Joe Raiola is juggling several jobs at the moment. There’s his stand up comedy up act (The First Amendment, a one man show), his radio work (he appears every Sunday on The Woodstock Roundtable) and his upcoming John Lennon tribute concert (with Yoko Ono‘s blessing, of course). Then there’s his day job as senior editor of MAD magazine. Raiola has been with MAD for 28 years, and says in a lot of ways, nothing has changed. “The thing you have to keep in mind about MAD is: If you mature, you get fired. It’s a place where you stay perpetually young or silly or both.”
In the latest installment of Mediabistro’s So What Do You Do?, Raiola talks about his connection to the Beatles, the atmosphere in the MAD offices and how celebrities react after being spoofed:
Do you ever hear from any of the people you lampoon?
Probably the most famous example of a show or person that loved being spoofed was L.A. Law. When MAD spoofed L.A. Law, with the entire cast on the cover, Stephen Bochco and the cast loved it so much that they actually recreated the illustration in a photo and sent us the photo of them posed, as they were drawn on the cover. It used to be people didn’t want to be spoofed. Now people want to be spoofed, even politicians. When I first started working at MAD, movies didn’t want to cooperate with us. That’s all changed. Today, they want to be on the cover.
To hear more from Raiola, including how to pitch the freelance-written pub, read: So What Do You Do, Joe Raiola, MAD Senior Editor and John Lennon Tribute Executive Producer?