Not long after Soviet Premier, Nikita Khrushchev's "We will bury you!" remark to Richard Nixon, regarding trade and consumer goods, etc., I had a publicity client by the name of Oscar Jordan, who was a Nikita Khrushchev look-a-like.
A fellow by the name of Mr. Gaines, over at Mad Magazine, did some photo art of my client ripping up a copy of "Mad", with the caption: "This We Bury First!"
Anyway, we had a lot of fun with Oscar Jordan, who in real life, was a Latvian immigrant and successful painting contractor.
Life magazine also did a feature on Jordan, and we used to hire limousines and go around with the "Chairman", to drop in, for just a few moments for "vodka" and bodyguards all around, at Toot Shor's, and other bars along Seventh Avenue. (NOTE: Russell sent along some great images of his hijinks with Oscar in front of the White House, on stage at Sammy's Bowery Follies, at a televised football game in New Rochelle, and aboard the bridge of Russell's boat at the 79th St. Boat Basin, NYC, with Henry Held, owner of Marina, who is pointing at the Chairman.
Click each image for much bigger pictures.)
The "Mad" cover is a back cover, so the retailer could flip it, to get attention.
The familiar logo type of "Newsweek" was used, but it was spelt "Newsweak".
I'll always remember my visit to "Mad", over on 3rd Avenue, NYC, as they were so hospitable and showed me around, introducing me to the rest of the staff, including the "Spy versus Spy" artist, Antonio Prohias, with his drawing board ready with a fresh episode.
I would like to find a resource where I can buy a collector's edition of the issue I have with Oscar on the back cover. It's hard, because I can't remember the exact date. I would say it would have been around 1967, or thereabouts. My framed picture, down in Florida, is pretty faded through time. It's time I replaced it.
Thanks for the little behind-the-scenes info on Oscar. The issue you're referring to is the back cover of Mad #83, December 1963. I don't have an extra issue to sell but I included a scan you might want to print out and hang on your wall.
I did some careless research and found that Khrushchev's comment is still controversial to this day. It may be open to literal interpretation. Some see the remark as meaning Khrushchev thought the Communist system would "outlast" American-style democracy. Others take him more literally and believe we were one finger away from oblivion.
The Cold War was raging after all. The comment was made in November 1956, and I don't think Vice-President Nixon was among the Western diplomats present at the Kremlin to hear it. I could be wrong. Nixon, later in 1959, responded during the American National Exhibition in Moscow: "Let me say that we don't object to his saying this will happen, We only object if he tries to bring it about ... We prefer our system. But the very essence of our belief is that we do not and will not try to impose our system on anybody else. We believe that you and all other peoples on this earth should have the right to choose the kind of economic or political system which best fits your particular problems without any foreign intervention."
History's pretty eerie isn't it?
The one thing I have no clue about is why it took Mad seven years to make a joke out of it...
|Back Cover Issue #83 |
Front Cover Issue #83