Sunday Mailbag

June 10th, 2007 | Posted in Mailbag


Q: Has any celebrity you’ve drawn ever gotten angry over their caricature?

A: I haven’t directly heard from anyone who was upset with the way I drew them, but indirectly I’ve been told twice about such a reaction.

The first had nothing to do with MAD. Back in 1994 the Superbowl was held in Atlanta, GA., and the media was crawling all over the city. The Tonight Show did several live remotes with an on-the-spot reporter during the week of the game. One day they did their remote from Underground Atlanta, where I have a retail caricature operation. They set up right next to our booth (actually the had us move to a temporary spot for their shoot) and they zoomed in on a sample I had up of Jay Leno with an appropriately enormous chin.. The reporter made a comment about how ordinarily a caricature exaggerates a person’s features, but how in this case the artist did a “straight portrait”. Leno scoffed and asked if that was supposed to be Mr. Potatohead. I later learned Leno hate caricatures of himself, and so I assume he disliked the one I did.

The one MAD story of this nature deals with my very first feature parody for the magazine, “Malcolm in the Middle”. I was contacted by a representative of the actor who played the dad on the show who was interested in buying the original art. I quoted a reasonable price for it but they never called me back. In the ensuing conversation I was told the actor that played the title character of Malcolm, Frankie Muniz, didn’t like his caricatures…

… I haven’t lost any sleep over that.

Thanks to Grant Jonen for the question. If you have a question you want answered for the mailbag about cartooning, illustration, MAD Magazine, caricature or similar, e-mail me and I’ll try and answer it here!


  1. Kannard says:

    See that’s the problem with people like Leno. They feel as if they can make fun of anyone or anything until it comes full circle and they are made fun of. If you can’t laugh at or make fun of yourself you have no business making fun of others.

  2. JWB1 says:

    This reminds me of the encounter with Leno at the St. Louis caricature booth, when Jay was promoting his book a few years ago. I went behind the display to get some supplies and almost bumped into him in front of the samples. His wife, Mavis, walked up and said,”Oh, look! Cara..”. Before she finished the word, Jay had bolted like a vampire at a garlic festival.
    I seem to remember a piece in US or PEOPLE a few years back on Mr Muinz’s new home. In one of the pix he had the MAD opening splash framed on the wall. Hmph! Actors!


New profile pic courtesy of my self-caricature for the Scott Maiko penned article “Gotcha! Mug Shots of Common (but Despicable) Criminals” from MAD 550

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