Our Mad Future Foretold in 1971

It’s giddy fun to look at vintage ephemera that predicts the future, usually because the predictions turn out to be so charmingly wrong. This 1971 item from Mad Magazine, though, turns out to be alarmingly right…except for the ultra-convenient home delivery! Four decades ago, a “Scene We’d Hate to See.” Today, a Scene We Wait to See. Mad, for sure!

1971 MAD MAGAZINE Spoof Advertisement Back Page Clean Air Water Milk

From the awesome Flickr photostream of Christian Montone

7 replies
  1. Mark Boyd
    Mark Boyd says:

    Gayle, thank you for posting this picture!! I was in a conversation with my father this past weekend and the topic of MAD Magazine came up. I never missed an issue from September 1977 through about the same time in 1987. Then I lost interest, but I still collected the vintage issues going back to the 50’s and still enjoy them today.
    My father asked me why I lost interest, suggesting that I had “outgrown” it. And I said “No, that’s not it. I still find the vintage years of the magazine to be quite brilliant. The problem is that the world has turned into what was once funny.”
    And this was the very picture that I referenced. I also remember when the Schick “Quatro” 4-blade razor came out years ago and laughing my head off at the commercial…because MAD artist Al Jaffee had a “products of the future” kind of article in the mid-70’s and had a razor with about a dozen blades on it. lol
    I could go on and on. Thank you SO MUCH for this post!

  2. Gayle Leonard
    Gayle Leonard says:

    Thanks to you for a great comment! In the 70s the only way I could read MAD was to sneak a peek at my older brother’s copy. Like you he treasured every copy, and I would have paid dearly were I caught with my dirty little-sister mitts on his collection!

    And your observations are spot-on… like all great humor and satire there are revealing elements of truth. As you noted, we never knew then how TRUE it would turn out to be!

  3. Melvin M Melvin
    Melvin M Melvin says:

    Note the cool angle on the MAD photo – they could have just shown it ‘flat’ and less interesting, but no – persistent quality from the #1 humor mag – Dave

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