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My Version of Dave Berg's "Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions"

Updated on May 4, 2017
kenneth avery profile image

Kenneth has been a member of HubPages for five years. He is retired from a 23-year career in the weekly newspaper business.

Dave Berg "Looks At You," a publication from a very talented man.
Dave Berg "Looks At You," a publication from a very talented man. | Source
Alfred E. Neuman, mascot for Mad magazine whose motto was famous for: "What? Me worry?"
Alfred E. Neuman, mascot for Mad magazine whose motto was famous for: "What? Me worry?" | Source

Saluting a True Hero Namely,

Dave Berg (born in Brooklyn, June 12, 1920 – May 17, 2002) and was an American cartoonist, most noted for his five decades of work in Mad of which The Lighter Side of which was the most famous work. Berg showed early artistic talents, attending Pratt Institute when he was 12 years old, and later studying at Cooper Union. He served a period of time in the Army Air Corps. In 1940, he joined Will Eisner's studio, where he wrote and drew for the Quality Comics line. Berg's work also appeared in Dell Comics and Fawcett Publications, typically on humorous back-up features. Beginning in the mid-1940s, he worked for several years with Stan Lee on comic books at Timely Comics (now known as Marvel Comics), ranging from Combat Kelly and The Ringo Kid to Tessie the Typist.

Quite honestly, I was a pure Mad Magazine addict. Truthfully a lot more of a Mad junkie. Even in Sept., 1975, when I first started work with the hometown newspaper, I would check my check on Thursday and make a "bee line" to our Foodway grocery store. With the cash in hand, I would look for the latest edition of Mad Magazine and those paperback's also published by Mad with Dave Berg supplying the graphics to match the catchy text.

During my lunch hour I was in Heaven--enjoying a sandwich, soda, and reading the adventures of Dave Berg, rest his soul. When Berg passed away, I was very sad. At that time, no one artist or writer of this vein could make me laugh so hard without doing that much except making clear observations about daily life. That's all it took.

Paul Finebaum, nationally-syndicated sports columnist; author, now host for the host of The Paul Finebaum Show on the SEC Network, and my friend.
Paul Finebaum, nationally-syndicated sports columnist; author, now host for the host of The Paul Finebaum Show on the SEC Network, and my friend. | Source

One of Berg's Best Offerings was

"Snappy Comebacks to Stupid Questions," and I cherished this book. To me, the sports pages of what daily newspapers we received at our hometown paper, meant catching up with the latest sports scores, standings and of course, "the venerable one," Paul Finebaum, who I did get to meet in the late 1990s and love his sports columns for they were considered sharp, honest, and very no-nonsense in his writings.

But as love was to Finebaum and his columns, I though of Dave Berg as purely cherishing his work and stories. When my wife moved to a better home, somehow I lost my book about "Snappy Comebacks to Stupid Questions," and my cherished memento was no more. I confess that I still remember that one paperback even in 2017.

One of Dave Berg's classic pin-up cartoons.
One of Dave Berg's classic pin-up cartoons. | Source

Out of Pure Respect to

Dave Berg, I would like to write you my own brand of Berg's text that made that paperback to enjoyable. So obviously I am going to title this hub: My Version of Dave Berg's "Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions."

Please understand that I, or anyone else who knows Berg or is a wealthy, popular writer such as Dave Berg, cannot compete with this very influential man that I grew to love. I am just going to parody his work in type. (Kenneth).

The plan goes like this:

The first question is someone who is being much like a smart alec and the second sentence is a snappy answer that should keep this smart alec's mouth shut.

"Hey, doofus! When your foot slipped and you fell on the concrete, did it hurt?" "Wy' no, busy body. I actually look for juicy opportunities to allow myself to fall and cause much pain to my body."

"When you were stopped by a police officer and given a huge speeding ticket, was the officer angry?" "Well, not really angry--enough. Maybe I should have went faster."

"I saw that! The hammer hit your thumb while you were nailing up that picture of George Washing, so I ask you, did it hurt?" "You bet! If I could, I would hit my thumbs all day long, but someone might ship me to a clinc where highly-intelligent professionals are able to see what is really wrong with me."

"Hey, that poisonous snake is about to bite you! Didn't you know that this action might cause you a lot of severe sickness, maybe death?" "Really? I just thought that by letting this poison snake bite me, I would be getting a nifty toothache."

"Bet you felt bad when I passed by your office and heard your boss cursing you to high heaven, huh?" "Not really. You see, I get a thing called "Opposite Motivational Skills" that can only help me have a drive to work harder and provide my clients with more business if my boss stomps into my office each morning at 8:58 a.m., sharp and curse me to a crisp."

"I see where you fell into a well on your last vacation. I bet you were scared, huh?" "Are you kidding? Not in the least. I felt very secure and in a place where no bad people could get to me to do harm to me. I loved it."

"What a scare you had when you were napping across that railroad track. Were you really scared when that train almost made you into little bitty pieces?" "Naaaah. It takes more than this to make me scared. I would call being thrown into a pit filled with Black Momba's being scared."

"Bad food, hunee?" "Frank, I will tell you that in all of my years of traveling across the world, I have never tasted Portuguese Chicken like that. Thanks."

"Hey, I don't want to pry into anyone's personal business, but while your wife is in the ladies' room, did you get upset when she screamed and shouted obscenities at you for being five minutes late for this anniversary dinner? Hey, that little woman is the best. Yes, sir. It's those cursings and swearing that ignites my passion for that woman to love her even more."

"I heard that "Bowack," heard in the cafeteria that you almost choked while eating those potato chips. Did that harsh coughing scare you? No way, pal. I like to mix things up. Live on the envelope and on purpose, try to cram a handful of chips in my mouth just to see how long it would really take for me to choke to death."

"Easy, "Hal," did that nick from your chainsaw really hurt? Buddy, I am a manly man. Little nicks like this that will take me over 12 stitches are always fun while working outside."

"When our elderly neighbor lost his way and accidentally knocked me past the road and into the next house, did it hurt? Actually, I was very sad. You see, "Mr. Tudley," a World War I veteran gets black out's sometimes and although I was knocked across the road and into that next house, I believe that he is getting more sound experience in driving a vehicle."

Good night, Hueytown, Alabama, "Hometown of Bobby and Donny Allison, legends of NASCAR."

Typical Dave Berg copy.
Typical Dave Berg copy. | Source

© 2017 Kenneth Avery

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    • FatFreddysCat profile image

      Keith Abt 3 weeks ago from The Garden State

      I loved MAD's "Snappy Answers To Stupid Questions" and had several of the books when I was a kid.

      However, that feature was created by longtime MADman Al Jaffee, not Dave Berg.

    • Jennifer Mugrage profile image

      Jennifer Mugrage 3 weeks ago from Columbus, Ohio

      Army Doctor, while digging in a wart: "Now, does this hurt?"

      My Grandpa: "No, I'm always this shade of green."

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 3 weeks ago

      Loved Mad Magazine!

      Nosey secretary to us women editors sitting around eating lunch:

      If anything happened to your husband, would you remarry?

      Snappy editor: No, men our age are too old!"

    • rebelogilbert profile image

      Gilbert Arevalo 3 weeks ago from Hacienda Heights, California

      Interesting article, Kenneth. I loved the cartoons you posted in this hub. I remember Mad magazine. The fun literature and comic books of those day were very special. Thanks for recollecting good memories.

    • Tamara Moore profile image

      Tamara Yancosky Moore 2 weeks ago

      This is a great article, and takes me back to the MAD magazine that I had forgotten all about! I like the answers to the questions...lol!

      Hugs,

      Tamara

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