Monday MADness- Faux Fold-In!

March 14th, 2016 | Posted in MAD Magazine


Okay so this wasn’t a MAD job but in honor of Al Jaffee’s 95th birthday yesterday I thought I’d share this ad job from 2007 that was based on Al’s icon “MAD Fold-In”.

This job was for Hardee’s restaurants, and was art for an ad promotion for their newest sandwich offering… the “Philly Cheesesteak Thickburger”. It is a giant hamburger topped with cheesesteak fixings on one bun… not for a light lunch. The ad was supposed to be like a MAD “Fold-In” concept… something I’ve seen other companies like Dodge do in the past so I knew it was not unprecedented. The thing that concerned me was that the Hardee’s people might want me to copy Al Jaffee‘s style of artwork, which I would absolutely refuse to do. When I raised the issue with them, they said they wanted me to draw like me, and just to design the layout in a way that the folded version showed the results they wanted. Freed from the worry of having to ape another artist’s style, I accepted the job.Let me tell you, I did not think it possible to have more respect than I already had for Al Jaffee but I was mistaken. It’s a real puzzle having to design and execute a single illustration so that is shows a different scene when folded properly… especially when the idea is to keep the final results hidden until the folding happens. I’m not sure I was very successful at the surprise ending part, as what I needed to illustrate was pretty hard to disguise, but I had my try at it. Here’s the “folded” version:


This ad was supposed to appear in Rolling Stone, Maxim and a few other magazines but the project saying was to scaled back due to ad budgets. As a result they did not run this piece in print but instead used it for an internal incentive program. That’s a bummer but also common in advertising. C’est la vie.


  1. Eric Zeacktor says:

    Did the Hardees people approach Al first? I’m curious if he handed it off to you, or did you have to get permission from him?

    • joemcgarry says:

      I asked them if they had contacted Al, and they said while they wanted to do a “fold in” style piece they wanted a different look to the art.


Sketch o'the Week- Natalia Dyer! @strangerthingstv #strangerthings #nataliadyer @mad.magazine

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