What the F ever happened to Dr. Zizmor?
Dr. Zizmor is a cultural icon in New York City. Second only to the "Torn Earlobe?" campaign.
Jonathan Zizmor is a dermatologist famous for his television commercials and prolific, kitschy and colourful subway adverts promising: "Now you can have beautiful clear skin!"
Despite Dr. Zizmor's high degree of local celebrity, some of his adverts boast that "all patients [are] seen by Dr. Z."
The fact that most New Yorkers recognise Dr. Zizmor but he remains all but unknown outside of the New York area makes him somewhat of a cultural touchstone for a city whose quirks and idiosyncrasies have often been appropriated by the larger American culture and lexicon.
During her 2000 run for U.S. Senate, The Post proposed that Hillary Clinton, who had never lived in New York, be required to prove her connection to the state by taking a quiz that only New Yorkers would be able to pass. One of their suggested questions was, "Who is Dr. Zizmor?"
There was a time when nearly every subway car you ventured into would have a Dr. Zizmor advert. But times have changed and been hard for Dr. Zizmor with the MTA deciding to hike advertising prices in 1995 and encourage companies to purchase the advertising rights to an entire half of a car. Today you're more likely to see Banana Republic dominating your left while Captain Morgan proclaims his need to party on the right. Yep, he's got some Cap'n in him.
Smaller vendors not interested in purchasing entire half cars are limited to the 20% of the available cars that offer small panel advertising. And you can bet in those 20%that Dr. Zizmor will be there, shining his pearly white skin against his rainbow backdrop telling you how to make your life a better one in just a few easy steps with AMAZING FRUIT PEELS! and LASER TATOO REMOVAL!