Mr. Peanut, the world’s most famous legume, is dead, according to his longtime employer, Planters. He was 104.
The jaunty and jovial pitchman recognized around the globe for his rakish top hat, trusty cane, and eccentric monocle, died during a pre-Super Bowl ad. Fans around the world reacted with mild surprise and skepticism but in the advertising world there was a sense that an era had passed.
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Planters, the snack company, posted the ad on social media, a move that some critics said was rubbing salt in a fresh wound. The ad shows Mr. Peanut in a car accident in the Nutmobile and, making the scenario nuttier, the famous snack mascot was inexplicably accompanied by Wesley Snipes and Matt Walsh.
It is with heavy hearts that we confirm that Mr. Peanut has died at 104. In the ultimate selfless act, he sacrificed himself to save his friends when they needed him most. Please pay your respects with #RIPeanut pic.twitter.com/VFnEFod4Zp
— The Estate of Mr. Peanut (@MrPeanut) January 22, 2020
The footage shows the Nutmobile misadventure left the trio dangling from a tree branch that began to splinter from their combined weight. In the end, Mr. Peanut let go, sacrificing himself to save his companions.
Mr. Peanut was introduced in 1916 and kept smiling through two World Wars, the Depression, and the horrific white mold rot crisis of 2012 that threatened his kind. Mr. Peanut’s death reduces the number of monocle-wearing mascots in pop culture to two: the Monopoly tycoon and Eustace Tilly of The New Yorker.
Not everyone joined the tearful outpouring of grief. Conspiracy theorists were skeptical that Mr. Peanut is in fact dead and postulated that Planters might be playing a shell game that pays off during the Super Bowl. Dismissive non-fans, meanwhile, predicted that venerable old nut would be easy for Planters to replace because who could stop with just one?
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