MAD publisher William M Gaines on TO TELL THE TRUTH

Zack sez, "William M. Gaines, publisher of TALES FROM THE CRYPT, WEIRD SCIENCE and MAD appears on the game show TO TELL THE TRUTH. This video links to a number of other classic TO TELL THE TRUTH appearances by some oddballs, including con man Frank Abagnale Jr. (in a scene later recreated for CATCH ME IF YOU CAN)."

To Tell the Truth - William M Gaines (Thanks,Zack!)


  1. That was pretty neat, those guys knew their lines!

    I forgot wigs were a big thing back then.

  2. Huh, so anyone can appropriate Alfred E. Neumann’s image and use it for whatever they want, and MAD Magazine’s original editor gives his blessing.

  3. Oh you know he did love the freebie! Didn’t he pick up $500 for fooling them all too?
    This is just another great reason to love the intertubes. I used to watch that show all the time as a kid and I’ve not seen Bill, Kitty & Peggy in quite some time!

  4. nanuq: you’re dead on. The dreaded Comics Code Authority: NOBODY expects the Spanish inquisition!

    Not sure how MAD survived that mess. But it did, and I read dozens of issues in the late 60’s-early 70’s. :-D

  5. Did anybody else ID the real Gaines the second he took the stage? And I promise, I had no previous knowledge of him til now. It was simply a case of “spot the comic book guy”.

    I wonder if this show had been produced today, the judges might have chosen differently.

    1. Bill Gaines’ image appeared in MAD many times, so yeah, I spotted him immediately. No points for me. :-)

  6. @#6: MAD didn’t “survive” that mess, it was born from it. Gaines folded all his talent from EC into one Magazine, and as a magazine, didn’t have to adhere to the restrictions comic books were imposing upon themselves at the time.

    awesome clip, man. great find!
    If you can locate it, there’s a surreal clip out there of a young Hunter S. Thompson on To Tell The Truth, as well.

  7. although, don’t get me wrong, Mad was one of EC’s comics before the Code, i was just pointing out how the magazine as we know it was born from those ashes.

  8. I have to admit that I did not know who William M Gaines was until today. This is probably grounds to have me banned from Boing Boing for life, but I digress.

    The YouTube thumbnail kind of telegraphs his identity, but I would have picked #1 right away. As for #3 who the panel picked, the fact that he was a professional BS artist (AKA Lawyer) was not a shock either.

  9. I remember once years ago meeting Mr. Gaines in an elevator. We spoke about Mad Magazine. I told him I used to read it all the time when I was a kid. “why does everybody say that?!” he replied. He wanted everybody to keep reading it into adulthood.
    I was reminded (but didn’t mention) the famous National Lampoon Mad Magazine parody, which contained “you know you’ve outgrown Mad Magazine when…”

  10. Gaines is one of my heroes so I knew in advance but still the first thought that crossed my mind was “It’s obviously the dude with the crazy beard”

  11. If you watch to the bitter end, I appear during the closing credits. I was writing for The Match Game & finding guests for To Tell The Truth back then. I convinced Gaines he’d have fun stumping the panel. I worked for Mark Goodson – Bill Todman Productions — and worked for Gaines at the same time. (I’m still writing for MAD – it’s the only work I can find while waiting for The Match Game to come back.)Gene Rayburn points me out during the closing credits. Minus the ‘stache.
    Dick De
    Dick DeBartolo
    MAD’s Maddest Writer.

Comments are closed.