Who is Peggy Banzai?

Who is Peggy Banzai?

Researched and written by Scott Tate

Peggy Banzai (nee Simpson) was Penny Priddy's identical twin sister (a relationship unbeknownst to anyone for many years) and Buckaroo's wife, cruelly murdered by Xan mere minutes after her wedding.  She would have been approximately thirty years old at the time of the docudrama.

Peggy bore a striking resemblance to Penny, as evidenced by the photograph in Buckaroo's bedroom and Mrs. Johnson's excited reaction when Penny first arrives at the Bunkhouse.  It's no wonder that when Buckaroo first encountered Penny crying in the audience of Artie's Artery, he misheard her name as "Peggy." 

Her favorite song was "Since I Don't Have You," which Buckaroo refused to perform following her death until the night he met Penny.

Peggy, like Penny, was presumably born in Cody, Wyoming.  Each sister was apparently given a shiny gold sovereign by their father.  (Penny lost hers eventually; Buckaroo carried Peggy's in later years.)  At a young age, the girls were in a fire.  Penny was left with a scar on her upper arm and back; it seems possible, but is not explicitly stated in the novelization of the docudrama, that Peggy bore a similar mark.  Following the fire, Penny was told that her sister and parents died and the girls were separated, with Penny being sent to an orphanage in Laramie.  It is unclear exactly how or why this discrepancy came to be.

Relatively little has been recorded about Buckaroo and Peggy's early courtship, which began sometime while Peggy was in her twenties.  It is known that when they met, Buckaroo immediately likened her to Her Majesty Beatrix Wilhelmina Armgard van Oranje-Nassau, the Queen of the Netherlands.  In March of 1966, Buckaroo had witnessed then-Princess Wilhemina's wedding procession, and was immediately struck by the sensation that she was the most beautiful woman he'd ever seen; years later, he had the same sensation upon first laying his eyes upon Peggy.

Peggy Simpson and Buckaroo Banzai were married in New York City in the Church of St. John the Divine.  Following the ceremony, she entered a changing room just off the sacristy.  It was there that her body was found a half hour later, despite the presence of posted sentries who had reported nothing out of the ordinary.  The apparent cause of death was a small container cyanide gas hidden inside an arrangement of yellow roses. 

She was subsequently buried in the Banzai family plot in Texas.

However, the final fate of Peggy Banzai is somewhat ambiguous.  In the adventure Extradition from Hell, Buckaroo was told by Seth that Peggy was not dead, but had actually been subjected to the nerve poison Tavala, which destroys the mind and soul but actually improves one's health.  Buckaroo arranged to travel to Sabah under the protection of the beautiful zombie La Negrette? but in the end he failed to find any trace of Peggy there, and barely escaped with his life.

Seth wasn't the only source of this surprising allegation.  In the same adventure, Buckaroo arranged a series of seances to investigate the possibility, culminating in a final session that was actually a carefully staged hoax.  When Peggy"s "ghost" (secretly Mrs. Johnson in disguise) appeared and demanded vengeance, the sight of her elicited a startled confession from one of Buckaroo's companions.  Captain Happen yelled:  "No!  It"s not Peggy!  Peggy"s alive!"  He flung himself to his death a moment later, out of either panic, humiliation or determination not to be taken alive, and was subsequently revealed to have been surgically implanted with the same sort of mind-controlling miniature radio transmitter that Xan uses to command his death dwarves.  In light of Captain Happen's comment and the apparent connection to Xan, Peggy's casket was promptly exhumed? and found to be empty. 

A possible further footnote to the mystery came some time later, when Rawhide was on the verge of death after having been struck by a Lectroid stinger.  In the novelization of the docudrama, Reno describes Rawhide"s last words as this:

"Guess I'm just lazy," he said with his dying breath.  "I guess that's why I joined up in the first place to escape the curse of toil.  I can't wait to see Peggy."

He gasped, as the poison at last gripped his heart.  Then, trying hastily to say something more, as if its significance he had forgotten until that moment, only the first part of his thought escaped his lips.  Those cryptic words we have turned over in our minds ever since:  "Buckaroo," he whispered, "the penny paradox."

And with that he was gone.

Although Rawhide wasn't necessarily referring to Penny Priddy, Reno believed that he was.  If so, that link might in turn lead to further revelations about the life, death, and mysterious possibility of continued life for Peggy Banzai.


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