Frank Jacobs never wrote for Broadway.
Instead, Jacobs contributed countless parodies of show tunes to Mad magazine during its glory years.
With more than 500 bylines in his 57 years, he played a major role in defining the magazine, upon which Baby Boomer kids like me gorged.
His value to the magazine is summed up by the title of a collection of his poem parodies: "Mad for Better or Verse."
He made "Fiddler on the Roof" "Antenna on the Roof," skewering suburban America. "A Pretty Girl Is Like a Melody" he turned into "Louella Schwartz Describes Her Malady." In "East Side Story," based on "West Side Story," the Soviets and Americans took the place of the Jets and Sharks.
Jacobs, who worked as a writer with many of the magazine's noted illustrators, died April 5 at age 91 in Tarzana, Calif., according to a New York Times obituary.
His work brought an important landmark in First Amendment law in a court victory over Irving Berlin and the estates of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein and other composers, who sued the magazine claiming that Jacobs' parodies violated their copyrights.
A federal appeals court ruling in favor of the magazine noted that iambic pentameter isn't subject to protection. The U.S. Supreme Court agreed.
He wrote a number of books, many of them collections of Mad material. While writing for Mad, he also contributed to other publications ranging from Playboy to Sports Illustrated.
So, goodbye, Frank.
We give you thanks
for so much fun
in your splendid run.