The Original Party Animal

We first met Spuds MacKenzie in a Budweiser ad during Superbowl XXI in 1987.

Almost immediately after that first commercial aired, Spuds MacKenzie was rocketed to the top of the marketing world, becoming the most desired, known and loved mascot for any product. He knocked the Where’s the Beef? lady off the charts and Mr. Whipple wasn’t squeezing anything after Spuds showed up, especially a paycheck.

But with instant fame came the life of being the world’s biggest beer company’s spokesdog. Spuds was living so hard in the fast lane that instead of one human year equalling seven dog years, for Spuds it was 14 years.

After a few years, it started to go south for Spuds. A number of sexual assault allegations made it impossible for Budweiser to keep Spuds aboard as its spokesdog. “He was rubbing his lipstick dick on everyone’s leg. Not just the models, but camera men and even Budweiser reps. He was humping literally every leg that moved,” read one court document.

Spuds tried to pick up work with other companies, briefly playing Billy Dee Williams’ dog in Colt .45 commercials, and eventually becoming “Shadrach, the Mad Dog” for Mad Dog 20/20.

Eventually his addictions took command of his life and he could not get another job.

For a few years he bounced around Skid Row, even ending up in the pound a couple of times.

It seemed Spuds turned his life around when he started dating Buddy, famous for his titular role as Air Bud in the famed movie franchise. They were the first real Hollywood canine power homosexual couple, with the moniker “Spud Bud.”

Within months he was picked up by the pound again for abuse against a cohabitant. The relationship ended and Spuds really started to tailspin.

It was thought that Spuds died somewhere on the road, probably pulling tricks in bathrooms to get his kicks and trading in his old merchandise to hipsters everywhere for whatever vice he could gobble up. Some even held out hope that he was really just adopted by a farm family and living out his days in spacious grazing fields frolicking and laughing like he was back at MTV’s Daytona Spring Break house 1989.

But DNA testing on a dog found dead on railroad tracks in a rural Mexican desert came back as a match for Spuds. Official cause of death was renal failure, but we all know it was really loneliness and sadness.

Party on, Spuds.

About Chris Durant

Chris Durant has worked at not working for decades. He has held roughly 100 jobs through his employment career, from a driving range ball picker upper to a door to door film salesman. He started his first magazine, Mean Spirited Willie, in Sacramento around 1997. Since then he has been the publisher of Slow Kids Playing, First Draft, Notes From an American Nobody, Fat Llama Spit and Short Bus Magazine. Durant and co-founder Sarah Godlin created Savage Henry after he was shoved aside as the editor of his local daily newspaper’s entertainment magazine. In the early meetings Durant's wife, Monica, and another writer for Northern Lights, Josh Duke, laid down the groundwork for what the magazine has evolved into. Durant writes, edits, sells ads, manages ad clients and delivers the magazine as well as books stand-up comedians for Savage Henry's monthly comedy shows and its annual Savage Henry Magazine Comedy Festival (formerly SHITS and Giggles Comedy Festival). He also co-produces and co-hosts the magazine's weekly podcast, the Savage Henry Magazine Radio Program. He lives in McKinleyville, California with his wife, three of his children, two dogs, two cats and his Playstation 3.

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