Joe Raiola is the senior editor of Mad Magazine. “I work at the only place in America where if you mature, you get fired."
For close to 25 years, Joe has toured "The Joy of Censorship" in 44 states at universities, theaters, festivals and libraries, including Yale and Penn State Universities, the Bumbershoot Festival in Washington state and the American Library Association's National Conference in New York.
Joe's newer theatrical shows include, "Still Ignorant After All These Years," "A MAD Life in Comedy," reflections of 33 years at MAD Magazine and "An Evening of Music, Humor and Wisdom," (see below).
Raiola is an equal-opportunity offender and insists that both sides of the political spectrum will be skewered during his lectures and shows.
Joe's research on censorship has revealed some horrible and nonsensical abuses of the First Amendment that are as scary as they are funny. Naturally he has incorporated them into the show, which he calls "a satirist's dream. It's funny, biting, relevant and disturbing. "Raiola's show will not have a problem offending people or drawing laughs. Indeed, he says the show is different every time, because he changes it to include the day's events.
During the last part of "The Joy of Censorship," Joe discusses the history of MAD Magazine and points out that in its early days was converted from a comic book in the 1950s to a magazine in order to avoid censorship. "Can you imagine, the United States Senate was holding hearing trying to link comic books and what they called juvenile delinquency? How would they have handled 'South Park'?" Raiola is intensely proud of MAD and says that people associate its policies with Alfred E. Newman's philosophy of "What me worry?" He differs. "I've always thought the message of MAD Magazine is "'Question authority.'
Joe Raiola has a flourishing career as a solo performer, comedy writer, producer, director and speaker.
A graduate of Adelphi University, where he developed a love for radio at WBAU, Joe can currently be heard as a frequent co-host on the Woodstock Round Table, broadcast Sunday mornings from 8 AM to 10 AM on WDST , 100.1 FM, in Woodstock, New York.
Joe is also the Executive Producer/Artistic Director producer of the popular Annual John Lennon Tribute in New York City.
An Evening of Music, Humor & Wisdom (Lecture/Theater)
MAD Magazine Senior Editor and comedian Joe Raiola hosts this entertaining and enlightening series of performance and talk.
Each program features three guests: a singer-songwriter or musician, comedian or humorist, and "wisdom guest" (author,spiritual teacher or expert in their field). Each guest is spotlighted in their own20-25 minute segment, which is a mix of performance/presentation and interview.
Over the course of the program the"Music, Humor & Wisdom" panel is formed.
The program concludes with a lively panel discussion and audience participation.