Howard Remembers Iconic Mad Magazine Cartoonist Al Jaffee

“He was one funny motherf-cker,” he noted of the groundbreaking humorist

April 12, 2023
Al Jaffee, right, contributed to Mad magazine for over 60 years. Al Jaffee, right, contributed to Mad magazine for over 60 years. Photo: Getty Images

Al Jaffee, the legendary Mad magazine cartoonist whose work filled the publication’s pages for over 60 years, has passed away.

On Wednesday, Howard remembered the impact the humorist had on him. “Al Jaffee was one of my heroes,” he revealed, noting the importance of the magazine to him in general. When I discovered Mad magazine, I thought I discovered another planet … it spoke to me. I couldn’t wait for it to come in the mail every month.”

In addition to countless covers, Jaffee invented the famous Mad Fold-In, a parody of Playboy magazine’s centerfold. “The guy was a brilliant joke writer,” Howard exclaimed in reference to the monthly feature. “You’d have to fold the magazine in thirds in order to see the joke … they were funny, and they were witty, and they were brilliant.”

Howard went on to detail the influence Jaffee and Mad magazine had both on his career, and comedy in general. “‘We gotta bring that kind of excitement to radio that Mad magazine brought to me as a kid,’” Howard remembered telling Fred Norris in their early days together before referencing a similar impact on the likes of Lorne Michaels and Ivan Reitman. “All of us kids were influenced by Mad magazine … we took it a step further but that was our daddy.”

Wrapping up his tribute, Howard shifted his focus back completely on the late artist. “No one was more brilliant than Al Jaffee,” he said matter-of-factly, adding, “He was one funny motherfucker.”