The world’s most iconic groundnut, Mr. Peanut, has died. Planters, the company that created the cane-wielding, top hat-wearing legume, confirmed his death on social media. He was 104.
Mr. Peanut died after the car he was driving–the Nutmobile–attempted to swerve to avoid an armadillo in the road. The snack pitchman was driving with Wesley Snipes and Matt Walsh on the fateful day. The three found themselves dangling on a tree. Their combined weight was too great, and Mr. Peanut sacrificed himself to save his friends.
This is all recounted in a Super Bowl 54 advertisement that Planters released early–check it out below.
It seems unlikely that this is the end of the story–people are theorizing that Mr. Peanut somehow survived the fall and the ensuing explosion. Others believe Planters might be re-branding, with a new mascot to be announced during the Super Bowl.
What we do know is that Planters is paying big money for this ad campaign. Super Bowl broadcaster Fox is charging $5.6 million for 30 seconds of airtime during the Super Bowl. The game takes place on Sunday, February 3, and sees the The Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers do battle at the Hard Hock Stadium in Miami, Florida.
The Mr. Peanut mascot was created by 14-year-old Antonio Gentile in 1916 as part of a contest that Planters put on to create mascot for the up-and-coming peanut company.
Tributes for Mr. Peanut poured in from other popular food and entertainment brands following the announcement of his death.
Mr. Peanut, you’re gone too soon. You rode the hot dog highways with us in the Nutmobile and were always there when we needed some nutty advice. You died as you lived, helping friends when they needed you most.
Forever in our hearts ❤️ #RIPeanut https://t.co/DtpZaWk8r6
— Oscar Mayer (@oscarmayer) January 22, 2020