An Un-proud Member of “The Usual Gang of Idiots”
Since joining the MAD editorial staff in 1985, Joe Raiola has been making funny noises in the hallway and is under the constant threat of being fired.
“It’s a comedy sweatshop,” Joe says of iconic humor magazine. “We spend the entire morning deciding who to make fun of. And with the strictly enforced 90-minute lunch break, working conditions are tough.”
While working with National Lampoon alumni on a series of classic magazine spoofs, Joe sold his first article to MAD (sharing a byline with his long time comedy writing pal, Charlie Kadau) in 1984. He quickly became one of the magazine’s most prized contributors, churning out irreverent satire, ad parodies and inspired silliness.
Joe is now a MAD Senior Editor, a title he insists “mean nothing because I work at the only place in America where if you mature, you get fired.” In addition to his work for the magazine, Joe is one of the creators of The Idiotical, the MAD humor blog featuring daily updates skewering current events.
Founded in 1952 by William Gaines and Harvey Kurtzman, MAD remains the best-selling magazine in the world with that title. With its legendary spoofs of pop culture, media, politics and American life, MAD has inspired generations of readers to question authority and generations of comedy writers to find their own satiric voice.
True to its iconic roots, today’s MAD features some of the country’s best comic artists and writers, including the legendary Al Jaffe, Sergio Aragones, Mort Drucker and Dick DeBartolo, along with the next generation of all-stars, including Peter Kuper, Hermann Mejia, Drew Friedman, Ward Sutton and Tim Carvell, Head Writer of The Daily Show.
The latest MAD television venture, an animated program simply called MAD, debuted in Fall 2010 and is currently one of the top-rated shows on the Cartoon Network. Previously, MAD-TV, a sketch comedy show, enjoyed a 13-year run on the Fox Network.