Joe Raiola has a job many covet, and few could imagine: He’s one of a handful of full-timers in charge of MAD magazine. He’s also created one of only two officially sanctioned John Lennon tribute concerts. Along with his radio appearances and stand up comedy work, Raiola has been with MAD magazine for 28 years. He insists that working there shouldn’t be considered a proper job: “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 The Beatles’ MAD connection, the atmosphere at mag’s headquarters and his first pitching experience:
What advice do you have for readers interested in pitching MAD?
MAD has always been freelance written. We’re always looking for new talent and new writers. Pitching stuff to us now is pretty easy; you can do it via our website. And we’re actually foolish enough to review everything that comes in. Writers don’t need to include illustrations. When I sold to MAD for the first time in 1984, I didn’t have any skills as an artist at all. I suggested a couple of art notes and had some ideas as to how I thought something could be done, but that was about it.
To learn more about Raiola, including info on his upcoming performance in New York, read: So What Do You Do: Joe Raiola, MAD Senior Editor and John Lennon Tribute Executive Producer?