NYRM: How has technology changed Mad over the years?
John Ficarra: For a long time, we were a black-and-white magazine that was printed on really cheap paper. I mean, we used to say Mad looked like it was printed in Mexico in 1959. Computers have given us a chance now to do Photoshopping; we’re on better paper, we’ve gone to color and we’re not doing cut-up and paste-up with mechanicals and rubber cement like Mad was when I started. We can make changes virtually right up until the day we go to press. So that allows the magazine to be a little more timely. Now, we’re only a bimonthly, so even toward the end of our newsstand cycle, the material is sometimes getting old. And besides that, with the Internet, you know, they talk about 24/7 news cycles—well, there’s 24/7 comedy cycles as well.
Good interview with the editor of Mad magazine, which turns 60 this year.