German MAD Magazine issue #138.


Big Bird, Ernie, Bert, Cookie Monster, Herry Monster and Betty Lou on the front cover of Mad About TV; art by Mort Drucker.


German MAD Magazine issue #118 (with Samson).

Muppet laundry

"A MAD Look at Big-Time TV."

Kermit - MAD-Magazine-Green-Lunk-Art

MAD magazine is a satirical publication that began in 1952, and is currently published through DC Comics. The Muppets and Sesame Street have been spoofed many times in the magazine's pages.

The cover for the MAD magazine book Mad About TV featured several TV sets with images of famous TV characters, and one of those TV sets features Big Bird, Ernie, Bert, Cookie Monster, Herry Monster (miscolored as green), and Betty Lou.

MAD contributors Jack Davis and Al Jaffee illustrated some of the early Sesame Street merchandise in 1970, and Harvey Kurtzman contributed designs for animated inserts on the series in 1972. Dick DeBartolo contributed an E.T. spoof for the premiere issue of Muppet Magazine. In 1980, MAD sponsored a feature film, Up the Academy (later requesting removal from the credits), which was written by Jay Tarses and Tom Patchett.

The magazine also spawned two TV series, MADtv and Mad.

References / Sightings

  • Issue #146 (October 1971): Sesame Street was parodied as "Reality Street," a television show designed to "prepare the youth for what really lies ahead." The parody featured Gorgon (Gordon), Dirty Bird (Big Bird), Curt and Ornery (Bert and Ernie, though at one point, the latter is mistaken with the former), Ookie (Oscar the Grouch), Cake Monster (Cookie Monster), and Scary Monster (Herry Monster). Grover, Susan, Mr. Hooper, Roosevelt Franklin, Betty Lou, and Little Bird, all of whom are unnamed in this parody, also appear. Scenes include Ornery teaching Curt how to tell time, Ornery showing his toy phone to Scary Monster, Gorgon teaching about the number 5 and the letter P, and Ookie moving into a trash heap across the street. Ultimately, an overweight construction worker arrives to tear down the set of “Reality Street” so that a munitions development plant can be built over it. It was reprinted in the book Mad About the Seventies, and colorized for the April 2020 issue.
  • Issue #150 (April 1972): In the article "When TV Makes Full Use of Howard Cosell," Howard Cosell appears on Sesame Street explaining the letter T to Ernie, who gets bored and falls asleep.
  • Issue #196 (January 1978): Oscar the Grouch makes a brief cameo appearance in the Star Wars parody Star Roars. This parody can be found in the books Mad About the Seventies and Mad About Star Wars.
  • Issue #203 (December, 1978): Kermit appears in the Star Wars parody "The Force and I: The Mad Star Wars Musical," seen among the chorus of Stormtroopers singing "Darth Vader" to the tune of "Maria." The same issue features a Sesame Street parody entitled "If Sesame Street Branched Out Into Specialized Avenues of Education." Areas explored are "Mafia Street," "Medical Street," and "Athlete Street."
  • A parody of Mork & Mindy, Smork and Windy, begins with Big Bird laying the giant egg that Smork hatches out of. This can be found in the book Mad About the Seventies.
  • The cover of issue 217, from September 1980, promoted Alfred E. Neuman running for president, with various letters making up his face, which listed people who would make better presidents than Alfred. Among those are Cookie Monster and Kermit the Frog. This can be found in the books Mad About the Eighties and Mad About Star Wars.
  • In a parody of The Empire Strikes Back, called The Empire Strikes Out, Yoda wears a pin that reads, "Miss Piggy Fan Club." This can be found in the books Mad About the Eighties and Mad About Star Wars.
  • In issue 219, images of Kermit and Miss Piggy appear at the start of the article "Those Wonderful Seventies! A Year 2000 Backward Look at a Warm and Wonderful Decade."
  • Issue 222 featured a parody of Dallas, called Dullus. In the first panel, J.D. Pewing (the parody's version of J.R. Ewing) introduces himself, stating "My downright nastiness has made me the most popular character on TV, except for maybe Miss Piggy!" This parody can be found in the book Mad About TV.
  • Issue 242 featured a parody of Return of the Jedi, Star Bores: Re-hash of the Jeti. The opening cast intro page features Kermit and Fozzie Bear (standing in for Ewoks and other critters) and Cookie Monster hanging out behind Luke on the first page. Miss Piggy is on a TV monitor worn by Darth Vader. This can be found in the books Mad About the Eighties and Mad About Star Wars.
  • A parody of Trading Places, Trading Races, features a picture of Big Bird in a newspaper and a picture of Miss Piggy on a wall. This can be found in the book Mad About the Eighties.
  • One issue features an article called "Additions to the Dictionary," featuring meanings for words named after celebrities. In this piece, the definition for the word Henson is "To manipulate (He couldn't control himself because he was hensoned.)" Another word is Kermit, which means "High on the hog." This can be found in the book Mad About the Eighties.
  • A parody of ALF, called ARFul, has a scene where the father gets a six-page subpoena from Jim Henson, and at the end of the parody, Kermit the Frog, Gonzo, and Janice all appear. This can be found in the book Mad About the Eighties.
  • Issue 267 features a parody of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood titled "Mr. Jolly Rogers' Neighborhood Visits a Local Bank" in which Bert and Ernie cameo, both holding rejected loan applications for PBS funding.
  • Issue 326 has a piece called "The MAD Guide to Doing Well/Not Doing Well On TV Talk Shows." For the show Opera, to do well is to weep openly for the full hour. Members of the audience in this panel include Kermit the Frog, Fozzie Bear, Sam the Eagle, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, Beaker, Gonzo, Janice, and Mildred. This can be found in the book Mad About Television.
  • Issue 340 featured an article called "When Sesame Street Caves in to The Radical Right," with segments such as Guy Smiley covering a court case against the letter P, Count von Count counting obscene books, Big Bird being forced to wear clothes, and Kermit interviewing a congressman with seven wives and forty-nine children. This can be found in the book Mad About Television.
  • Issue #342 (January/February 1996): Fozzie Bear, Zoe, Kermit, and Miss Piggy appear in the article "When Sweeps Weeks Comes to PBS."
  • Issue #362 featured an article called "When Other TV Shows Finally Come Out of the Closet." The first show is Sesame Street, which pictures Grover, Big Bird, Ernie, and Bert in bed together, saying that Sesame Street has been brought to you by the letters G, A, Y, and the colors pink and lavender. This can be found in the book Mad About Television.
  • Issue 396 features a comic spoof of Angel, a television series about a vampire with a soul. In the introductory panel, The Count accompanies the lead character with a supportive comment.
  • In the article A MAD Peek Behind the Scenes on the Set of The Hulk from Issue #431, Kermit the Frog and Oscar the Grouch appear. Kermit can be seen with The Great Gazoo from The Flintstones, singing "Bein' Green".
  • Issue 510 (June 2011) features a Green Lantern spoof with several other famous green characters, including Kermit.
  • Mad Presents Batman (September 2012) featured a small cameo by Cookie Monster on a computer screen in the comic, "The Dork Knight." A police officer theorizes that Battyman is really Cookie Monster, since both have a "growly, gravelly voice."
  • Issue 510 (August 2012) features an Avengers parody, when Nick Fury is talking to all the leaders of the Earth, Kermit is included.
  • MAD Issue 2 (August 2019) features a cameo by Gaffer (drawn by Jim Woodring) in "The Wisenheim Museum." In Tom Bunk Gets Stranded in Hollywood, Kermit and Miss Piggy are seen waving at a crowd. Fozzie Bear and Cookie Monster are also seen in a car driven by Darth Vader from Star Wars. There's also a page where Teague Rathbone wrote a letter to the sock in David Bowie's pants in Labyrinth.
  • Dr. Bunsen Honeydew appears in Spaghetti & Meatball in Baby Sittin in MAD Issue 6 (April 2019). Kermit also appears in one panel of The Goodest Place, a parody of The Good Place.
  • Sweetums and Animal appear in the MAD Issue 7 (June 2019) article MAD Predicts Avenjerks: Is This Ever Gonna End-Game? appearing in a crowd of Dizzy characters to defeat Th'anus (Thanos).
  • Bert appears in the MAD Issue 8 (August 2019) article Necronomicon for Dummies being sacrificed by getting his stuffing out of him. A gag in Meanwhile... features a Muppet dating a marionette.
  • In the article A MAD Look at Alfred Hitchcock Movies from MAD Issue 10 (December 2019), during a parody of The Birds, Mitch Brenner opens the door and Big Bird comes in, scaring the kids. In the article The First Comedian on Mars, Yoda complains of Eddie Pepitone's jokes, "Unfunny, this one is! Fozzie Bear, my favorite comedian always will be!"
  • One of the cartoons in the "Meanwhile" page in MAD Issue 13 (June 2020) features a swiss knife and a Bowie, which is like a swiss knife, but with heads of David Bowie. One of them is Jareth from Labyrinth.

See also

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