Press Release

Detroit area filmmaker goes MAD with documentary

Pleasant Ridge, January 3, 2013 – When We Went MAD!, a documentary that explores the history and influence of MAD Magazine is currently being filmed by Alan Bernstein and Potrzebie Pictures LLC, a Detroit area production company. With 20 key interviews already on film, the team is launching a Kickstarter campaign on January 10, 2013 to raise the funds necessary to complete this historic American project.

When We Went MAD! delves into America’s longest running humor publication, MAD Magazine. Interviews with MAD Magazine’s key players, including current and former artists, writers, and editors, When We Went MAD! pays tribute to the institution that has delivered a satiric view of American culture for over sixty years. This retrospective will include fascinating interviews with prominent figures who proudly cite MAD magazine as an influence. Who knew?

The story of MAD Magazine is as irreverent as those who created it – from the landmark court case that pitted Irving Berlin against MAD (the case that assured the legality of satire in general) to MAD’s maverick publisher, William M. Gaines, who once took his entire staff to Haiti to convince the sole Haitian subscriber to renew. MAD was mad, and we loved it.

Co-producer/director Alan Bernstein, remembers his first foray into Mad-ness.“I was six and found my first issue at a drugstore newsstand. I had no idea what I was looking at: Spy Vs. Spy, Don Martin, the Fold-In… I didn’t always get the jokes, but I knew I was looking at the ticket into something special and I wanted in.” Bernstein went from casual reader to collector. And from collector to producer.

An experienced filmmaker, Bernstein co-wrote, co-produced, and directed the feature film, One Half Gone. With co-producer Doug Gilford, twenty current and former artists, writers, and editors of MAD have been filmed including:

Al Jaffee – the inventor of the Fold-In and the feature “Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions”
Dick Debartolo – the TV show Match Game writer whose work is in every issue of MAD since 1966
Sergio Aragones – his miniature cartoons filled the margins of MAD for fifty years.

To continue production on the project, When We Went MAD! is raising capital with a crowdfunding campaign through Kickstarter on January 10, 2013, to raise funds to cover the cost of travel, equipment rental, and post production. Anyone can contribute to the success of the film with levels . Everyone who pledges will be acknowledged with a certificate of recognition and insider updates regarding the film’s release. Larger contributions can include perks such as DVDs of the movie, T-shirts, posters, and the highest level includes an Executive Producer credit on the project.

Imagine being part of a project that preserves the voices of the great MAD Magazine. Talk it up at parties. Ask your friends where they were when they first read MAD. The conversation (and the intangible benefit of participation in this project) can go on and on. And you can proudly claim, “What, Me Worry?”

The When We Went MAD! Kickstarter site:

For more information visit or


  1. Cary Weitzman says:

    Good Luck!!

  2. Hello Mr. Bernstein,

    My name is Jeremy Selweski, and I’m a reporter for the Woodward Talk newspaper in the Pleasant Ridge area. I know that you’ve already done a lot of press/media on “When We Went MAD!” but I was hoping to talk to you about the project for an article in our paper.

    I understand that you recently reached your Kickstarter fundraising goal for the film, and I would love to do a phone interview to talk to you more about that. Please give me a call in the office at (586) 218-5004. My deadline for this article is Friday.

    Thank you!

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