Generic Communist leader Papa Smurf often drew controversy for his close ties to Karl Marx and, later, the Stalinist Soviet Union, but this ‘kindly’ alchemist has had a private life to rival the most grizzled tabloid veteran.
The 579-year-old may have appeared docile and was noted for his diplomatic skills on screen, but off it this brutish blue creation led a life of homoeroticism, debauchery and, on occasion, bestiality.
His problems began while shooting the now infamous ‘Smurf Against Smurf’ episode from 1973, in which he was required to switch bodies with Gargamel in order to pretend to attack the village.
On screen his bravura was applauded by millions, off it Papa Smurf - his ties to several communist regimes being investigated by the Senate - became aloof and disinterested.
The full extent of his drug taking was exposed around this time, he became sloppy in hiding his predilection for sheepish sex (literal meaning), while his colleagues, including Clockwork Smurf and Nosey, became concerned about his mushroom intake.
So they informed the National Enquirer.
Fired immediately from the animated series, along with Smurfette, another victim of the shrooms, Papa Smurf took to harder substances to mask his latent love for young boys and woollen beasts.
Smurfette, meanwhile, just smoked a lot of crack.
However, as the darling of the show disintegrated into a sunken shadow of the cartoon sex symbol she once portrayed, Papa Smurf found redemption in the form of the Sierra Tucson rehab facility.
He talked his problems out, got off the substances, and learned that animal love should be left to the animals.
He also met the man he’s with today, make-up artist DeLonge Sinclair, and made a brave yet unsuccessful attempt at a seat in the US Congress.
A cartoon comeback is not to be ruled out.