Smiley was actually a rat that Ernest Fairchild kept hidden in his room, feeding him with crumbs and any food he could sneak in. For a rat, he was very well behaved, often times staying on Ernie's shoulder or scurrying around and eating dropped foodstuffs. Since he was one of the few things that Ernie was able to enjoy and love, Ernie considered him his best friend.
Unfortunately, Smiley dropped through a weak spot in the kitchen ceiling and fell directly into Mr. Fairchild's bowl of soup. In his anger, he killed Smiley and scorned Ernie for keeping a rodent in the house. It was this relationship he transfered onto the smiley button the nurse pins onto him at the start of Evil Ernie's rampage.
Created by Brian Pulido as a side character that had actually very little to do in the original series outside of being the conduit for Lady Death's energy that gives Ernie his Arcane power source. Originally drawn by Steven Hughes.
Smiley had very little to do in the original series of Evil Ernie. He was pretty much static and a conduit for Lady Death's arcane energy that gives Ernie his power source. By the second series Smiley starts it growl and make occasional sounds before finally speaking directly on the page and becoming a voice of conscious for Ernie. Sometimes however he switches between guide Ernie towards safer options or diverting him towards more fun things. In matters of love he becomes very lecherous with the breasts of female characters, such as Chastity and Lady Death, often in his face while they kiss Ernie.
Initially when separated from Ernie they both fade in power rapidly until Ernie starts to rot and Smiley reverts back to a static pin badge. But after Lady death gives him a power boost he is able to go much longer and can even walk on his crossed bones as legs where before he could only roll. He is also able to lanuch himself at characters, usually as a distraction in Ernie's defense.
Major Story Arcs
A ridiculously good natured nurse bought a smiley face badge that was meant to be a gift for Ernie after his rehabilitation. Unfortunately, Ernie's rehabilitation resulted in his apparently accidental death. Of course Ernie's death was really orchestrated by Lady Death to reincarnate Ernie as her Herald of Mega-Death. To do so she needed a conduit to join Ernie's minor psychic abilities with the arcane energy that she hoped to give him. Luckily, the good natured nurse pinned the smiley face badge to Ernie, thinking it was a harmless trinket. Soon after connecting with Ernie, Smiley is born through the arcane energy of hell! He then energizes Ernie and starts feeding him words of encouragement to kill everyone.
In the Youth Gone Wild series, that Evil and Smiley first appear in, Ernie does eventually die. A rocket from Dr.Mary Young hits him and blast him into oblivion. Smiley though, managed to detach before this happens. He rolls around and stops in front of a financial backer for the rehabilitation program that created Ernie. Seeming like a harmless smiley button, the backer (Mr.Stone) picks it up and pricks his finger. He goes home complaining of a headache, and the last panel of the mini-series shows him breaking out in Smiley Face Hives.
At the start of the resurrection series, Mr. Stone, who pricked his finger with smiley, is shown in court as being tired and slightly delusional. He is taken off to the side by Dr.Price, who tells Stone that if he shows any signs of madness then he will take him out. Stone lumps back over to his seat and is called to the stand (the trial is for determining the cause of and those responsible for the Psycho Plague and Evil Ernie). While rising to go to the stand, he begins to hallucinate multiple Smileys in front of his head and hears the voices of the dead. The voices of the dead come from within his own head as Evil Ernie uses his psychic abilities to broadcast the moans from the Endless Graveyard (Lady Death's version of Hell), and the hallucinations are from the Smiley button that somehow ended up in his suit jacket.
After witnessing Stone rave around for a few moments, Price rushes in and blows his stomach out with a shotgun. Mary realizes what has been happening and starts to criticize Stone. The Smiley button was dropped by Stone when he was blown back and now resides on the floor, laughing maniacally. Stone's body on the other hand, stands up and surges with a familiar green energy. In a flash, Evil Ernie is reborn once more. He begins individually killing different members of the courthouse and thengrabs two uzis from downed security guards and uses them to spray the fleeing crowd with. As is expected of Evil's victims, all rise to serve as Dead Onez.
Having seen all the sweet action, Smiley begins crying out to be picked up. Ernie complies, giving him back his old spot on Ernie's leather jacket that he pilfered from Rick Young. Now it's back to business as usual....until Ernie begins to ignore smiley about 3 hours before the finale of War of the Dead. To show Evil that he is important too, Smiley takes off and assist some of Evil's greatest enemies in locating him for a last ditch effort to stop the launch of the nuclear warheads Ernie has control of. At the last minute, Ernie and Smiley put aside their differences and reunite to stave off the assault long enough to launch the missiles.
In the events of War of the Dead, Ernie is destroyed, but somehow Smiley escaped and makes his way into the possession of Oblivia in her battle with Entropy that brings about the un-creation of Armageddon.
Smiley does get his own mini-series which are aptly named for the theme of each "one-shot" in his short series.