Did you read Mad Magazine growing up? Leah Garrett, director of the Jewish Studies Center at Hunter College did, and it shaped her life. “For an entire generation, Mad Magazine was one of the most central factors in shaping how we understood the adult world and what it meant,” she says. Part of the reason why the magazine spoke to her so directly was because the founding staff and writers were all Jewish, she adds. “The magazine would end up employing and inspiring basically every important American comic, particularly all the Jewish comics—Sid Caesar, Mel Brooks, Jerry Seinfeld, Howard Stern, the writers of the Simpsons, the writers of Saturday Night Live, The Onion, The Daily Show— just to name a few. I would say it was the most important comedy vehicle in American history.” Listen to Leah Garret talk about Mad Magazine’s influence.
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