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.


I’m in LA doing back to back Caricature workshops. Here’s the class illustration of workshop no. 1. Visit for all the details and to see where others are scheduled in 2018!

Workshops Ad

Dracula ad

Doctor Who Ad

Superman Ad

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