The “official” Nick Meglin obituary:
Nick Meglin was an American writer, humorist, and artist. He was known for his work as a contributor, comics writer, illustrator and editor for the satirical magazine Mad. He also scripted Superfan, a 1970s comic strip by Jack Davis. He was active as a lyricist of musical theatre and had columns in various specialized magazines about culture and sports.
Mr. Meglin spent most of his career at MAD Magazine, on whose editorial staff he worked for 48 years. His progress can be observed by studying the magazine’s masthead, which moved him from “Ideas” to “War Correspondent” (during an army stint) to “Editorial Associate” to “Associate Editor” to “Editor,” a position which he held for 20 years. His business cards used to identify him as Mad’s Tennis Editor. After retiring from that job in 2004, Meglin was listed as a Contributing Editor. Although he had fewer than ten official bylines in 48 years, Meglin was a major behind-the-scenes contributor to the satirical magazine’s contents and direction.
In addition to his work on Mad, Meglin wrote for the musical theater. He wrote book and lyrics for Tim and Scrooge, a musical sequel to A Christmas Carol with music by Neil Berg. He also collaborated with Berg and librettist Dan Remmes on a musical version of the film Grumpy Old Men. Mr. Meglin was also an art instructor at the School of Visual Arts in New York City; his books include The Art of Humorous Illustration and Drawing from Within.
Later in his life, Meglin moved to Durham, North Carolina, where he taught illustration.he will greatly missed by his family and friends.
The Raleigh News & Observer paid tribute to Nick and also reran a 2012 interview.
Q: What part of editing MAD did you like best?
A: Seeing a film with one of our writers and laughing at all the wrong parts. There’d be a scene where the rest of the audience might even be crying, and we’re cracking up because we’re already thinking of gags we’re gonna do. For example, Demi Moore got breast implants and she was very proud of them, showing them off constantly. Then she did this movie where she became a Navy SEAL, and during the training they’d toss them out of helicopters to see if they’d survive in the water. And of course, I was immediately going: “Is that too tough? Nah, she can float for a week with all that silicone.” Those are the kind of gags that come to you immediately.
Meglin is often credited as the unsung creative soul of the publication. He wrote scripts, ideas and humorous verses for countless comics and magazine covers. The man kept an eye on the lay-out and functioned as a talent scout and mentor for several of their cartoonists and writers.