Adam B. Vary
April 05, 2012 AT 12:00 PM EDT

It is a tradition that stretches back decades, a ritual of ruthless public mortification that children and children-at-heart have gleefully gobbled up from sea to shining sea. I’m speaking, of course, of the MAD Magazine parody, the venerable humor magazine’s take-no-prisoners tweak of massive pop-cultural events in which nothing is sacred. And in this exclusive first look, we can see what happened when MAD‘s Alfred E. Neuman set his sights on The Hunger Games — or, as MAD puts it, The Hunger Pains.

First thing I noticed from this parody, written by Desmond Devlin, and drawn by artist Tom Richmond: MAD‘s Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark — sorry, that’s Katfood Aspercreme and Meatwad Stretchmark — look like the Capitol fashioned a “muttation” of Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson crossed with Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. The result, as one would expect, is horrifying. Check out the first four pages of the parody below — keeping in mind it comes from the April 24 issue of MAD, entitled “The 50 Worst Things About America.”


My favorite thing about this is the description of Effie Trinket as “the effervescent doodlebug, Iffy Stinkpit.” Runner up: Gale Hawthorne’s MAD name is “Fail Hotporn.” Not quite sure how I feel about Rue being re-named “Poo,” though. Those scoundrels.

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NEXT PAGE: From eating rat in District 12 to riding the Twinkie-filled train to the Capitol

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