“Star Blecch,” or why are Captain Kirk and Spock smiling like that?

By Eric Bradley

Photo courtesy Retronaut.com

Photo courtesy Retronaut.com

This photo of Captain Kirk and Spock reading the December 1967 edition of MAD magazine just cracks me up. But the fact Heritage sold the original art to the article they are reading just blows my mind.

By 1967, the original Star Trek series was one year into its three year run. Its mythos developed a cult following – think Firefly – that spawned a tsunami of spin-offs, an animated series and even comic books. William Shatner’s dramatic idiosyncrasies and humble helmsman George Takei’s own contribution to pop culture has all but broken the Internet.

But Star Treks’ breakout year took place smack dab during the height of MAD magazine’s influence. MAD was considered an important source of political satire, like Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert and The Onion (back when it was funny). To be featured in MAD was to have ‘arrived.’ So it was not surprising that artist Mort Drucker and writer Dick DeBartolo would take aim at the show and set their comedic phasers on ‘zany.’

True to their reputation, Star Trek became “Star Blecch,” and featured “Captain Kook” and “Mister Spook” in charge of the star ship “Booby-Prize.”

You can read the complete five-page story for yourself in Heritage’s auction archives. On the funny meter it’s more juvenile than hilarious … but maybe you’ll get a better understanding of the expressions on Shatner’s and Leonard Nimoy’s faces when you’re done.

Mort Drucker - Mad #115 Complete 5-page Story, "Star Blecch" Original Art

Mort Drucker – Mad #115 Complete 5-page Story, “Star Blecch” Original Art

 

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2 comments to “Star Blecch,” or why are Captain Kirk and Spock smiling like that?

  1. Wayne Jordan says:

    Mad Magazine, another icon of my youth. I was an early adopter of Alfred E. Neuman’s philosophy: “What, me worry?”. Now to boldly go where no man has gone before…

  2. Michael Morgan says:

    My favorite was the Star Trek Musical that appeared in MAD Magazine. Kirk sang “A Crew That’s Expendable” to the tune of “Age of Aquarius” from the musical Hair. I think it was Spock who sang “What Do You get When You Fly Through Space?” to the tune of “What Do You get when you Fall In Love?”.

    Almost, ALMOST I say, as memorable as the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow.

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