MAD: History of the Al Jaffee fold-in
March 30, 2008 12:43 PM   Subscribe

Longtime MAD magazine artist Al Jaffee (now 87 years old!) created the fold-in as a unique contribution to the MAD-style of satirical humor. Now the NYT has the comprehensive history online in interactive form.
posted by tdstone (27 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
now we have AJAX.
posted by srboisvert at 12:53 PM on March 30, 2008

THis kind of article only glorifies Mad, a rag that IS
Insipidly written, crudely drawn, and marketed to idiotS.
COuldn't the Times just ignore this moronic droOL!
posted by Bromius at 12:54 PM on March 30, 2008 [38 favorites]

posted by Astro Zombie at 12:55 PM on March 30, 2008

Neat - thanks for the link. Surprising how many of them feature Peanuts characters...
posted by jonson at 12:58 PM on March 30, 2008

Yay! But where's the "Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions" archive?
posted by Sys Rq at 1:05 PM on March 30, 2008

Look up "awesome FPP" in the dictionary...
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 1:17 PM on March 30, 2008

posted by Sys Rq at 1:22 PM on March 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

I love this stuff. I never read MAD, so my first introduction to this sort of thing was the video to Beck's "Girl."
posted by flatluigi at 1:46 PM on March 30, 2008

Thanks to this FPP, I can now die happy.
posted by FelliniBlank at 1:48 PM on March 30, 2008

So, so, glad this wasn't an ObitThread! Doubly glad for the interactive fold-in section. I tried to make my own fold-ins when I was a kid, failed miserably, had fun, and learned a lesson about how really good artists can make things look so easy.
posted by not_on_display at 1:49 PM on March 30, 2008

Sys Rq, what a great interview! And that led me, in turn, to discover this gem.
posted by jbickers at 1:56 PM on March 30, 2008

"They're really stickin' it to that Spiro Agnew guy again! He must work there."

Jaffee is awesome. Besides the fold in, he also did the hilarious "Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions" and diagrams of wacky, humorous inventions. Some of the Vietnam/Nixon-era fold-ins are amazing, it's hard to imagine MAD ever being so controversial and biting. I read it religiously in the late 80s-early 90s, and I attribute my vast knowledge of pop culture ephemera that I was too young to actually experience to reading the "Super Special" reprint collections (as spoofed by the Spiro Agnew line above from The Simpsons).
posted by DecemberBoy at 2:12 PM on March 30, 2008

My favorite Jaffee bit, one that sticks in my head, was where he would have six year olds draw their dream Christmas gift (like a misshapen airplane or a crooked fire truck) and then he would re-create it, perspective flaws and all, in three dimensions. "Here kid, that's what you asked for, right?"
posted by fungible at 2:33 PM on March 30, 2008

I love Jaffee, but I spent a summer when I was twelve with his granddaughter, who was also ten (she lived at my house), and it was a nightmare. I've always kind of held it against him, and at that age, to have to negotiate the kind of lessons about relationships and responsibilities that that summer engendered is not a picnic. Great post.
posted by OmieWise at 2:58 PM on March 30, 2008

This is awesome... something I wished I'd posted! Thanks for this tdstone!
posted by Effigy2000 at 3:36 PM on March 30, 2008

That was a fun trip down memory lane. I remember the first time I saw one of his fold-ins I was about 6 or 7 waiting for my turn in the barber's chair. It was a shop run buy a foul mouthed Italian from Jersey who would slap me on the back of my neck and tell me "quit movin' round so much! You move round like a dyin' whale."

My dad must have been getting me back for something. Anyway I would leaf through Phill's magazines, including Playboy hidden inside of Sports Illistrated and that's when I came across the vile, stupid, and delightful Mad Magazine. Didn't understand most of it half as well as I understood Miss March, but I did get a kick out of Jaffee's fold-in at the back page, even I didn't get the joke.
posted by nola at 3:46 PM on March 30, 2008

*even if I didn't get the joke.
posted by nola at 3:52 PM on March 30, 2008

One of the best things about going to my grandparents house when I was little was looking through my dad's old comics from the 60s... mostly Sad Sack and MAD. I didn't understand the political humor or the movie spoofs, but I loved Dave Berg's* "The Lighter Side of," Don Martin, Sergio Aragones, and, of course, fold-ins. I'd pour over them time and again.

*I love Berg's early artwork .. when I got a subscription myself in the early 90s, his stuff wasn't as detailed, but still entertaining.
posted by starman at 6:24 PM on March 30, 2008

Oh! And Mort Drucker. Gotta spot those ducks.
posted by starman at 6:25 PM on March 30, 2008

"I'd pour over them time and again..."

Me -- I poured over Playboy time and again. Different strokes for different folks, I guess.
posted by Mike D at 9:05 PM on March 30, 2008 [2 favorites]

Oh, right. Yeah. Thanks.... Now I'm going to be up too late and late for work.... This is too neat. Thank you!
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 10:54 PM on March 30, 2008

Single Site Post!
BUrn iT
GO complain to site-gOD!
posted by dragonsi55 at 6:41 AM on March 31, 2008

When I was growing up in the UK, my dad had a shelfload of MAD-related books, like "Hopping MAD", "It's A World, World, World, World MAD", etc, various Dave Berg collections, Spy Vs. Spy collections and even the collected "Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions". Seconding DecemberBoy and starman - it's how I learned what figurative terms like "Madison Avenue" actually meant, and so many other bits of pop culture ephemera. They don't make 'em like they used to.
posted by kcds at 9:36 AM on March 31, 2008 [1 favorite]

I poured over Playboy time and again.

You poured what? Are we talking drool here, or some other bodily fluid? In any case, you must have totally ruined those magazines.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:26 AM on March 31, 2008

You poured what? Are we talking drool here, or some other bodily fluid?

Well, he did say different strokes for different folks, so, you know...
posted by DecemberBoy at 12:41 PM on March 31, 2008

The fold-in was always my favorite part of the magazine. Thanks for a cool post.
posted by amyms at 6:13 PM on March 31, 2008

I always messed up on the folding.
posted by Rarebit Fiend at 6:48 PM on April 2, 2008

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