TV

What The Hell Is Going On With Mr. Peanut?

As we all know, Mr. Peanut — the long-running, monocle-wearing mascot for Planters — died earlier this year in a heroic attempt to save his best friends and travel companions, Wesley Snipes and Veep’s Matt Walsh. Some weeks later, at the funeral, during a eulogy given by Wesley Snipes, the Kool-Aid Man’s tears spilled onto the dirt grave where the deceased legume had been buried, and Mr. Peanut was resurrected as a Baby Nut who, for reasons that were unexplained because they are presumably unexplainable, made dolphin noises. I will discuss all of this a bit more momentarily, but I point it out now, right up front, for three equally important reasons:

  • It is really just the most powerfully weird and nonsensical ad campaign I’ve seen maybe ever
  • It has now gotten even weirder, thanks to recent developments that I will also discuss momentarily
  • Despite these first two things, it is still somehow, against truly staggering odds, not even a top-100 weirdest thing of 2020, to the degree that all of it barely registered with me until I really sat down and tried to grasp it, which really says a lot about where our brains are at right now

Let’s back up to the genesis of this madness. The beginning is always a decent place to start. Here is the commercial where Mr. Peanut dies.

This all raises a number of questions, including but not limited to:

— Where were Mr. Peanut, Wesley Snipes, and Matt Walsh going?

— Were they just on a cross-country road trip in the Peanut Mobile?

— How do they know each other?

— How does Mr. Peanut drive?

— Do his feet even reach the pedals?

— What would you do if you pulled up to a stoplight and the car next to you was a giant peanut driven by a smaller sentient peanut that had human limbs and a top hat and was sitting next to the star of Blade?

— Why does the Peanut Mobile have an escape hatch in the back?

— Is this some sort of crime-fighting vehicle?

— Were they solving crimes on their road trip?

— Who saved Wesley Snipes and Matt Walsh after Mr. Peanut sacrificed himself?

— If you were on a road trip with a large sentient peanut with human limbs and a top hat, would you consider eating it if you were out of snacks?

All fair, all as pointless as any of this. And this commercial was just the prelude to the main event, the Super Bowl commercial, featuring the funeral and the necromancy and the Kool-Aid Man.

This also raises a few questions, including but not limited to:

— Why did Wesley Snipes get to give the eulogy?

— How close were they?

— Were… were they brothers?

— If you could have any castmember from the 1993 film Demolition Man deliver your eulogy, who would it be and why?

— What exactly is the chemical makeup of the Kool-Aid Man’s tears?

— Shouldn’t that be the bigger takeaway from these commercials, that the Kool-Aid man can reanimate the dead as infants?

— Did the Kool-Aid Man know he had this power before the funeral or is he just discovering it, too?

— Does this, in a way, kind of make the Kool-Aid Man one of the X-Men?

— Do you think we should harness this power through science to bring back other deceased historical figures?

— What deceased person or peanut would you want to reanimate if you had a vial of the Kool-Aid Man’s tears?

— Have you considered all the ethical quandaries of this endeavor?

— What if the power fell into the wrong hands?

— What if we bring back, like, Benjamin Franklin, with the hopes of cultivating his sharp and inventive mind to help us with a series of present-day conundrums, but he just gets way into memes instead?

— If you were at a funeral for a dead legume and the Kool-Aid Man’s tears brought it back to life as a baby that makes dolphin noises, what would you do?

— Would you judge me if I panicked and shouted “KILL IT AGAIN BEFORE IT KILLS US ALL!” almost involuntarily as soon as I saw it?

— Since this commercial aired in early February, do you think it is possible that bringing back Mr. Peanut as a baby in defiance of God and science shifted the course of the universe and was therefore responsible for everything that has happened in the following six months?

— Can’t rule it out, right?

Again, all fair, all completely pointless. Also, unbelievable that it happened in February of this year. It feels like 20 years ago. Which, conveniently, I guess, brings us to the latest development in this cursed nut universe: Mr. Peanut, who died seven months ago and was resurrected as a baby six months ago, is now apparently 21 years old.

As you can imagine, this raises yet another set of questions, including but not limited to:

— How?

— Why?

— What is going on?

— What are any of us doing?

— How did he age 21 years in six months?

— Does this mean he’ll be 42 by February?

— Is this rapid aging part of the deal with the reanimation, like one of those wishes that is secretly a curse?

— Is the Kool-Aid Man a witch?

— When you die, would you want to be reanimated as an infant that ages about three years every month?

— How would you live your life if you knew you were packing 80 years worth of aging into about 24 months?

— Why does Mr. Peanut look like Eggsy from the Kingsman movies?

— How funny would it be if the next commercial is Mr. Peanut dying again, but at 21 years old this time, right in his prime?

— Like if he stumbles out of this bar later that day and promptly gets walloped by a speeding Chevy Tahoe?

— Or mowed down with an AK-47 by a pistachio assassin on a motorcycle as part of an ongoing but previously unexplained blood feud between nuts and legumes?

— What if this turns into a Groundhog Day situation and they keep killing Mr. Peanut in different ways every year and resurrecting him during the Super Bowl?

— Would that be any weirder than what has happened so far?

— Wait, does his driver’s license say he is 5’8”?

— Isn’t that significantly taller than he was way back in the first commercial?

— What if he keeps growing?

— What if he just ages and grows at exponential rates now, continuously, until he’s bigger than a double-decker bus?

— What if he’s become an immortal demon sent from hell to destroy us all?

— You’ll probably wish you had listened to me when I yelled about killing it when it was small and vulnerable, huh?

Told you.

×