By Eric Bradley
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.