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Spy magazine rises from its grave, but only until the election

The classic satire magazine will be a special section on for the rest of the election season.

Spy magazine covers with Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton
Spy magazine wants to have a word with you about Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. by CNET

Many election watchers have bemoaned the absence of key figures in the political commentariat, namely Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert (the former retired, the latter having shifted to a nonpolitical talk show format). There have been calls for a return to form, but instead, we're getting something potentially better -- a resurrected version of Spy, the classic culture and satire magazine founded by Kurt Andersen and Graydon Carter in 1986.

As today's audiences have Trevor Noah and John Oliver, and the '60s had Lenny Bruce and Mort Sahl, in the '80s and '90s it was Spy, which took on Donald Trump, and later Hillary Clinton, on a regular basis. The magazine was a formative influence on me as a young would-be writer, and I still have a dusty archive of old print issues stashed somewhere. It directly influenced modern snark-style publications, including Gawker, but it's safe to say no one's done it better.

Writing on, Spy's new temporary online home, co-founder Kurt Andersen says, "I'm very pleased that Esquire has decided to produce an online pop-up SPY during the last thirty days of the presidential campaign. It has my whole-hearted best wishes. And it's also a nice serendipity that this October will mark the magazine's thirtieth anniversary. It's as if SPY, a retired superhero, is making a brief but necessary comeback."