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Ballyhoo and Mad Magazine

  • Satirical magazines such as Ballyhoo and MAD Magazine were rife with parodies of smoking advertisements and the social faux pas of smoking, especially when tobacco was in the headlines after the release of the Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking Health in 1964 and the litigations surrounding the Master Settlement Agreement in the 1990s.
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Ballyhoo

First published in 1931 Ballyhoo featured one-off cartoons of a scandalous of humourous nature, and parody articles and advertisements. The humor magazine became so popular (reaching a circulation of two million readers) it began to attract actual advertisers. The editors of Ballyhoo had been reluctant at first to accept advertisements but insisted that any placed ads in the magazine would need to meet the satirical style of the fake advertisements. As a result, many of the real advertisements became indistinguishable from the send-ups.

Ballyhoo would discontinue publication in 1939, with two efforts to restart the publication between 1948 and 1954. Ballyhoo‘s spiritual successor would be MAD Magazine, which would adopt Ballyhoo’s magazine-style format the year before Ballyhoo went out of print for the last time in 1954.

For The Occasion Smoker

Parody
Ballyhoo
October, 1931

Hesterfield

Parody
Ballyhoo
November, 1931

Snarlboro

Parody
Ballyhoo
December, 1931

Cream of the Crop

Advertisement
Lucky Strike
American Tobacco Company
1932

Cream of the Crap

Parody
Ballyhoo
January, 1932

Scremo Cigars

Parody
Ballyhoo
December, 1931

“Ducky Wuckies are the Nerts”

Parody
Ballyhoo
January, 1932

Snarlboro

Parody
Ballyhoo
February, 1932

Old Gold’s Pledge to Contestants

Advertisement
P. Lorillard Company
May, 1937

Old Gold Contest

Letter
P. Lorillard Company
May, 1937

Old Colds

Parody
Ballyhoo
July, 1932

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MAD Magazine

Founded in 1952 as a comic book published by Entertaining Comics, and in 1955 MAD became a satirical magazine with an erratic publication schedule between 4 and 7 times a year. Like its predecessor, Ballyhoo, MAD did not take advertising during much of its run which allowed the magazine free reign to satirize products including tobacco. MAD Magazine also used its parodies to take on the tobacco issue with scathing sendups like “Six Minutes Looks at Smoking” (a take on Sixty Minutes) and MAD Interviews The Tobacco Executive Of The Year (A parody of Forrest Gump).

MAD Magazine was a significant influence on the style and humor employed by Doctors Ought to Care in its counter advertising campaigns against the tobacco industry.

You Would Be One Of My Top Choices For A Nobel Prize In Medicine

Letter
Alan Blum To William M Gaines Publisher Mad Magazine
October 29, 1985

Mad Magazine Had Been An Inspiration For My Own Approach To Tackling The Smoking And Drug Abuse Pandemic Among Adolescents

Letter
Alan Blum To William M Gaines Publisher Mad Magazine
April 24, 1985

Men of America The Skid-Row Bums

Parody
MAD Magazine
1959

Parliamatch

Parody
MAD Magazine
October, 1959

Some MAD Devices For Safer Smoking

Cartoon
MAD Magazine
December, 1964

Why Not Warnings On All Packages

Cartoon
MAD Magazine
December, 1964

The MAD Non-Smokers Hate Book

Cartoon
MAD Magazine
July, 1971

The Great Cigarette Filter Tip War

Cartoon
MAD Magazine
June, 1964

The Tobacco Industry

Cartoon
MAD Magazine
Undated

When You’re Dying For A Cigarette

Cartoon
MAD Magazine
1968

Six Minutes Looks At Smoking

Cartoon
MAD Magazine
January, 1990

n.d. Mad Magazine Smoke Mag. Ad Parody

Choke Magazine

Cartoon
MAD Magazine
September, 1990

The Only Doctor I Know Who Still Smokes

Cartoon
MAD Magazine
March, 1990

Some Straight Talk About Selling Cigarettes To A Hostile Public

Parody
Billy Doherty
MAD Magazine
Summer, 1991

MAD Interviews The Tobacco Executive Of The Year

Cartoon
MAD Magazine
December, 1995

The Tomb Of The Unknown Smoker

Parody
MAD Magazine
August, 1995

Cancer Of The Hump

Poster
MAD Magazine
August, 1995

The Tobacco Industry’s Secret Marketing Plans For Attracting Young Smokers

Cartoon
MAD Magazine
November, 1996

Cigar Addictionado

Parody
MAD Magazine
June, 1998

Only A True Cigar Lover

Parody
MAD Magazine
June, 1998

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