Blue Bloods producers wanted a Mad parody so much they paid Mad alumni to do it

Blue Bloods
(Image credit: Sam Viviano)

How do you know you've made it in the TV business? Well, for one of the producers of the hit CBS series Blue Bloods it's when your show is parodied in Mad Magazine. After 10 seasons however, they couldn't wait anymore and reached out to one of Mad's artist alums to pay for a Mad-style parody as a gift to the cast and crew. 

Blue Bloods

(Image credit: CBS)

"In mid-January, I was contacted via LinkedIn by the executive producer of the CBS series Blue Bloods. He was disappointed (although he used a different word) that his long-running show had never been parodied in Mad Magazine. So he decided to commission one himself, to give as a present to his cast and crew when the tenth season wrapped in April, and he wanted real MAD veterans to produce it," former Mad Magazine art director Sam Viviano wrote on LinkedIn.

Viviano has worked as an illustrator and caricaturist for the past 43 years, and from 1999 to 2017 he served as Mad Magazine's Art Director. Even leaving his staff position there, he continued to draw for Mad on a freelance basis.

(Image credit: Sam Viviano)

"I had promised myself, after illustrating Mad's five-page spoof of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel last year, that I would never again take on such a labor-intensive assignment...but this was a challenge I couldn't pass up, even though the time frame was incredibly tight," Viviano explains. "I conscripted my old Mad colleagues Desmond Devlin and John Ficarra to write and edit the script, while I, in addition to illustrating the cover and the six-page story, would act as designer, art director, and project manager."

Devlin, Ficarra, and Vivano finished the ‘Blue Duds’ parody of Blue Bloods but despite the COVID-19 pandemic cutting production of the TV show’s tenth season short - Newsarama can confirm that the cast and crew did get copies of 'Blue Duds.'

Blue Bloods is currently filming its eleventh season for CBS, although a release date has not been announced.

This Blue Bloods parody is available to the public, but Mad and many other comics are available digitally. Check out our list of the best comics readers for Android and iOS devices.

Chris Arrant

Chris Arrant covered comic book news for Newsarama from 2003 to 2022 (and as editor/senior editor from 2015 to 2022) and has also written for USA Today, Life, Entertainment Weekly, Publisher's Weekly, Marvel Entertainment, TOKYOPOP, AdHouse Books, Cartoon Brew, Bleeding Cool, Comic Shop News, and CBR. He is the author of the book Modern: Masters Cliff Chiang, co-authored Art of Spider-Man Classic, and contributed to Dark Horse/Bedside Press' anthology Pros and (Comic) Cons. He has acted as a judge for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the Harvey Awards, and the Stan Lee Awards. Chris is a member of the American Library Association's Graphic Novel & Comics Round Table. (He/him)