So, going down the rabbit hole, I discovered what you all probably already knew. Hostess Ding Dongs have their own Wikipedia page.
A couple of important sections:
An epic conflict occurred between Ding Dongs and a similar, pre-existing cake product called Ring Dings, forcing altered nomenclature on the east coast (“King Dons” and “Big Wheels”) and culminating in multiple corporate takeovers and legal battles.
To sell the nutricious hostess cake products to children, cartoon characters were affixed to Ding Dongs (King Ding Dong) and the others: …’Captain Cupcake, Happy Ho Ho, Twinkie the Kid and Fruit Pie the Magician. Where King Dons were marketed, the character, like the product, was known as “King Don.” In areas that once used the Big Wheels name, the character was previously an Indian chief named “Chief Big Wheel.”‘