CC Humor: Going MAD at the Drive-In

Of course, any compendium of mid-century car humor can’t ignore the phenomenon of the drive-in movie theater. Most are gone now, but enough remain that you can still take your kids to experience what was once an American rite of passage. MAD takes aim here in about 1964, when drive-ins were at their peak. Our literary hat-tip goes to Dick and Jane, those other unavoidable icons of 1950s America.

We were lucky enough to get a low-wattage AM transmitter at our local drive-in, so that viewers could tune in to the movie via their car radios, eliminating the speaker problem. And what a problem they were! Drivers would run over the posts in the dark, punks would cut the wires and steal the speakers, side-window glass would break. Worse, the posts later became obstacles when drive-ins began turning into swap meets.


I clearly remember at least two tow trucks that would park at the rear of our local drive-in, ready to provide jump-starts, flat fixes, lockout rescues, and help with all manner of myriad motor maladies as soon as everyone got ready to leave.