PUCK was the third, along with JUDGE and LIFE, of the three great American humor magazines of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The first of the three, and based on German models and the English PUNCH, it took the Democratic Party line in its early years. Originally conceived as a German-language magazine, it rapidly discovered it could use the same plates for an English-language version; and that version became famous in the US. Surviving various trials and successes, it was sold to the Hearst company in 1917; they reformatted it and it staggered along another year before dying in 1918.

Its stinging caricatures have not been forgotten, though; the United States Senate features a selection of its political and social cartoons on its website.