Wednesday, September 25, 2013

"Screwball" The MAD MAD MAD GAME?

 "Screwball", THE MAD MAD MAD GAME?  was released by Transogram in 1960. The game had players entering the "Madvertising business" ("Only Boobs and 1/2 wits can win!") traveling around the board in their "Jokewagons" filled with phony MAD-like products,  (Prince Boobert Tobacco, Swipe toothpaste, Winegoof Beer, Cantaford Motor Co, screamingly funny stuff like that), spending "Mad money". The luck of the spinner determined whether players had to pay nothing, half, full or double price for their prizes. Got it?

The problem was that Transogram and the game's creators didn't bother to license the rights from MAD magazine, despite using an Alfred E. Neuman look-alike on the box cover (with art created by the cult comic book artist Howard Nostrand). MAD objected, and to appease MAD's lawyers the game was recalled with a second version released, this time with a microphone covering the fake Alfred's mouth to cover the gap tooth, and wearing headphones to cover his large ears. The "Screwball" was now larger,  with one less "MAD" in the game's title. Finally,  the hilarity could ensue!
first version of the game, art by Howard Nostrand

game directions
the game and it's contents

some of the game cards, art also by Howard Nostrand

the revised cover 


  1. Completely unrelated: did you do the portraits for the Drexel University LeBow School of Business "Business Leader of the Year" gallery?

  2. Wow! I remember the game well... our pal next door had the original version. We were pretty little kids then, but weren't fooled by the implied connection to the magazine. But at this point in time my own father took a dim view of the real McCoy (he thought MAD too cynical for young minds)... we could only sneak occasional issues into our house, and time spent with even a crappy imitation was prized.

  3. ?? -- Is this for humans? I don't know anyone with "5 1/2 boobs."