Documentary film 'When We Went Mad!' in production in Detroit - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Documentary film 'When We Went Mad!' in production in Detroit

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A documentary film that explores the history and influence of 'MAD Magazine' needs funds in order to complete the film.

The film has a Kickstarter campaign to help with the project, which can be found by visiting

From Peebo Film: The story of MAD Magazine is as irreverent as those who created it - from the landmark court case that pitted Irving Berlin against MAD (the case that assured the legality of satire in general) to MAD's maverick publisher, William M. Gaines, who once took his entire staff to Haiti to convince the sole Haitian subscriber to renew.  MAD was mad, and we loved it.

Where were you when you first read MAD?

Co-producer/director Alan Bernstein, remembers his first foray into Mad-ness all too well. "I was six and found my first issue at a drugstore newsstand. I had no idea what I was looking at, but just flipping through the pages - Spy Vs. Spy, Don Martin, the Fold-In, that gap-toothed Kid on the cover…  I didn't always get the jokes, but I knew I was looking at the ticket into something special and I wanted in." Bernstein went from casual reader to collector. And from collector to producer.  

An experienced filmmaker, Bernstein co-wrote, co-produced, and directed the feature film, One Half Gone - shot in the Detroit area, which found success on the film festival circuit. Now Bernstein has turned his attention to a documentary about MAD, and the meeting of his two passions. With co-producer Doug Gilford, twenty current and former artists, writers, and editors of MAD have been filmed including:Al Jaffee - the inventor of the Fold-In and the feature "Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions"
Dick DeBartolo - The writer for the TV show Match Game whose work has been in every issue of MAD since 1966
Sergio Aragones - his miniature cartoons have filled the margins of MAD for fifty years.

The once taboo MAD magazine no longer draws parents' vitriol as it once did. Most parents of today grew up reading MAD…but in secret. And it still holds a special place in their heart. It's more than a nostalgic memory of childhood. They see it as a welcome source of entertainment for an entirely new generation of readers, their own.

Once Bernstein and Gilford have wrapped up interviewing MAD contributors, the next phase of the production is to capture and catalog those that were influenced by MAD. "Entertainers, politicians, teachers, convicts… if you claim MAD had a profound effect on your life, we want to hear your guilty confession." Bernstein announces.  

Nick Meglin, former MAD editor, clarifies, "The people who have said they read MAD shocked us. We expected more from them, frankly."

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