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E.C. Publications

As I kid, I read Mad magazine religiously. Two decades later, it's amazing how different it looks: It's in color! It has ads! And, hey, why isn't the fold-in on the inside back cover?

Mad #485 gets in on the end-o'-year list action with its countdown of the "20 dumbest people, events & things of 2007." Surprisingly, it has more bite and actual wit than most lists of that ilk.

Falcons quarterback/dog killer Michael Vick tops the list, rendered in a parody cover of the canine best seller "Marley & Me."  Presumably racist shock jock Don Imus' southward career path is charted via a "Nappyquest" map. Britney Spears' ever-tumultuous and increasingly bizarre antics are chronicled via a children's book.

The hoopla surrounding the paternity of Anna Nicole Smith's orphaned infant gets turned into a "Three Men and a Baby" poster, while former "Gray's Anatomy" star Isaiah Washington finds himself on a one-sheet for "Homo Phobe," Macaulay Culkin-style, and the staff suggests 21 alternate endings for the hotly debated "Sopranos" finale.

Elsewhere in the issue, "Spy vs. Spy" and Sergio Aragones' "A Mad Look at "¦" feature offer reassurance that some parts of Mad remain just as you remember.

"?Rod Lott

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