Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Saturday, April 13, 2019


This isn't your mother's (or your father's, or your grandparents, or your weird Uncle Walter's) MAD Magazine.

Nope, it's one of the many rip-offs, this time from Charlton Comics.  The humor is strained; the artwork, sometimes good, sometimes iffy.  The women in this comic tend to be large-bosomed and sexy.  So things weren't so bad for boys who shelled out a dime for this issue in 1954.

First off, there's "Liberitchy!" -- a parody on a certain smiling blond popular piano player.  The story tells how he caused New Yak City to be destroyed by his music.  Cute at times, but strained, really strained.

Then we move on to "I Love Loosely," featuring a Latin-American musician and his red-headed wife, re-imagined as hillbillies.  Loosely wants to sing in hubby Hickey Recordo's band,  but Hickey says no.  But she's determined and dresses in a revealing two-piece bathing suit, urging the band members to kill each other until someone gives her a chance.  Not very funny, but there's some interesting wordplay in this cross between L'il Abner and Fearless Fosdick.

Next up is "The Steve Alley Show," featuring a hip guy who looks a lot like Steve Allen.  Steve's television show is being haunted by the ghost of Father Knickerknocker.  Father K. has a ghostly bottle and glass balanced on his tri-corner hat.  (Does anyone else remember Knickerbocker Beer?  I do, fondly.) 

Finally, we have "Beat the Cluck," a game-show parody featuring Spud Collarad.  Any resemblance to Bud Collyer is certainly not coincidental.  Contestants are falling left and right, many of them falling for Spud's voluptuous assistant.  Predictable and ho-hum.

As the piece de resistance, there's a two-page parody of Mike Hammer in the form of "Mack Bulldozer -- defective" by one "Tricky Explain."  This is a preview of I, the Fury!; or, Vengeance Is My Quick Gun on a Lonely Night.  Not many comic books of this era would include a bit on sex-change operations, so it felt a little bit strange reading this one.

There's a good reason why Eh! could not stand up to MAD, or even Sick or Crazy.  Parody is an art form, something that seems to be missing here.

There are a few smiles and a few outrageous ideas here.  see if you can find them.

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