Al Feldstein Has a Posse
Albert B. Feldstein
October 24, 1925 – April 29, 2014
Excerpt from NYT article, "Mad Magazine's Al Feldstein Dies at 88":
"Basically everyone who was young between 1955 and 1975 read Mad, and that's where your sense of humor came from," producer Bill Oakley of "The Simpsons" later explained, citing "The Simpsons" as a worthy successor.Al Feldstein has a posse.
Feldstein's reign at Mad, which began in 1956, was historic and unplanned. Publisher William M. Gaines had started Mad as a comic book four years earlier and converted it to a magazine to avoid the restrictions of the then-Comics Code and to convince founding editor Harvey Kurtzman to stay on. But Kurtzman soon departed anyway and Gaines picked Feldstein as his replacement.
One of Feldstein's smartest moves was to build on a character used by Kurtzman, Feldstein turned the freckle-faced Alfred E. Neuman into an underground hero — a dimwitted everyman with a gap-toothed smile and the recurring stock phrase, "What, Me Worry?" Neuman's character was used to skewer any and all, from Santa Claus to Darth Vader, and more recently in editorial cartoonists' parodies of President George W. Bush, notably a cover image The Nation that ran soon after Bush's election in 2000 and was captioned "Worry."