NEW YORK - Laughter, applause and honorariums filled the room at New York City's iconic Sardi's restaurant Wednesday evening as DC Entertainment and MAD Magazine celebrated a living legend and the company's longest-serving contributor.
Friends and colleagues gathered to celebrate MAD cartoonist Al Jaffee's 95th birthday and illustrious career in a ceremony emceed by MAD Editor-in-Chief John Ficarra. Al, who has worked for MAD for an incredible 61 years and STILL produces the famous fold-in page at the back of each issue of MAD, was presented a certificate by Guinness World Records stating that Al now holds the record for the longest career of a comics artist at more than 73 years!
Not to be outdone, the New York City Mayor's Office sent an official Proclamation stating that March 30th was "Al Jaffee Day" in New York City. Finally, DC Entertainment added a true touch of nostalgia by presenting Al with some of his original drawings from the 1960s, discovered in the DC Comics archives, elegantly framed for the event and accompanied by a letter from DCE President Diane Nelson.
Video tributes from DCE Co-Publisher Dan DiDio, legendary cartoonist Sergio Aragones and even Al's old boss Stan Lee were played for the audience, which then partook in a delicious birthday cake complete with a 3D MAD fold-in page sitting atop.
Al spoke with a handful of media prior to the event and expressed his gratitude to the room to close out the evening. The event was best described by Al himself: "It felt like family."