What, Me Worry?

For Election Day 2020, here’s trivial troika of retro diversions.

First up is the Kennedy clan in 1960, looking concerned when the outcome was still undecided.

Perhaps JFK was humming our second vintage distraction, the Kingston Trio’s signature song “Worried Man”:

And thirdly, from the previous election cycle of 1956, we have the debut cover of Mad Magazine mascot Alfred E. Neumann with his slogan “What, me worry?”

Neumann was offered as a write-in candidate for president.

You see, three is a special number: Three Wise Men, three little pigs…

If we had three wishes from a magic lamp, we could even ask for three viable choices in a presidential election.

13 Comments on "What, Me Worry?"

  1. I suppose we are all fiddling while Rome burns. Here’s to all of you, gentlemen.

  2. We just finished voting. Now we sit and wait . . . .

  3. Charlottesville | November 3, 2020 at 1:33 pm |

    My wife and I voted this morning at 6:45 and, like lot of other people, I was not especially happy with the choices on offer this year. Although he was a bit before my time, I still like Ike, but would settle for Alfred E. Neuman.

  4. The dead probably had not yet risen to vote when that picture was taken.

  5. Brutus, your comment resonates much. Here’s to you as well. This is my first time voting, and boy am I unenthused. I am, however, far from the cynicism that would restrain me from voting at all: civic duty, after all, etc. etc.

    Charlottesville, I’d go for Ike too. Don’t know how Mr. Neuman would handle the pandemic, though—has he a stated policy?

    I do love the picture of the Kennedy clan: the atmosphere is palpable. All are wearing the clothes we love (including a great transposition between Jack in suit and tie and Bobby in polo and jumper), and Jack’s face strikes me as especially iconic. To those who might know: that painting on the wall—is it a Norman Rockwell? It feels a bit odd to see a depiction of traditional America within a picture of what we now might consider traditional America (to take the liberty of calling the Kennedys that)—but delightful.

  6. Speaking of troikas, three new J. Press shirts arrived on the doorstep late yesterday afternoon. While I prefer the Mercers already hanging in the closet a wee bit more, overall I’m pleased with the purchase. How’s that for an almost complete non-sequitur?

    Best Regards,


  7. Vern Trotter | November 3, 2020 at 3:47 pm |

    The original Kingston Trio was formed in 1957 and played at the Hungry I in San Francisco. Dave Guard, Bob Shane and Nick Reynolds were the original Trio. John Stewart, a songwriter, later replaced Dave Guard. Stewart is the middle one shown in this picture and wrote some 600 songs, the best known being “Daydream Believer” for the Monkees, I believe. The Trio delivered the lighthearted optimism of the late 50s and the Eisenhower years and later retained their clean cut appearance and mien into the 60s. The kind of group every parent wanted their kids to follow. No drugs, clean living. I would say they were Ivy Style.

  8. @Vern Trotter – John Stewart is on the left. That’s Bob “Scotch & Soda” Shane in the middle. My parents took us to see the original group twice, but i never saw them with John Stewart who joined in 1961.

  9. @Maxim – If you are asking about the image on the left, at the foot of the stairs, it is not a Norman Rockwell. I think that it is the famous photo of Jack and Bobby at that year’s Democratic Convention in L.A.


  10. Jim K—you’re certainly right; thank you! Now I feel a bit foolish. It’s been a while since I’ve seen that one. Interesting that they took a liking to it themselves! My suggested notion of Rockwell does make me wonder, though, what kind of art one might have seen around a Kennedy house.

  11. Likely the Kennedy gang is watching the razor thin 1960 victory after a high turnout of dead voters in Texas and Cook County, Illinois. The dead always vote Democrat, of course. Same as 2020.

  12. Alfred’s string tie, though.

  13. @Maxim, I hope you don’t feel foolish! I love that you asked that question because it made me go back and take a second look. I too thought it was a Rockwell painting and swore I could even picture the one I was thinking of in my head.

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