words & mix: Luke Janke (Community Radio Tapes)
Mr. Peanutbutter’s main roll in the Netflix animated dramedy Bojack Horseman seems to be the flip side of a coin, the counterweight to Bojack’s borderline & melodramatic personality.
While both are from similarly cheesy and popular sitcoms from the 90s, and both live lavioushly in the “Hollywoo” hills, Mr. Peanutbutter’s sunny disposition and ability to get incredibly lucky in daily life (e.g. being discovered for TV rolls out of nowhere, uncovering J.D. Salinger from his secret life as a bike shop owner) is a striking opposition to Bojack’s alcoholism and loneliness.
To me, Mr. Peanutbutter portrays the sexy, stylish and often problematic character of the aging 90s pop star. His antics are mostly for his own fun and gain, but occasionally hurt the ones around them. However, they have the ability to surprise you with some of their thoughts and lyrics.
His character is the epitome of the “cool dad” vibe. Not unlike members of Sugar Ray or anyone with Ed Hardy merchandise, Mr. Peanutbutter loves denim and wondering why Starbucks won’t just use normal sizes. But he’s always quick to offer deep, dark words of wisdom seemingly from his repressed sadness.
“The universe is a cruel, uncaring void,” Mr. Peanutbutter says in the season 1 finale. “The key to being happy isn't a search for meaning. It's to just keep yourself busy with unimportant nonsense, and eventually, you'll be dead.”
When you peak in the 90s/00s, your best option is to stay young and pursue music, or die trying. That’s what I tried to convey in this playlist honoring Mr. Peanutbutter.
Songs in this playlist include: Pop Frontpersons who came into fame during the mid-to-late 90’s (some of them, washed up but lovable), bands who appear to only be a vehicle for the front-person’s fame, bands/artists who have made a surprising comeback in the 2010s, artists who came to a tragic end, and straight up bops.