Deep Dive: The Life and Achievements of Mr. Peanut
Updated: Apr 2
I had never thought much of Mr. Peanut, except for that the man had style. If anything, I found both Mr. Peanut and Rich Uncle Pennybags intimidating. They had experience. They had class. And they probably hung out and smoked cigars in a dusty library, ripe with the smell of old books and furniture polish (which never made much sense, considering all of the dust). But there they were, two chaps. Two gentlemen of the world.
And suddenly, Mr. Peanut was gone. I saw the social media buzz and thought it was a joke - until I found the commercial and watched it approximately ten times. The elusive Mr. Peanut had met a fiery end - and I was obsessed. Reminiscent of Mrs. Geef (may she REST IN PEACE), I knew I had to learn more. Who was this dashing legume? Turns out, he has a whole canon.
*Marilyn Monroe voice* Happy Birthday, Mr. Peanut...
1. Mr. Peanut was born Bartholomew Richard Fitzgerald-Smythe.
2. Our favorite nut is a vet. He served in World War 2.
Source: National Archives Catalog (and yes, this is documented with the government of the United States of America)
3. MR. PEANUT HAS A SIDEKICK NAMED BENSON. BUT WHERE IS BENSON NOW? Thankfully, the New York Times felt the need to elaborate: “Benson is quite enamored of Mr. Peanut,” Mr. Levine said, but they are, as the saying goes, just friends. Benson does not live in Mr. Peanut’s house, Mr. Wixom said."
Source: The New York Times
4. Mr. Peanut once ran for Mayor of Vancouver, representing The Peanut Party, and actually got votes. Even more strange? His campaign was supposed to be a reference to the Nixon-era.
5. Mr. Peanut knows how to tap dance. And also apparently hip hop, according to this video which is a wild ride. Please watch.
And finally, time to reflect on #BabyNut. Because quite clearly, the Super Bowl was over a month ago and I cannot stop thinking about any of this.
And why am I so hung up on it all? Was it the fact that the newborn baby had the voice of a grown man?
Or perhaps it was the dolphin noises. #BabyNut teetered about like well, a baby, on Planters' social media (actually, he got his own Twitter account and OF COURSE I followed it). But what is next? Will we watch #BabyNut grow up and go to grade school? Will we see him learn to ride a bike, catch a winning fly ball at a championship high school baseball game, or contemplate his own mortality in an inevitable downward spiral? I mean, the baby was literally like "I'm back", as though he was cognizant of the fact that he existed before, died horribly, and was born again.
And still, throughout all of this. Where. Is. Benson. What. Did they. Do to him.