The Creator of the Mad Magazine Fold-In

Colin Patrick

As a child, I loved few things as much as I loved Mad Magazine. My brother and I would get really giddy when a new issue was out as we anticipated the incredibly juvenile – and often brilliant – satire that awaited us inside. Of course we didn’t refer to the magazine as satire. Or subversive. We didn’t know what those things meant. We just knew that we loved the hilarious send-ups of pop culture, politics and daily minutiae packed into each issue.

I loved seeing Alfred E. Neuman’s grinning mug on the cover, and checking out the mutually destructive antics of Spy vs. Spy. But my favorite part of the magazine was the fold-in found on the last page of each issue, which featured an illustration that when folded inward would take on a radically different meaning. If you have never seen a Mad Magazine fold-in, this article New York Times article from last year has an interactive sample of the hundreds of them that have appeared since the feature debuted in 1964.

The fold-in itself was the creation of legendary Mad Magazine cartoonist Al Jaffee. In this exclusive interview created by UCB Comedy, Jaffee talks about creating the fold-in and his philosophy on comedy: