50 Years of Al Jaffee Fold-Ins!

February 14th, 2014 | Posted in MAD Magazine


I know it looks like that should be an embedded video but sadly that’s not possible, so clicking on it will bring you to a Yahoo News story (with a short video!) about how Al Jaffee‘s “MAD Fold-In” turns 50 next month. The story starts out:

It just might be one of the longest freelance gigs in magazine publishing history. Cartoonist Al Jaffee has contributed to MAD Magazine, the satirical mainstay, since its beginnings, and is marking the 50th anniversary of not only creating but illustrating its most iconic feature.

I’m not sure it’s fair to call the fold-in MAD‘s “most iconic feature”…many might say Spy vs. Spy would get that nod…but it would sure be easy to argue that the fold-in deserves that distinction. Certainly it’s a feature of enduring popularity and, despite being five decades old, it is still fresh, insightful, and biting. The most amazing thing of all, not only did Al Jaffee create it but I believe he has done it every issue for 50 years. Spy vs Spy’s creator, Antonio Prohias, hasn’t drawn a Spy vs. Spy since 1987… mostly because he’s been dead. That’s a pretty good excuse for missing deadlines as far as excuses go. I plan on using that same excuse some day. Once.

Go watch the video, because it tells the story of the one MAD fold-in that was killed at the last second. It involved a depiction of a shooting at a theater, and… well, go watch the video.


  1. Jack Myhervold says:

    Thanks for passing along the video. Jaffee still seems strong, and clearly continues to enjoy his work. Yesterday I came upon some of my old Mad issue’s stored at my late sister’s house. In # 127 with the “Odd Squad” on the cover, there was a parody of “Bullitt”, with Al as the writer. Did he write for many of the movie or TV parodies?.

  2. Snappy Hooligan says:

    There’ve been 440 issues of MAD since the debut of the Fold-In. Issues #121, #190, #212, #219, #353, #360 and #521 did not feature new Fold-Ins, for a miserable 433-for-440 batting average. Okay, so Al Jaffee wrote and drew something else in place of five of them, but still, the man is inexcusably lazy.

  3. Virginia says:

    As a teen, the fold ins were the first thing I looked at. Very cool to see the man behind the folds! Thanks for sharing.

  4. jaielrjoe says:

    A humble, talented superstar…iconic!

  5. D. D. Degg says:

    Jack Myhervold asked,
    “Did he write for many of the movie or TV parodies?”
    As the Doug Gilford link below shows
    Jaffee only did a couple movie/TV satires.
    While the Fold-In story celebrates the 50th anniversary
    he was contributing to Mad ten years earlier
    (with the second magazine issue),
    and was a comic book writer/artist 10 years before that.
    Al Jaffee has been making people laugh for 70 years.

    • Jack Myhervold says:

      Thanks for the link to the Gilford site. I’ll have to check things out on that site more often. Al Jaffee as writer, had some funny lines in the “Bullitt” parody, illustrated by Mort Drucker.

      • Snappy Hooligan says:

        “Bullbit” was Al Jaffee’s only TV/movie parody as a writer. He also drew “American Radiators” in 1992.


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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