I’ve always felt that there are two things that distinguish a true New Yorker from the rest of the world and both happen to be subway related. The first is that all true New Yorkers know exactly where to stand on the subway platform while waiting for their respective trains to come in so that they will position themselves at exactly the right spot when exiting the subway onto another platform—or to the nearest exits of their respective destinations! I know, that was a mouthful but it’s totally true! The second is that all true New Yorkers are well aware of Dr. Zizmor, M.D. based on his horrifying yet refreshingly artless and naïve subway posters that litter every single line that runs throughout the five boroughs of the city. For nearly 30 years, the subway dermatologist hero (the first to advertise on the subway) has made the same basic appeal by using some really bad design aesthetics. Elements such as the before-and-after photo, the zero-interest payment plan, the cheerful rainbow, an actual patient’s “thank you” note, some really bad clip art and enough colorful, attention-grabbing bursts to make this acid/trippy banner an eye-bleeder for all strap hangers—locals and tourists alike. If you haven’t laid your eyes on this graphic design masterpiece, then click here. I’ve personally been so drawn to this subway poster for years now that I sometimes contemplate how I’ll incorporate the same design elements on some of my book covers at my job as a huge prank to play on my art director. But even I, a lover of all things kitsch and tacky cannot bring myself to set type in this fashion let alone color spec anything with such garish tones!
Anyway, about a week ago, Tommy and I were on our way to the East Village one evening and stumbled upon this Dr. Zizmor-spoof poster advertising the new Kroll Show on Comedy Central while riding the A train downtown! I have no idea what this show is about but I certainly knew that this poster was a spoof and not a real advertisement for some sick canine plastic surgeon and his sick and twisted services—see, I’m a real New Yawka, I got the reference! Actually, I’d like to add a third quality that defines a true New Yorker—that being the fact that I totally swiped this poster from the light box in the subway car full of witnesses! All true New Yorkers have stolen a subway ad at some point in their commuting experiences, so who are you to judge me?
Anyway, I just could not contain myself regarding the stunning before-and-after photos of that pooch named “Brad” or the emotionless portrait of Dr. Armond as he’s being licked by a potential or repeat customer—both elements sandwiching a quote that reads:
“When push comes to shove, I wouldn’t trust my dog’s plastic surgery to anyone but Dr. Armond.”
—”Liz” from TV’s Kroll Show
This is seriously some brilliant stuff and I just had to bring this poster home so that I could have Mamma Biscuit pose in front of it! Just look at our little Biscuit Lady looking like Dr. Armond’s receptionist at his office! Judging by Mamma’s bored/almost asleep look, we can assume that Dr. Armond is booked up until 2015, so grab a ticket and wait in line!
As you watch the enclosed link below of the Dr. Armond skit on the Kroll Show, think about the philosophy behind this brilliant quote:
“You wouldn’t buy an ugly sofa; you wouldn’t talk to an ugly person. I only hire very attractive people and my third wife is one of the most beautiful women I know.”
—Steven Armond, M.D.
I can’t with this, I just can’t!
Enjoy and Happy Friday