is a character in Garry Trudeau
's comic strip Doonesbury
. When Mike Doonesbury
was asked to create an ad campaign aimed at teenage smokers, he suffered a morality crisis, and the hallucinatory Mr. Butts was the result. An eight-foot-tall (2.5 meter) cigarette
with a goofy smile, Mr. Butts is the anthropomorphic personification
of the tobacco
industry. Stylistically he is reminiscent of Zap Comix
, as pointed out by J.J.
when first described to her by Mike.
At first "Buttsy" only appeared in Mike's dreams, and he took them as a sign of his morality rebelling. But Doonesbury
often bends the line between fantasy and reality, and it wasn't long before Mr. Butts was being treated as a real person, interacting with other characters and even testifying before congress.
Butts seems to have a very naive personality when it comes to the product he represents. He honestly can't see that there is any connection between cigarettes and cancer
, and he is fully convinced that smoking will help make kids cool. He usually treats his appearances as public service announcements
, addressing the audience directly to tell them "good news" about the tobacco industry.
In the real world, Mr. Butts has appeared in an animated anti-smoking commercial, the only television appearance of a Doonesbury
character other than the animated special aired in 1977 and the Larry King Live
appearance of Duke
on 2000-03-13. He also appeared on... Read More