From 1950’s until the 70’s, some satire and magazines like CRAZY, CRACKED, SICK and some far less well known quickly failed magazines like FOOEY, sought to find a market as a humor competitor to MAD Magazine. Launched as part of the comic genius of H.M. Steele, FOOEY only issued just four magazines during 1961 starting with the first issue in February before folding. Unfortunately, many of the issues of the magazine went unsold and were returned back to distributors. While most were likely destroyed, a few unsold new old stock copies were recently discovered and now being sold on Ebay by a back issue magazine dealer.
FOOEY had an identity far different than MAD. The magazine seemed to rely on many funny ad parodies that seemed surreal and strange, much like the Ernie Kovacs humor of that era. You can easy see that strange “Percy Turtledove” look in some of the features in the ill-fated and short-lived MAD Magazine competitor from Chicago, Illinois. H. M. Steele had to be a fan of Ernie Kovacs for sure.
While other parody and satire magazines like CRACKED, which started in 1958, had much larger staffs and a more rounded approach to publishing, FOOEY still managed a good shot at a well-rounded magazine despite the very small staff which looked to be mostly just three persons.
The magazine even jokingly referred to itself as being the first magazine in history with letters to the editor before it’s first issue was even published, which is pretty much to say that the three staffers wrote all of the letters.
In jest, the editor sits on the front cover of issue #1, deeply in debt, unable to pay his bills, which may be more than a joke, because after only a few issues this magazine sadly closed up shop.
FOOEY was great fun while it lasted.