You Don’t Know JACK!

Jack Mendelsohn, Cartoonist and Comedy Writer
Jack Mendelsohn, Cartoonist and Comedy Writer

Hello.  I’m Jack Mendelsohn, and I’m 87 years old (although many would swear I don’t look a day over 85 — or 86, at the most — depending on the lighting).

Despite decades of smoking four packs of cigarettes a day, imbibing vast quantities of martinis, and expending a tremendous amount of time and energy pursuing  members of the opposite sex, I’m not only still breathing, but I’m constantly astounded by the enormous amount of writing and cartooning I’ve somehow accomplished in that space of time.

It seems appropriate at this point, to quote the late comedian Joe E. Lewis, who famously said, “If I knew I was gonna live this long, I would’ve taken better care of myself.”

Looking back on it, my professional career seems almost Zelig-like; time after time finding myself — through a confluence of sheer happenstance and fortuitous timing — creatively involved with so many legendary and enduring icons of Pop Culture, like:  MAD Magazine; The Flintstones;  Laugh-In;  The Carol Burnett Show;  Three’s Company;  and the Yellow Submarine screenplay.  Oh — and you can also throw in those Heroes-on-a-Half-Shell, The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!

I’m certain that any number of my fellow first-grade classmates (the boys, anyway) dreamed of one day growing up to be firemen or cowboys or even famous baseball players (there were no rock stars in those days).  But in my particular case, my one unwavering ambition was to one day draw funny pictures for a living.