Unlike House of Hammer magazine, Mad didn't have the luxury of a large budget to buy in originated material. So we were forced, wherever possible, to use the cover art from the US edition.
The big problem with that was that the US Mad was published eight times a year and the UK Mad was monthly. To make up the extra four covers (sometimes more - sometimes the featured show, movie or personality wasn't recognisable to a UK audience) we would either use one of those funny lettering covers (you know the ones) or we would actually commission a British artist to paint a new cover.
We couldn't afford Harry North (yes, he's British, yes, he was paid a fortune by the US edition of Mad for his work) so we had to look elsewhere. The cover reproduced here was painted by Graham Marsh who was art director of Top Sellers Ltd, publishers of Mad and House of Hammer.
When we did use the US covers we had the problem of retailoring the cover lines to better suit our audience. The next page illustrates some of the problems we were up against.