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by Allen J. Sheinman | March 22, 2012

The list
If you think any of this year's establishment candidates are a bit on the demented side, chances are they pale beside some of these characters:

1948: Jonathan Maxwell. At age 85, Maxwell sought the presidency as the standard bearer of the American Vegetarian Party. He claimed to enjoy "every vegetable except okra."

1952: Henry Krajewski. This New Jersey pig farmer also ran for president in 1956 and 1960, each time as a candidate of the Poor Man's Party; he would appear before crowds (we use the term "crowds" charitably) cradling a pig, which, he liked to claim, "squeals like the people for a fair deal."

1956: Alfred E. Neuman. The iconic goofy-looking fictional cover-boy of Mad magazine has been a write-in candidate in every presidential election since '56. Among his quotes on the campaign trail: "The only time politicians tell the truth is when they call each other a liar" and "Politicians get sworn in and cursed out!" He might well have pulled in more votes than Michael Dukakis in 1988.

1964: Homer Tomlinson. Representing the Theocratic Party, Tomlinson vowed to unify church and state and create new cabinet posts such as Secretary of Righteousness. He received exactly 24 votes, enough to embolden him to declare himself King of the World a year later.

1968: Pat Paulson.
This poker-faced comedian, who rocketed to fame as a regular on the controversial Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, ran for president claiming, "I am neither left wing nor right wing. I am middle-of-the-bird."

1996: Jackson Kirk Grimes. Representing the Fascist Union party, Grimes favored abolishing Christianity in favor of ancient Roman-style paganism.

2000: Alan Caruba. The founder of the Anxiety Center, whose goal is to quash pesky environmental concerns, Carbua ran for chief executive at the turn of the last millennium as head of the Boring Party.

2004: Jonathan "The Impaler" Sharkey. He started the Vampires, Witches and Pagans Party, and his platform, as best as could be ascertained, promoted the rights of — surprise — vampires, witches and pagans. If elected, he likely would have tapped Jackson Kirk Grimes (see above) as Secretary of State.

2008: Frank Moore. Founder of the Just Makes Sense party, Moore sensibly ran on a measured, balanced platform of partying and smoking dope.

2012: Robert Burck.
When Burck, a ubiquitous presence in New York City's Times Square, threw his hat into the ring earlier this year, it left him down to his underparts and boots, as he calls himself the Naked Cowboy and wears little else.

Sources: Meetings & Conventions; Cheapest Service, Weird Universe, Naked Law