PITTSBURGH - Pittsburgh proved last September that it can garner national attention by having an atypical mayor. In fact, it seems the only way for Pittsburgh to draw attention to itself on a national scale is to have a mayor that is a sideshow attraction. Mayor Luke Ravenstahl landed himself on the front page of the New York Times and on the David Letterman Show simply because of the novelty of his youth. Before that, the last Pittsburgh mayor to appear with Mr. Letterman was Sophie Masloff, because she was an atypical, 70-something grandmother. There is nothing wrong with that. What difference does it make how we get the attention so long as we get it?

But Carbolic Smoke Ball doesn't think Pittsburgh has gone far enough in terms of choosing atypical mayors. It's time for this city to go all the way and elect Professor Emcee Square, also known as Mark Menold, as Mayor of Pittsburgh, and this news source hereby endorses him today. The Professor is the host of Saturday night's scary-movie fest "It's Alive" on WBGN-TV. With his corpse-like make-up and accent of indeterminate origin, the Professor would be the most atypical mayor in America and, we are quite certain, the most famous mayor in America. In short, the Professor would put Pittsburgh on the map in a way not even professional wrestler Jesse Ventura could do for Minnesota when he was elected its Governor.

Besides being supremely atypical, the Professor is among the finest television hosts in America. And he knows how to get things done, too. He helped organize the massive Zombie Walk last October that brought together 894 zombies at Monroeville Mall. Accordingly, our choice for mayor of Pittsburgh is obvious: Mark Menold, better known as Professor Emcee Square.