If you're a New Yorker, you know who Dr. Zizmor is. But even if you're not a New Yorker, there's a very good chance you know of Dr. Zizmor, who rose to unlikely fame by placing cheesy ads for his dermatology practice in New York subway cars beginning in the '80s. For decades, millions of New York commuters -- and millions more tourists -- were visually assaulted by the doctor's ads, which looked like they were designed by a dabbler in Microsoft Paint. Dr. Zizmor, in on the joke, played up that winningly low-rent aesthetic in a local TV ad released in 2009:
The Daily News broke the story of Dr. Zizmor's retirement this morning, and it's been richocheting around social media since then. As People.com put it, "Cosmetic Doctor Jonathan Zizmor Closes N.Y.C. Office, Internet Has Feelings." By way of explaining why "Dr. Zizmor" became a Twitter trending topic today, People offers up a collection of tweets, including:
Dr Zizmor trending. Retired not dead. Phew! Iconic presence on the N.Y. subways system. Who'll fight pimples now? pic.twitter.com/3uq6WEKVO8— Johnny L (@TeaToastANap) January 4, 2016
Simon Dumenco, aka Media Guy, is an Ad Age editor-at-large. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.