In Memoriam: Nick Meglin, 1935-2018

“Truth is, I can’t imagine a world without Nick Meglin. I first met him shortly after I moved to New York in 1976, when I brought my portfolio to MAD. I wasn’t at all ready for the big time yet, but he gave me a lot of encouragement to keep plugging away until I was. For several years after that, I would cross paths with Nick, particularly when he was moderating various MAD panels, and he would always have more words of support and encouragement. This meant a great deal to me, for in those days (and for years to come) Nick Meglin was to a large extent the public face of the MAD staff. He was smooth, charming, glib, funny and always ready with an anecdote. To me, he was MAD. For him to suggest that someday I might be ready to contribute to MAD was akin to Charlie winning the golden ticket to the Chocolate Factory.

That day finally came in 1981, when I got my first assignment for the magazine. Four years later, when Nick and John Ficarra were named co-editors, I became a regular contributor. It was unlike any professional relationship I had in over twenty years of freelancing, mainly because of Nick. He was intensely interested in everything about the people he worked with: ‘What were your parents like?’ ‘Do you have a girlfriend?’ ‘Hey, you like opera, too?’ ‘Your jacket’s kind of shopworn — why don’t you trade it for this snazzy corduroy number I just got from John Boni?’ Working with Nick was like a weekly therapy session in a used-clothing emporium.”
National Cartoonist Society

“Nick Meglin was a sharp-witted editor who helped shape the fledging publication once he joined MAD in 1956, the year that Al Feldstein became the magazine’s top editor.

Meglin — who died Saturday of a heart attack at age 82, according to MAD magazine — was for so long the soul of the gifted staff. Bill Gaines, the late founder and publisher of MAD, called Meglin “the heart of the magazine” — a man who was crucial in building and nurturing the magazine’s stable of all-stars.

‘Feldstein was not humorous. He appreciated humor, but he didn’t inspire humor,’ Jaffee tells The Washington Post’s Comic Riffs. ‘Nick inspired humor.’

‘He was a bit zany. . . . He had a great appreciation for the satirical viewpoint — he was gifted with that kind of natural understanding.’

Meglin also helped MAD grow from being ‘a satire of other comic books’ to spoofing politics and pop culture at large. At its circulation peak during President Richard Nixon’s administration, MAD had more than 2 million readers.

‘Nick’s sense of humor was a defining part of MAD magazine,’ says Tom Richmond, a Reuben Award-winning caricature artist at MAD. ‘No other single person had as much to do with creating and perpetuating the MAD ‘voice’ as he did. Both as a humorist and as a person, he was without peer.’

‘Nick was amazing — he was a poet, a good editor, a good writer and artist,’ Aragones says. ‘He could do everything pretty well, and he would crack jokes.’ And what made Meglin especially vital to the magazine, Aragones says, was that the big-hearted editor was ‘a unifier.'”
– As ‘the heart’ of MAD magazine, Nick Meglin influenced much of American comedy, The Washington Post 

 

Typhoid Mary by Mark St. Germain Launches Barrington Season

The sobriquet Typhoid Mary has endured as the concept of an individual who willfully or by fate is the source of spreading an epidemic.

In a compelling play by Mark St. Germain, in a theatre that bears his name, the sordid tale of the real Typhoid Mary, Mary Mallon (1869-1938), played with conviction by Tasha Lawrence, unfolds in two acts with a running time of some 90 minutes.

This is a revival of a 1991 play that has been tweaked by the playwright. Staging it again is a commentary on anti-science, fundamentalism and ignorance that pervades our socially and politically divided nation. Like the protagonist, who had no truck with science, medicine and its gibberish, parents refuse to inoculate their children with vaccines. In some cases they have all but eliminated devastating diseases. Such reactionary ignorance evokes key cabinet positions in the current federal government.

In a manner which we have come to expect of historical plays by St. Germain we learn a lot about the disease, its devastation, and efforts to cure and contain it.

To read the full review, please visit BerkshireFineArts.com !

Review of The Grönholm Method at the Menier Chocolate Factory

Job interviews are horrible. It doesn’t matter how many you have been through, they are always terrifying, And these days, the higher the position, the more difficult the interview process. Of course, the important thing is how much do you want the job? And this is where the ultimate interview comes in, which is the subject of Jordi Galceran’s play – translated by Anne García-Romero and Mark St. Germain – The Grönholm Method at the Menier Chocolate Factory.

Jordi Galceran has written a fascinating story…that brings the recruitment and interview processes used by some firms sharply into focus. I’ve been through psychometric testing, preparing and giving presentations, assessment days, group discussions, telephone, panel, structured, unstructured, competency based, etc in my time and The Grönholm Method (it’s a made up name) is just taking interview techniques to a new level. However, the quality of the writing is not only the method but the twists and turns, of which there are an amazing amount for a 90-minute show, that leave you wondering who exactly is who and is anyone who or what they claim to be?

This is a fascinating play that I found utterly riveting from start to finish.

To read the full review, please visit LondonTheatre1.com