Vintage Interview: Al Jaffee From 1998


Since 1955, writer and cartoonist Al Jaffee has been contributing regularly to Mad, appearing in over 450 issues, far more than anyone else. Along with illustrations and such regular columns as “Snappy Answers To Stupid Questions,” he’s also done the “Fold-Ins,” many of which were collected in the book The MAD Fold-In Collection: 1964-2010. But Jaffee has led a fascinating life outside of Mad as well, as chronicled in Mary-Lou Weisman’s excellent biography, Al Jaffee’s Mad Life.

In 1998, I had the opportunity to interview Mr. Jaffee for the pop culture magazine Bikini. And while the interview was for an advice column called Tips From Pops, we still covered a wide range of topics, including the pressures of living up to a legacy, keeping things fresh, and living the life of a freelancer.

What follows is a slightly edited version of the interview, most of which has never been published before.