later requested removal from the credits) a feature film, Up the Academy, which was written by Jay Tarses and Tom Patchett.

The magazine also spawned two TV series, MAD TV and Mad.

References / Sightings

  • Issue #146 (October 1971): Sesame Street was parodied as "Reality Street", a television show designed to "prepare the youth for what really lies ahead". The parody featured Gorgon (Gordon), Dirty Bird (Big Bird), Curt and Bernie (Bert and Ernie, though at one point, the latter is mistaken with the former), Ookie (Oscar the Grouch), Cake Monster (Cookie Monster), and Scary Monster (Herry Monster). Grover, Susan, Mr. Hooper, Roosevelt Franklin, Betty Lou, and Little Bird, all of whom are unnamed in this parody, also appear. Scenes include Bernie teaching Curt how to tell time, Bernie showing his toy phone to Scary Monster, Gorgon teaching about the number 5 and the letter P, and Ookie moving into a trash heap across the street. This parody can be found in the book, Mad About the Seventies
  • Issue #150 (April 1972): In the article "When TV Makes Full Use of Howard Cosell", Howard Cosell appears on Sesame Street explaining the letter T to Ernie, who gets bored and falls asleep.
  • Issue #196 (January 1978): Oscar the Grouch makes a brief cameo appearance in the Star Wars parody Star Roars. This parody can be found in the books Mad About the Seventies and Mad About Star Wars.
  • Issue #203 (December, 1978): Kermit appears in the Star Wars parody "The Force and I: The Mad Star Wars Musical", seen among the chorus of Stormtroopers singing "Darth Vader" to the tune of "Maria". The same issue features a Sesame Street parody entitled "If Sesame Street Branched Out Into Specialized Avenues of Education". Areas explored are "Mafia Street", "Medical Street", and "Athlete Street".
  • A parody of Mork & Mindy, Smork and Windy, begins with Big Bird laying the giant egg that Smork hatches out of. This can be found in the book Mad About the Seventies.
  • The cover of issue 217, from September 1980, promoted Alfred E. Neuman running for president, with various letters making up his face, which listed people who would make better presidents than Alfred. Among those are Cookie Monster and Kermit the Frog. This can be found in the books Mad About the Eighties and Mad About Star Wars.
  • In a parody of The Empire Strikes Back, called The Empire Strikes Out, Yoda wears a pin that reads, "Miss Piggy Fan Club". This can be found in the books Mad About the Eighties and Mad About Star Wars.
  • In issue 219, images of Kermit and Miss Piggy appear at the start of the article "Those Wonderful Seventies! A Year 2000 Backward Look at a Warm and Wonderful Decade".
  • Issue 222 featured a parody of Dallas, called Dullus. In the first panel, J.D. Pewing (the parody's version of J.R. Ewing) introduces himself, stating "My downright nastiness has made me the most popular character on TV, except for maybe Miss Piggy!" This parody can be found in the book Mad About TV.
  • A parody of Return of the Jedi, Re-hash of the Jeti, features Kermit, Miss Piggy, Cookie Monster, and Fozzie Bear in the first page. This can be found in the books Mad About the Eighties and Mad About Star Wars.
  • A parody of Trading Places, Trading Races, features a picture of Big Bird in a newspaper and a picture of Miss Piggy on a wall. This can be found in the book Mad About the Eighties.
  • One issue features an article called "Additions to the Dictionary", featuring meanings for words named after celebrities. In this piece, the definition for the word Henson is "To manipulate (He couldn't control himself because he was hensoned)". Another word is Kermit, which means "High on the hog". This can be found in the book Mad About the Eighties.
  • A parody of ALF, called ARFul, has a scene where the father gets a six-page subpoena from Jim Henson, and at the end of the parody, Kermit the Frog, Gonzo, and Janice all appear. This can be found in the book Mad About the Eighties.
  • Issue 326 has a piece called "The MAD Guide to Doing Well/Not Doing Well On TV Talk Shows." For the show Opera, to do well is to weep openly for the full hour. Members of the audience in this panel include Kermit the Frog, Fozzie Bear, Sam the Eagle, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, Beaker, Gonzo, Janice, and Mildred. This can be found in the book Mad About Television.
  • Issue 340 featured an article called "When Sesame Street Caves in to The Radical Right", with segments such as Guy Smiley covering a court case against the letter P, Count von Count counting obscene books, Big Bird being forced to wear clothes, and Kermit interviewing a congressman with seven wives and forty-nine children. This can be found in the book Mad About Television.
  • Issue #342 (January/February 1996): Fozzie Bear, Zoe, Kermit, and Miss Piggy appear in the article "When Sweeps Weeks Comes to PBS".
  • Issue #362 featured an article called "When Other TV Shows Finally Come Out of the Closet". The first show is Sesame Street, which pictures Grover, Big Bird, Ernie, and Bert in bed together, saying that Sesame Street has been brought to you by the letters G, A, Y, and the colors pink and lavender. This can be found in the book Mad About Television.
  • Issue 396 features a comic spoof of Angel, a television series about a vampire with a soul. In the introductory panel, The Count accompanies the lead character with a supportive comment.
  • Issue 510 (June 2011) features a Green Lantern spoof with several other famous green characters, including Kermit.
  • Mad Presents Batman (September 2012) featured a small cameo by Cookie Monster on a computer screen in the comic, "The Dork Knight." A police officer theorizes that Battyman is really Cookie Monster, since both have a "growly, gravelly voice."
  • Issue 510 (August 2012) features an Avengers parody, when Nick Fury is talking to all the leaders of the Earth Kermit is included.
  • MAD Issue 2 (August 2018) features Tom Bunk Gets Stranded in Hollywood, where Kermit and Miss Piggy are seen waving at a crowd. Fozzie Bear and Cookie Monster are also seen in a car driven by Darth Vader. There's also a page where Teague Rathbone wrote a letter to the sock in David Bowie's pants in Labyrinth.

See also