The persona of Mr. Skull was created in 1985, following the theft of one of the group's eyeball masks from a show on their 13th Anniversary tour. Mr. Skull has regularly appeared alongside the three eyeball-masked Residents in the group's live shows, album art and promotional imagery in the years since.
The oversized skull prop which would later become the first iteration of Mr. Skull was one of two large skulls purchased by Residents, Uninc. in the early 1970s, at auction from a sign company who was going out of business. The Residents used the skulls in photography projects and in promotional art and music video for the album The Third Reich 'n Roll.
The skull then went largely unused until 1985, when, after a performance at The Palace in Los Angeles on the group's 13th Anniversary Show tour, one of the group's iconic eyeball masks (specifically, Mr. Red), was stolen. The Residents were distraught, and as a result the affected Resident donned the skull mask, eventually becoming known as Mr. Skull (although the other members of the group also jokingly nicknamed him Dead Eye Dick).
The stolen eyeball was later returned, but was retired permanently by The Residents as it had been returned in a damaged condition, and they considered it to have been tainted by the theft. As a result, the Skull persona continued to appear with the group onstage and in promotional material until the end of the 13th Anniversary tour in 1987.
Mr. Skull next appeared in a newly redesigned costume in the group's 1989 tour Cube-E. He performed a specially-written overture entitled "Mr. Skull's New Years Eve Song" for the New Years Eve concert in 1989.
A new Mr. Skull mask was created in the mid 1990s, alongside three new eyeball masks. These were featured prominently in the promotional artwork for the group's 1997 retrospective Our Tired, Our Poor, Our Huddled Masses and in 2001 in the promotional artwork for the DVD and album versions of Icky Flix.
In 1998, The Singing Resident assumed the identity of Mr. Skull for the Wormwood tour, and again in 2001 on the Icky Flix Live tour. Mr. Skull continued to be portrayed by The Singing Resident until his most recent onstage appearance in 2006 at the Remembering The Beatles performance.
Mr. Skull has not made any further live appearances with The Residents to date, but does still occasionally appear in merchandising for the band (with two bobbleheads having been released by the group, the most recent in 2020).
- Oh Mummy! Oh Daddy! Can't You See That It's True; What The Beatles Did To Me, "I Love Lucy" Did To You (1976)
- The 13th Anniversary Show (1985 - 1987)
- Ty's Freak Show (1991)
- Wormwood (1998 - 1999)
- Icky Flix (2001)
- Remembering The Beatles (2007)
- Eyeball masks
- The Third Reich 'n Roll (video)
- The 13th Anniversary Show
- The Singing Resident
- Charles Bobuck
- Randy Rose
- Hardy Fox
- "The 13th Anniversary Show" at RZWeb
- Mr. Skull at Discogs
- Mr. Skull limited edition bobblehead at MVDShop