Happy 50th, Mad Magazine

Wired News is running a nice appreciation of Mad Magazine on the eve of its 50th anniversary.

Before Bart Simpson and before David Letterman, there was Alfred E. Neuman, the creation of a respected 62-year-old portrait artist who responded to an ad in The New York Times only to find that the magazine that wanted him was Mad.

The artist nearly huffed his way out of the offices of the fledgling humor magazine. But editor Al Feldstein convinced him to try and give life to a poorly formed Mad character.

"I wanted him to make this kid into a real live kid. I wanted him to be lovable, not ugly," Feldstein said at the Comic-Con International convention, which ends Sunday in San Diego.