The Face that Launched a Thousand Quips

by Kim Pederson…….

You may be surprised to learn that, amid the tragicomical chaos of the 2016 presidential hi-jinks, we have a quadrennial candidate we can all turn to in relief on November 8: Alfred E. Neuman. Alfie has been in the POTUS race many times before and has a Facebook page to prove it (I guess). Still one hesitates. While he might be a tempting candidate, one who certainly fits right in terms of experience and policy proposals with other choices this year, what do we really know about him?

Slogan for Alfies' Nihilist Party. Fits right in with "What? Me Worry?"*
Slogan for Alfies’ Nihilist Party. Fits right in with “What? Me Worry?”*

As it turns out (there’s that phrase again), Alfie’s face has been around much longer than he has. The face of “the New Boy” above appeared in the Los Angeles Herald in 1894. Another version of Alfie’s mug appeared on a postcard from 1930 to 1945 along with perhaps the first appearance of “Me Worry?” The rest of the quote, you might be tickled to learn, was “No, I buy auto parts from James Evans Parts Co.” In fact, before getting his current name, Alfie was often referred to as the “Me Worry Kid.”

Alfie made his Mad Magazine debut in 1954. Since then, he has been honored as a write-in presidential candidate in numerous elections, the most recent one being 2012. According to Mad editor John Ficarra, “He’s just got this stupid face that people seem to like and they write in his name.” One could make a catty remark here, something to the effect that at least they won’t have to write in his name this year, but that would be beneath us, right?

The thing about Alfie is that he has shown wisdom regarding American politics that speak to his viability as a candidate. Here are a few examples:

  • How come we choose from just two people for President and fifty for Miss America?
  • Political speeches are like steer horns. A point here, a point there, and a lot of bull in between.
  • Crime does not pay…as well as politics.
  • The UN is a place where governments opposed to free speech demand to be heard.
  • Who says nothing is impossible? Some people do it every day.

My favorite today is this one: “Most people are so lazy they don’t even exercise good judgment.” Nuff said?

* The New Boy-1894 (US-PD). Retrieved from https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b9/The_New_Boy_-_Los_Angeles_Herald.jpg, March 3, 2016.

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Visit Kim Pederson’s blog RatBlurt: Mostly Random Short-Attention-Span Musings.

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Kim Pederson
Kim Pederson has been a freelance writer and editor since 1996. Prior to that, he was Senior Editor with Charles River Associates, an international economics consulting firm. Kim earned a B.A. in English (Honors) from the University of Montana and an M.F.A. from the University of Iowa Playwrights Workshop. His plays have won awards and been produced in Seattle and other locations; his screenplays have won awards and been optioned, and he has done work-for-hire scripts for film production companies. Kim lives in Key West with his wife Kalo and two Maine coon cats, VeuDeu and Pazuzu.

2 thoughts on “The Face that Launched a Thousand Quips

  1. I must concur with Kalo with one exception…Sanders is the only contender that is not lying, pandering or generally bull shitting the people. Respect. I always enjoy your little random enlightenments every Friday. Thanks Kim!

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