The Time Mr. Peanut Ran For Mayor

Mr. Peanut may be one of our favorite brand mascots — well, for those who don't suffer from peanut allergies, anyway. The aristocratic legume held a beloved place in pop culture for 104 years before his heroic "death" (via CNBC). Many persons have donned the anthropomorphized peanut suit over the years, but one especially grabbed our attention when he decided to run for mayor over 40 years ago (via Vancouver Sun). And we do mean mayor of the real town of Vancouver, B.C. — not of Peanut Town.

It was a time when politics took itself less seriously. Unlike our currently polarized political arena now with rousing speeches and plentiful insults, Mr. Peanut (full name: Bartholomew Richard Fitzgerald-Smythe, per Mental Floss) didn't say a word. In fact, the political peanut left all his talking to his manager, John Mitchell. Said Mitchell, "The mayoralty election is something everyone is concerned with and, as artists, we can use this as an open arena. I'm sure people are as ready for one nut as they are for the next."

Mr. Peanut is popular

The 1974 political platform was simple, "P for Performance, E for Elegance, A for Art, N for Nonsense, U for Uniqueness and T for Talent" (via Vincent Trasov). Vincent Trasov was the man behind the suit, and as an artist of frequent peanut performance he was also known to draw and make peanut-themed art in many media. The political candidacy with Mitchell played out much like a 20-day touring performance. 

Said famed author William S. Burroughs at the time, "I would like to take this opportunity to endorse the candidacy of Mr. Peanut for mayor of Vancouver. Mr. Peanut is running on the art platform, and art is the creation of illusion. Since the inexorable logic of reality has created nothing but insolvable problems, it is now time for illusion to take over. And there can only be one illogical candidate — Mr. Peanut."

And the results of the election? Trasov as Mr. Peanut received 2,685 votes, for 3.4% of the tally.