View Full Version : Re: Who invented the smiley face?
I can sleep soundly, now I know the truth.
Something else is disturbing my otherwise perfect slumber, however: What's the origin of Mad Magazine's Alfred E. Neuman? I read somewhere that the "What? Me worry?" guy is older than the mag, perhaps by a lot of decades.
Anyone have any facts regarding this less-than earth-shattering conundrum?
Native intelligence is nothing without dogged persistence.
(And vice versa.)
well, im no expert (cough, cough) but i would guess that it was someone named Forrest. ;)
As far as I've heard, the Alfred E. Neuman character was actually created by MAD way back in 1955...
and this is how it all started:
Alfred E. Neuman made his first appearance on a MAD magazine cover on May 8, 1956.
He was indirectly named after Alfred "Pappy" Newman, a noted film composer.
When writers were putting together the Henry Morgan Radio Show, they named one of their characters Alfred Newman after the composer.
A few years later some cartoonists were looking for a name for their mascot, a character borrowed from a turn of the century dental advertisement.
MAD Magazine was the first to dub the toothless grinning red head Malvin Koznowski, but decided instead to steal a name from the Henry Morgan Radio Show.
THAT is how the "What Me Worry" kid became known as Alfred E. Newman.
04-13-2001, 02:36 PM
Harvey Ball, credited inventor of the smiley face, died today at the age of 79. :(
Incidentally, CNN did a nice little write-up on it here (http://www.cnn.com/2001/US/04/13/us.obit.ball.ap/index.html?s=7).
04-13-2001, 04:07 PM
And just for grins, here's the link to Cecil's column.
04-14-2001, 03:35 PM
Several sources claim that MAD took Alfred E Neuman from an old dentist's ad.
From an interview ("http://www.daily.umn.edu/daily/gopher-archives/1995/03/13/Mad%3CW6%3E_writer_pens_tribute_to.txt) with Dick DeBartolo of the MAD Staff:
Q: Exactly who is Alfred E. Neuman, and what does he represent?
A: Alfred is from a painless dentist ad from the 1890s that said ``What, me, worry? I go to Dr. Romaine, the painless dentist.''
I've also heard that the image and slogan was rather popular on bar walls and so on back much further than the 50's, which would be consistent with this dentist coming up with an advertising image that long outlived his practice.
04-14-2001, 03:37 PM
crap. I forgot the closing quote: interview. (http://www.daily.umn.edu/daily/gopher-archives/1995/03/13/Mad%3CW6%3E_writer_pens_tribute_to.txt)
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