In the 2020 primaries, Donald Trump said that Mayo Pete looks like Alfred E. Neuman (which is devastatingly accurate), and Pete countered that he’d never heard of Alfred E. Neuman and it “must be an old person thing.” That was incredibly weird to me, because I’m younger than Pete Buttigieg and I know who Alfred E. Neuman is.

It seems like there’s three possibilities: One is that Pete does know who Alfred E. Neuman is, and his retort was simply try-hard and pathetic. Another possibility is that Pete does not know who Alfred E. Neuman is because he’s been such a careerist psycho his whole life that he knows nothing but the most basic of pop culture references and whatever his staffers tell him about. The third possibility is that I’m unusual in my age cohort for knowing Alfred E. Neuman. My friends and I read Mag Magazine as kids, but we were nerds, and it may have been well past the heyday when Mad was a universal cultural touchstone for kids.