The Final Snappy Answer of Cartoonist Al Jaffee (1921-2023)

Posted on April 24, 2023

by Eric P

Q: “Is this blog post a tribute to the recently deceased humorist Al Jaffee, who became an award-winning cartooning legend by creating recurring features in Mad Magazine like ‘Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions?’”

A: “No, it’s a tribute to Colonel Sanders. Lick the screen, it tastes like chicken.”

A: “He’s not dead, he’s just resting. You try drawing dumb cartoons for idiot editors as a 102-year-old and see how soon you want a nap.”

A: “Well, we thought about doing the blog post as a Mad fold-in, but we were afraid it would damage your computer.”

Al Jaffee’s Mad Life

Born in Georgia, raised in Lithuania and educated at New York’s High School of Music and Art, Al Jaffee became the longest-serving and most iconic personality among Mad magazine’s “Usual Gang of Idiots.” Like many of his fellow satirists there he was a Jewish New Yorker with a keen eye for social foibles; unlike some of them, the biting wit in his work never curdled into sourness (the sarcastic rage bursting through his “Snappy Answers” feature notwithstanding).

Because his signature “Fold-In” feature graced the inside back cover of nearly every issue of Mad for 55 years, along with the other material he contributed, Jaffee became a beloved institution in his own right. It didn’t hurt that he was constantly including himself in his drawings — usually as a cherubic and curly-haired beatnik, serene amidst the chaos of his manic cast of characters. Which, come to think of it, may have been how he felt whenever he visited the Mad offices.

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