Zizmor No More
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Zizmor No More

'Famous' subway mega-advertising dermatologist retiring.

Dr. Jonathan Zizmor, the famous dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon whose ads covered much of the NYC transit system, has announced his retirement after thirty-five years of practice, the Daily News reported on Monday.

Far from having a spotted past, Dr. Zizmor, who turns 71 this week, enjoyed pseudo-fame. His colorful, cheesy ads and TV commercials offering affordable cosmetic surgery became highly familiar to subway travelers since their widespread introduction in the 1980s. Indeed, the ads were like a bad case of acne, which he happily treated—everywhere.

Practicing out of a Manhattan office, the doctor expressed a desire to broaden his clientele from the exclusively wealthy to the average subway rider. In many ways he was an advertising pioneer, plastering subway cars with his ads when facial peels were an extravagant luxury only the rich could afford.

“I was getting all my fancy-schmancy people, but I wanted to see the rest of the world,” Zizmor told Business Insider in a 2009 interview.

Following an indomitable advertising campaign, he has since been titled "NYC's most-recognized dermatologist," and the "don of dermatology," by local news.

Soon after his retirement was announced, the news was trending on social media.. Many people wished the doctor well, saying that they will miss his classic ads that over time became part of the New York landscape.

Thankfully, those accustomed to the ads won't have to face stark changes just yet. As user @daniellegee cheekily noted on Twitter, "As slow-moving as the MTA is, we'll probably still have Dr. Zizmor's ads around for another 2-3 years before they're all removed."

While his ads may not be overly missed, Dr. Zizmor wanted anyone and everyone to eventually be comfortable in their own skin.

But his goals do not end there. His Bronx mansion is on the market for approximately $3 million and is intended for world peace, he told the New Yorker in 2003. He hopes to create a space for people of different faiths and backgrounds to gather.

Dr. Zizmor now spends his days pursuing hobbies, such as studying the Talmud, a close family friend told the Daily News.

As the doctor's TV ads always announced, "Thank you Dr. Zizmor!"

Jeremy@jewishweek.org

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