Open main menu

John Ficarra (born ca. 1956) is an American publishing figure. He was hired as assistant editor of the American satire magazine Mad in 1980, shortly after his debut as a contributing writer.[1] He became editor-in-chief (a position he shared with Nick Meglin until 2004[2]) in 1985, when the incumbent (Al Feldstein) retired,[3][4] to 2018.[3]

John Ficarra
Ficarra at a signing for Inside Mad at a
Barnes & Noble in Manhattan
Area(s)Editor, Publisher
Notable works
Mad magazine

As editor of MadEdit

Dave Berg often drew Ficarra along with other Mad staff members in an office setting from the late 1980s until 2002; Ficarra was depicted as a bespectacled young man with curly dark hair and beard.[5]

In March 2013 Ficarra was interviewed by Film Society of Lincoln Center, to explain how Mad created its annual movie-parody issue.[2]

In a July 2014 interview with Nerd Reactor, Ficarra explained the changes being made to Mad in an effort to make it more relevant to the 21st century.[6]

In August 2014 Ficarra participated in a Warner Brothers interview to explain the creative process at Mad.[7]

In response to the 2015 attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, on January 11, 2015 Ficarra made a personal appearance on the US television show CBS Sunday Morning, to describe the chilling effect which such attacks were having on the previous freedom of expression enjoyed by cartoonists in the Free World.[8][9]

In December 2015 Ficarra was interviewed by MStars News for an article detailing how the magazine created its annual "20 Dumbest People, Events & Things of 20xx" issue.[10]

Ficarra retired with issue #550 (dated April 2018) after 34 years as the editor of Mad magazine. #550 was also the final issue of the first volume of the magazine which launched at EC Comics in 1952 before being taken over by DC after EC ceased publication in the mid-'50s. Mad magazine was rebooted with a new #1 dated June 2018 and a new look, with illustrator and comic book artist Bill Morrison taking over as the new editor and the magazine shifting offices to Los Angeles, California after decades in Manhattan (first on Madison Avenue and then on Broadway).[11][12]


  1. ^ Dueben, Alex (February 24, 2016). "'MAD's' John Ficarra is Still Running Comic's Greatest Gang of Idiots. Retrieved May 20, 2019.
  2. ^ a b Hendrix, Grady (March 13, 2013). "Interview: John Ficarra". Film Comment. Retrieved May 20, 2019.
  3. ^ a b Ficarra, John (May 13, 2019). "Pete Buttigieg as Alfred E. Neuman? I don't see it. But I also don't buy the mayor's response". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 19, 2019.
  4. ^ Hedges, Chris (March 28, 2001). "For Mad, a Reason to Worry; Struggling for Relevance in Sarcastic World". The New York Times. Retrieved December 14, 2010.
  5. ^ Fischer, Craig (October 25, 2013). "My Friend Dave". The Comics Journal. Retrieved May 20, 2019.
  6. ^ Washington, Anastasia (July 28, 2014). "SDCC 2014: Interview with Mad Magazine’s Editor in Chief, John Ficarra". Nerd Reactor. Retrieved May 20, 2019.
  7. ^ "Another Boring John Ficarra/MAD Interview". Mad magazine. August 26, 2014. Retrieved May 20, 2019.
  8. ^ Karlin, Susan (January 16, 2015). "MAD Magazine’s Chilling Response To The Charlie Hebdo Murders". Fast Company. Retrieved May 20, 2019.
  9. ^ "Mad Magazine editor on the hazards of satire". CBS News. January 11, 2015. Retrieved May 20, 2019.
  10. ^ Solis, Jorge (December 14, 2015). "Editor-in-Chief John Ficarra Talks MAD Magazine #537 & Donald Trump Cover!" Retrieved May 20, 2019. Retrieved May 20, 2019.
  11. ^ "WELCOME TO THE ALL-NEW, SOMEWHAT-FAMILIAR MAD!" Mad. April 16, 2018. Retrieved May 20, 2019.
  12. ^ Fire, Larry (March 24, 2018). "Mad Magazine’s New Look Revealed at WonderCon 2018". The FireWIre Blog. Retrieved May 20, 2019.

External linksEdit

  Media related to John Ficarra at Wikimedia Commons