Big ears and goofy grin — sports a Bieberesque bowl of hair on the cover of the Feb. 16 issue. The headlines: Justin Bieber. “HIS STUPID HAIR!” “HIS DUMB BOOK!” “HIS TERRIBLE MOVIE!” “HIS AWFUL MUSIC!” It is official….Bieber is famous!
“That was probably the highlight of his career and being on the cover of MAD is the lowlight. We like to do what we call Zeitgeist covers. When we found that his movie was debuting just about the same time we would be coming with the issue, we knew he’d be all over the place. He’ll hate it and buy every copy, and it will be a sellout. Or, conversely, Bieber won’t even notice and we’ll probably sell three copies of the issue. Every time we put one of these young teen stars on the covers — this goes back to New Kids on the Block — we do get a ton of mail from prepubescent girls. The weird thing is I happened to be looking through old issues and we did a piece on Elvis, too. So that must be hardwired into the DNA of prepubescent girls. When somebody attacks, they do the same. The magazine has changed quite a bit. We take ads, which was a trade-off for the color. Certainly the humor has been ramped up as society has been ramped up. MAD just reflects the signs of the times. It’s a great time because there’re so many whack jobs for us to go after. The lunatic fringe is alive and well from the right to the left. There’s never a shortage of material.”
Vanity Fair Cover Article