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1953 Part 1 - A Bundle of Fuss

Jimmy: Hey guys. Welcome back to the show. I'm Jimmy Gownley, and we're going to be looking at Peanuts 1953 here on Unpacking Peanuts today. It's a big year for Charles Schulz and the gang. Joining me as always is a composer for the band, Complicated People, as well as this very podcast that you're listening to right now. And he's the cartoonist behind such great strips as Strange Attractors, A Gathering of Spells and Tangled River, Michael Cohen.

Michael: Hello there

Jimmy: and also my other cohost. He is, this is exciting. I don't know if you guys are familiar with a little show called Mystery Science Theater 3000. Well, he was the executive producer and writer on MST three K, vice-president of Archie comics. and creator of the wonderful Instagram strip Sweetest Beasts, Harold Buchholz.

Harold: Hello

Jimmy: and I'm Jimmy Gownley. You don't know me. If you know me, it's from a book called Amelia Rules or my memoir The Dumbest Idea Ever. And my new book from Scholastic is out right now called Seven Good Reasons Not to Grow Up. And the three of us are going to take you on a little journey through the Peanuts world of 1953.

But guys, before we start, I have a, an exciting thing, a little present for you guys. I did some extra research. I have the etymology and definition of the word fussbudget.

Harold: Now someone's done his homework.

Jimmy: Very excited about this. Do you, if you want to guess did Charles Schulz create this word or not any betters?

Michael: I think not.

Harold: I'd say no.

Jimmy: That is correct. He did not. Earliest usage is 1904. Okay. This is according to an article in the Deseret news, which is a Salt Lake City, newspaper, and an interview with the editors of I guess. So there is some controversy about fussbudget, but 1904 is its earliest appearance.

Fuss, we all understand that, you know, to complain to whine, to make a stink about something, but budget comes from there is apparently a regional Appalachian definition of the word budget, which actually means bundle. So a fussbudget is someone who is a bundle of complaints.

Harold: That's that's fascinating.

Jimmy: So there you go.

So why Schulz had that word? I must've come from someone in his family, I guess in the back of his head, but he applied to Lucy and now we now 1904 for a bundle of complaints.

Harold: I wonder when it was used the most like, oh wait, actually I pulled this up on the Google books engram viewer. Now, now this is going to really cause us trouble.

This is going to turn our heads. We don't know what to do with this. The word fuss budget-- have used to have used this thing before on Google. It's like Google. So Google books has scanned thousands and thousands and thousands of books. And it's all obviously now in their database. So they have this little thing where you can plug in a particular word.

And see how often it was used relative year to year from like 1800 to today. And I just plugged it in while you were saying this, and this shows that the first use of the word dates back to like 1856.

Jimmy: Well, why don't you do your own damn research?

Harold: Well, what do you think I doing here? I'm doing it on the fly.

Jimmy: Be a fussbudget! Did you just um…actually me right on my own question.

Michael: It's actually derived from the Latin fuxit budgitus

Jimmy: That is the last time I will be doing any research.

Harold: Oh, no, no, no, no. Look what you started, Jim. If you just opened up a whole world of research to all of us, you are a catalyst.

Jimmy: …. in the presence of Harold Buchholz.

Harold: You are a catalyst. I will share it. It peaked out by far, it was super popular. According to this thing in the late twenties and early thirties.

So how old would Schulz have been? We would have been

Jimmy: He was born in the twenties. 1922 because this is his hundredth.

Harold: That that would, because it is, I mean, like peaks way out, like it's nothing in until it's like three or four or five times the usage for this little brief period of like 19, late 1920s, early 1930s.

And then for some reason it peaked again in like 2015 someone must've brought it back.

Jimmy: Someone brought it back

Harold: put it in a song or something. So sorry to step on on you. But I, you just inspired me to look that up while we were, while we were talking. And I think

Jimmy: So that was Harold’s first umm, actually of the podcast. If you have an umm actually you could leave it somewhere on the internet, perhaps that scream into the void website, that'd be a good place to leave it.

So listen guys, you know, before we go into the details and the depths of, of 1953, I just, I want to talk about things from a little bit of a different approach. I've been reading a lot of comic book criticism lately. And I've noticed not comic book, but comics criticism lately. And I've noticed that there's sort of a, if I could be so bold, the downturn in, in the level of discourse. While comics are extremely popular right now, particularly with the success of things like, like Dog Man or whatever.

I mean, there are kids who are reading comics by the millions when you read the reviews. And when you read people's reaction to these things, it's coming from a place that does not have a great knowledge of how a comic works. What I mean by that is they seem to talk about the words and the talk about the characters as if they're real people.

And that's the extent of it. There's no real talk about the way that if the, if the art is mentioned at all, it's to call it, you know, cute or fun or. Colorful or whatever, without any acknowledgement or understanding that it's every part of the story that is not contained in the text. So I was sort of thinking, not that we are comparing ourselves in any way with Charles Schulz, but we are all cartoonists.

So I thought one of the things that we could really bring to the game here, as we start talking more and more about the strip over the years is our own experience as cartoonists to sort of talk to people about it from that perspective and give them kind of a behind the scenes look on how comics get created and, and how that might apply to Charles Schulz.

So I actually just wanted to start start with Michael. Michael, you have fairly recently completed a major project, Tangled River, which how, how long did you work on that, that web strip?

Michael: Six years

Jimmy: Six years. And it has been collected in books, which you can buy as we speak. And you should, as soon as this podcast is over, so to give just the base, the roughest conceivable outline of this. It's about a young woman, a teenage girl named Tanya. She is artistically minded. She is also been living on a space colony, a colony of earth in deep space where for some mysterious reason, everything stopped working. That's the basic set up of Tangled River.

So, Michael, I want to, before you started on this six year journey to write this story, can you talk a little bit about how you created your main character? Because I see Charles Schulz taking Charlie Brown in a number of different ways that he seems to be sort of feeling some things out without a real plan, but you had a six year book coming up, that I believe you wrote a script for it, but can you tell us a little bit about, about how you created that, that main character?

Michael: Well, I spent a lot of time just getting up to courage to start working on this huge project, because I was determined. My, my previous work often just ended-- one time with the collaboration when I moved to the other side of the country and we just stopped. So I was determined to finish something you know, a very long project and I wasn't going to start it till I found a subject that I could deal with.

And thinking in terms of, as an artist to it, it was important that I have a subject that I could draw. The kind of thing I could draw I didn't feel myself suited to doing anything in the modern world, you know, just learning how to draw cars and all that had no interest to me. And that sort of brought about the thought that, well, if I did a science fiction strip, at least I wouldn’t need to do serious reference on what things actually look like.

But I, I had the character in mind for a while. And part of it was inspired by your work with, with Amelia and the fact that there was such a huge response to, you know, the young female character. And this was a period when girls were getting more and more into reading comics and looking for comics that were more suited to it, you know, adolescent girls.

And so my first thought was, okay, I'd like to do something that would appeal to a teenage audience and, and keep it sort of within the boundaries of what's permissible to having a library in terms of violence and, and, and language. So anyway, just so in order to finish it, I felt I had to plot it first.

And the best way for me to plot is to just start writing and build up the story in little pieces like that. And then as questions come about and I start wondering, okay, why is this happening? Then I'd adjust the story to explain that the character was, was critical because I basically wanted to. Have a younger teen protagonist, but I wanted to avoid what I see all the time, especially in this genre and fantasy, which is the main character has to be the hero has to, or at least grow into a heroic figure.

I wanted to try subverting that. And so thinking of a, sort of an artistic person who in artistic girl who didn't quite understand what was going on around her and reacted to things as they came along. But as the story progressed, I wanted her to become focused on a quest, but not be the, the hero, the one who saves everybody.

I just wanted to see how somebody like this would react. To being put into a situation where they had to, you know, step way out of their boundaries. And I was really determined not to have, turn it into a hero character who suddenly transformed and is able to, you know, beat everybody up. So I think she's fairly at the end of the story, she's older, but not essentially different.

Jimmy: Did you find that your plan changed over time as the story became more realized?

Michael: Yeah. Well, it definitely did, especially in terms of scripting I stuck to the plot, but I felt that as I got to know the characters you know, they would tell me like, no, I wouldn't do this. And so I would either contrive something to make it more reasonable that they would do it, or I just wouldn't have them do it.

So yeah, it did veer into other directions.

Jimmy: Yeah, and I think that's something that people here, oh, the character said they wouldn't do that. And they, I think people have a hard time understanding that, but it really is true when you're working with the character day in and day out for years on end, they do develop a life of their own in your mind.

And you know, when you're pushing them in directions that the character wouldn't go. But one thing I think that's interesting about that in regards to Schulz is you can see in this year that we're going to discuss today. You can see instances of him basically redoing strips, not the exact punchline, but the form of the strips.

And, but changing Charlie Brown's character completely from the person who was the wise guy and smart mouth to the person who is being put upon. And I just found that really interesting where he had the, he had the dynamic, he wanted. He had the overall idea, but he didn't have the right characters in the right positions. And that's clearly something like, like you say, that developed only after he spent some time with the characters, he's drawn almost, you know, a thousand strips at this point. So the characters are becoming more real for him. So yeah, it is an interesting thing to have a character change and develop over time.

And we definitely get to see that, like I said, throughout this year, one of the interesting things about Peanuts is that it's of course a great example of the kid strip genre, which is, you know, Amelia Rules as a part of that things like Dennis the Menace are a part of that. But within that it embeds, one of the great, funny animal comics characters of all time with Snoopy, who was also a character that is growing and changing and developing over the course of the strip.

And we happen to have a world-class funny animal artist on the show right now. So Harold, I wanted you to discuss. Can you talk a little bit about, about that? What it's like working in that genre and why would a cartoonist choose to work with an animal character instead of let's say just a human or something like that?

Harold: Yeah. Well, early on it, even as a kid, I, I was very sensitive to how people interpreted what I would, what I would draw the people and personalities and the assumptions cause cartooning in a way is stereotyping. Right? So you're boiling something down to its essence. And I would quickly became uncomfortable with, with creating these characters that had various specificity to them and the human characters, because I was just sensitive to how people might read something that I'd put into it and said, well, are you saying that all people who look like this act like this and, and I, I, I was just super sensitive to that.

And I always loved the look of classic cartoons and an animation style you know, Bugs Bunny and that sort of thing, and certainly fell in love with Snoopy at a very early age. And so I, I mean, this is even before I think I had, I had had the opportunity to try to intellectualize any of this. I mean, when I was three years old, I was drawing a bird and a turtle.

They were the two characters in my very first comics that I still have some of those things that I it's fascinating trying to actually decode. 'cause I'm trying to tell a story. And this is like, in some cases, pre being able to write, I'm just I'm drawing, but I was using animals and, and, and I stuck with that.

I never got away from, from using animals for that reason, because, you know, I saw a lot of people obviously using human beings, but I, it just, it just hit me that if I do an animal, people are going to take the animal and anthropomorphize it in their own way. They're going to either identify with it or not.

But they're less likely to identify with that character and say like, I can't, I'm not like that character was, I don't look like that character. It, the animal forces you to kind of take a leap and decide who you want to identify with. I guess that's what it is to me. And there, they obviously are, are very varied in shape and size.

And so there's this a lot of fun things you can do with animals. And most people are willing to go with the conceit that, you know, an animal character is something that they can read a story about and enjoy. So why not have the fullness of all the different designs you can draw? Why not have the freedom to just have people take those characters on their own merits and decide how they want to connect to them or relate to them without dealing with any of the, or at least some of the issues that come up when you, when you are, you know, being forced to kind of type somebody by, by, you know, what, what is their socioeconomic background?

What clothing are they wearing? What. You know, what age are they? You know, what, what race are they, all of those things kind of go away. At least a lot of them go away when you deal with the animals. And so I think that's, that's something that I just felt freer to live in. It was just a freer world to live in that hopefully invites other people to live freely and pick and choose where they want to connect with the character.

And in it, it doesn't automatically peg that character as this is like you, this is not like you,

Jimmy: do you think there's a risk of creating a different type of barrier for a reader where perhaps kid-like or something like that? Kiddish.

Harold: Absolutely. And, and that's the other thing that, you know, when I was creating as an adult, I, I really developed, I'm not the most natural artist in the world. I feel like I, I learned art because I loved art, but I'm not your typical artist where it kinda came to me easily. And so when I pick and choose what I want to learn, how to draw, some artists are so amazingly versatile. I mean, I was looking to Tangled River, Michael, and just seeing all of the things that you had to encounter visually with what you were doing, that just blows me away.

And when I tried to do something, I've built up from a very small base. I’m like laying, brick by brick. I learned how to draw a nose, how to draw an ear, you know, so, you know, over the years, I've, I've, I have a number of things that I've, I've learned how to draw and learn how to see, I think the way an artist sees, but it wasn't easy for me.

So I can't easily hop over to another form very quickly. I think as some artists might be able to, but is that a barrier? Yeah, I think so. One of the things I've also tried to do in my story lines, which is makes maybe makes it confusing or could create a barrier is that I am using what you might call very young, considered young, very cartoony styles with, with the characters I'm using and they're, and they're being animals, but I'm trying to kind of mix the idea of innocence and wisdom and how they can live together.

And so that's like why I'm, so I feel so much affinity with, with classic comic strips is because they were designed to go into a newspaper and appeal to a family. The idea of family entertainment dates back to this era with the newspapers, where there was something for everybody. And some, some artists like Schulz, I think we're going for everybody.

Or at least they hit everybody or almost everybody. And that just that's amazing to me. So I'm trying to find a way to reach people where I'm speaking to something that a child would respond to, but I'm also speaking at a level that an adult might get something that someone, you know, younger, younger kid wouldn't and, you know, I don't have time to explain myself to anybody either they're relating to it or not, but certainly, you know, looking very young, I think can make people pre-judge a strip and say, well, this is not for me.

And then, or even if, even if they just don't like the aesthetic, they feel their past or beyond that. There's not much I can do about that.

Jimmy: Yeah. And it's interesting because of course all of that, that ties in with Schulz as well. And I first off, I just have to say, I completely relate to what you're saying about not being a natural artist.

You know, I just, I just loved comics and wanting to do them. But I think if you look back at anything I did as a kid, no one would say, oh, he's going to be a professional cartoonist. I I, but except that they, people didn't say that cause I was in a tiny little town and they were supportive, so that was nice, but it wasn't from natural talent.

And again you know, is, is doing the same thing and, and he is mixing very, very sophisticated concepts and thoughts and dialogues with very simple and iconic characters and people like Scott McCloud have talked about this sort of thing. I'm sure we'll go into that at some later date, but it's just, it's interesting to me and I hope interesting to our listeners, how much consideration goes in to something which seems unbelievably simple and should seem simple.

It should seem playful and fun. If they're thinking about all the thought you put into.

Harold: Yeah. It's like, was it Chuck? Chuck Jones said it's basically creating cartoons is hard work and love. And the trick is to not let the hard work show. I think that's true.

Jimmy: Oh, was it one of the Monty Python guys said something to the effect of, it takes a lot of intelligence planning and forethought to dress someone up in a suit of armor.

Harold: That's true.

Jimmy: So, yeah. So thank you for indulging me in this conversation, just because I really, if we can do anything, I want to, you know, highlight the idea that this is first and foremost, a magnificent act of-- An incredible accomplishment that does somehow achieve a universality. And I thought if maybe we could talk about our own processes a little bit, it might shed light onto the types of things Schulz was considering.

So thanks for indulging me on that. Let's let's go right into it now. Let's just talk about, about 1953, Michael what can we, what can we expect in the, in the Peanuts world of 1953?

Michael: Well, there's this continual evolution we saw in 1952, a big breakthrough in the fact that he introduced two of his main characters.

And I think most people would agree that the A list of the fifties and sixties would be Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus, and Lucy. I don't know if anybody else's in contention.

Jimmy: No. And frankly, in the very last strip Schulz wrote, those were the characters he named.

Michael: Yeah. And then, you know, lots of B-list characters and some characters would kind of fade in and fade out.

But I guess the big thing in 1952 is two of those characters were introduced. So that's like half his main cast are introduced within six months of each other. And both of them are very different from how we mostly remember them. And, but you see over the course of the year that you know, you see the seeds of what they're going to become later.

And of course that continues in ‘53. ‘53 is a year there's no new characters. But the evolution continues-- not as much. I think ‘52 is more of a breakthrough year for Schulz.

Jimmy: I agree with that. I felt like ‘52 was a quantum leap and this feels like incremental growth.

Michael: Yeah. And it is incremental growth.

I think the percentage of really home run strips is higher and it doesn't seem to be too many detours into, you know, bad idea Charlie.

Jimmy: Right. Don't we don't do that just a little bit the golf tournament, but it turns out that's actually next year.

Michael: Yeah. Okay. Yeah. There's I mean, there's a few clunkers, but basically it's just the brilliance of, of, of the concepts is so high and I am someone who doesn't laugh out loud very much.

And I'd read these hundreds of times. I mean, I started reading these this particular year, probably in around 1956 and read those books over and over again. But there's plenty of these that I just laughed out loud, even though I've, I've read these jokes time and time again.

Harold: So how old were you, Michael, if you don't mind my asking when you were first engaging with these strips?

Michael:, I'm not positive, but I think it would be around six or seven.

Okay. So basically when we get to 1953, we've got those four characters we just mentioned, and we still have sure. Shermy, who was one of the original characters and he's kind of a walk on every now and then with no development and. And then we have Schroeder who quickly goes from being a a baby to being Schroeder at the piano.

He doesn't seem to have any in between his, from getting his piano, to being able to play anything on it. And on his toy piano. So Schroeder gets pretty fully developed within 1952. So when we start ‘53, we have we have Patty and Violet who often work as a team to make Charlie Brown feel as bad as they possibly can make him.

We have Snoopy who is starting to seem a little more human or much more human. He seems to know what's going on. And he's far more than a puppy and even a couple of hints that he actually belongs to somebody rather than just being the dog on the street. He seems to, I don't know if it's clear that he belongs to Charlie Brown, but

Jimmy: no, but there, there are hints that, like you say, he's somebody.


Michael: And then we have Linus who is very much a baby at this point. He's not really talking yet. He's not really having thoughts yet that we can see Lucy has moved up from being kind of a baby in the beginning of 1952 to the fussbudget we know and love. So some of these relationships are solidifying.

Harold: and yeah, and it seems like, like if I were to put ages on them and they get hints on that from Schulz and it does shift, right?

I mean, these, these ages shift, but I would say this year, Linus he's he goes from being a newborn to maybe a little past one. He sees we're starting, he's starting to walk. Schroeder is, I think they refer to him as being three there's, some oblique reference there. And Lucy Lucy's like three or four because she's going to nursery school.

Now Charlie Brown initially was younger than Patty and Violet and Shermy . I don't know if he's he's-- there is a strip in this year that mentions that Charlie Brown has 12 more years of schooling. So I'm assuming maybe he's kindergarten and or first grade and Patty, Violet and Shermy are probably first grade at this point, but that's just my guess. They're on tricycles so maybe they're maybe they all go back to five or.

Jimmy: So, yeah, they, he definitely does play fast and loose with the ages throughout the whole strip. One of the things, and this goes back to what I was asking Michael at the beginning. Why do you think a character like Shermy doesn't get anything. Why did he, rather than he has the, he, I mean, you know, Shermy is the first person that speaks in Peanuts.

Why didn't he put some of the stuff that eventually go into other characters? Why didn't he develop Shermy first? Do you have, I mean, I have one, I don't know why that is. And I sort of wonder.

Michael: I have no idea either.

Jimmy: Cause it could have been Shermy played the piano, the piano, right? Yeah.

Harold: It's almost like he had an idea of who Shermy was.

I don't know if he, he pegged him to somebody he knew in real life or if there was something about that person just being very headed, very even steady kind of character. Didn't have a lot of meanness in him or, you know, didn't have a lot of insecurity and Schulz didn't really have much to do with that character.

Although he does fall back. Pretty often this year, I mean, me is around for some, some more generic kind of presence.

Michael: He might've felt he needed a straight man to set up the jokes.

Harold: But like what, like, here's a really interesting question. Why on earth is Schroeder the catcher? Why isn’t Shermy the catcher?

What-- Schroeder's into Beethoven, what's he doing on the ball field? And he's, he's like three years old, so that never, I never quite figured that out. Why was it because Schroeder would be I guess would be more likely to, to beat around the bush or lie to Charlie Brown or think something in one moment, because he's kind of hotheaded and judgmental occasionally that, you know, maybe, maybe again, that just was not Shermy in, in Schulz's mind.

And so he needed a Schroeder who was a little more oblique, a little more quirky, and it has a little edge to him. I dunno.

Michael: It's possible that Schulz was kind of jamming at this point, in other words, just following his instincts and not overthinking it.

Jimmy: Yeah. I do think that's true. And the other, it could be a commercial consideration in that he feels as we will talk in depth at some point about the 12 devices that he believes made Peanuts a success, and one of them is Schroeder's music.

So maybe he's just thinking, oh, this is a marquee player. This is why he has to, we have to find a place for him on the baseball team. What's interesting about, I love baseball. I grew to love baseball more as an adult. I was I was a terrible baseball player as a kid, so it sort of hampered my enjoyment of the sport.

I favored basketball, but I've grown to love baseball catchers, the most difficult position physically. And it's the one where you're most likely to have injury to your hand. Hmm, which is a really weird thing for the piano player to play. And so you can either look into that or not. I don't know, but it sort of makes me think.

Harold: Well, that's right. And Schulz obviously knows that he played a lot of the base, informal baseball. He had no leagues when he was growing up. So all the kids had to make their own teams and go around challenging neighborhoods. And he, he obviously is aware of this. There's actually a gag this year where Snoopy keeps following Charlie Brown around at the baseball game.

It turns out because Charlie Brown to, to pad is his mitt, a little more, he's put a slice of white bread.

Jimmy: Yeah. And I have to say, I really do relate to the baseball strips. Right. I played little league baseball. I played all the way up to high school. But and literally I was once in a game where in the third inning, we were losing 32 to three and they would not, they would not call the game we had. So.

All right. So anything else we want to say in general, about 1953, before we get into this,

Harold: I'd like to just, again, paint a little bit of a picture of where Charles Schulz is right now in his life. So he was-- the strip obviously started in 1950 and he got married in 1950. He got a baby girl in the bargain of Meredith.

And then and then Joyce and Charles Schulz had a baby in in February, 1952 Monty. And then less than a year later, January 22nd, 1953 this year, just at the very beginning of where we're seeing these strips, there's a third child in the household. It's Craig. So this is. And this whole year that we're seeing at these strips sees a father of three in a very quick period of time.

As we've mentioned before, they had, had lived initially in Colorado Springs having known each other in, in the Minneapolis St. Paul area, they moved back to Minneapolis St. Paul, I think they moved twice last year. So he's been through a tremendous amount of change in his life, Schulz has. And, and the other thing that we, I don't think we specifically called out, but I think this is the coolest thing, just as he needed in Colorado Springs, a little office to work out of because he could not do it in the home with all, all of the children.

He had to go off and do his own thing from the very beginning. When he goes back to Minneapolis, St. Paul, he, he is offered the penthouse, right, of the art instruction schools. So can you imagine Schulz this year, while he's drawing, it's probably continue on for a number of years afterward. He is in the top floor of the art instruction schools.

He, I don't know that he's a celebrity at this point among them, but he's probably getting there because he's a working comic strip artist. A lot of these people are working artists who are moonlighting with this. There are the instructions that they're doing, but not only is he in this really cool space, which must make him feel great, you know, have a lovely place to do the strips, but right downstairs are all of his old friends from art instruction school.

And I believe he still is he still doing some some work with art instruction in these early years to kind of supplement his income as he still grading things. I don't know, but for sure, he's hanging out with these friends and going to lunch on them regularly, who are artists who are cartoonists, who are illustrating,

Jimmy: They just keep him on. And we're sort of at this, even this early kind of using him as a as a promotional thing, you know. They could say, look, we have some national syndicated cartoonist, so I'm sure it was good for them to give them that space and kind of keep them around.

Harold: And it must be good for Schulz to have this sense of accomplishment.

That what look, what he's accomplished. He set out to do this. He's accomplishing it, he's doing it. It's growing, he's being published in comic books and in paperbacks, and he's getting some recognition right out of the bat with with this strip that he's so wanted to do. And as I mentioned the previous year when he came back, he also got plugged back into the church that he has been started in.

He was in some sort of lay leadership and teaching like Bible studies and their stories of, of him inviting people over guests, revisiting the church who were actually staying in this house full of three children and inviting people to Thanksgiving dinners and these sort of things where you kind of get this picture.

That Schulz is probably about as social as he's ever going to be. In this, in this period, and it’s so early on in the strip, but I think you kind of see that, that, that feeling as if this kind of vibrancy of the characters and even Charlie Brown, if we're going to relate him to Schulz that Charlie Brown is, is holding his own.

He, I think the strips this year, Michael, you probably would concur with me on this, Schulz is, is opening up a little bit more and more often you're hearing of characters being depressed or angry or struggling. And Schulz is willing to put that into the strip in ways that are very unique for for the comics.

But, but at the same time, the characters to, to to a person all are strong personalities.

Jimmy: Well, you know, I actually, you talking about the depression thing, which it really does clearly become one of the great themes this year and talking about the changing nature of the characters, Charlie Brown. Also, if you can look at a lot of strips this year and go, oh, well, that's why no one likes you, Charlie.

You know, I mean, you shoved Violet on her tricycle and you did all this stuff. I mean, he's an angry little kid and I was depression, something I've dealt with my whole life. And one way depression manifest itself is anger. You know, people think--

Harold: anger, anger is never a root cause. There's always something.

Jimmy: 100%. So, you know, I don't know the Schulz was cognizant of this on a, on a conscious level, but it certainly does make sense for the character.

And I think it, it almost, if you really want to like go down a rabbit hole about it, Charlie Brown is clearly at heart, a good person, and he doesn't want to have the anger. Right. So that falls away and he's left with just this dull melancholy that, that follows him through the rest of the strip. And it becomes, I think it's a really poignant when you look at it at it that way.

Yeah. All right. So how about we, we leave our preamble there and we get right into talking about the strips of 1953. When we, when we come back from this quick break.


Hey, we are back with Unpacking Peanuts and we are going to talk about 1953 in detail, where we look at our favorites, some historic, some funny, some interesting, and some wonky strips by Charles M. Schulz from the comic strip masterpiece Peanuts. All right, here we go.

January 6th, we see Shermy and Charlie Brown outside in their winter clothes. Sound effects come from off panel clump, clump, clump, clump. “What's tha?” asks Shermy. “It sounds like a herd of elephants” says Charlie Brown “or a tank battalion.” Shermy looks panicked. “They're coming towards us.” So is Charlie Brown. “Were trapped.” Clump, clump, clump, clump. We see Patty and Violet walking by their shoes are what's making the noise. And Shermy says, “every winter, it's the same thing-- girls in stadium boots.”

Now I pick this, obviously, because I love a good stadium boots, gag,

Harold: Who doesn't?

Jimmy: who doesn't. I don't know what a stadium boot is, but what struck me when I was looking about this, I'm a big proponent of hand lettering. And if you're following along and you can follow along at, they have a strip called Peanuts begins, or you can check out the Fantagraphics books, which completely collects the entire run of Peanuts from 1950 to 2000.

But anyway in this third panel, what struck me as odd about this. This is pure cartooning. You think of these panels as each panel containing a single moment, right? And then one panel contains a moment. Then you move to the next panel. But in here in this one panel, we see two word balloons. So the two characters are talking and answering each other several sound effects, which there's really no indication that they're sound effects.

They're just different lettering. We don't see where the source of that sound is and how he's makes this into this little composition. I just found that really interesting from the art of cartooning in that there's no traditional setting. There's no camera angles that are important and it sort of even breaks the rules of, of what can be contained in one panel, but it does it really elegantly.

And, and I just thought it was a beautiful job of cartooning and lettering.

Harold: Yeah, I would say 1953, the first half of 1953 is Charles Schulz at his most design-y ever for Peanuts. This is like where he is putting in a lot of time to get a precise line. You see it in, in the, in the sound effects. He does not make it easy for himself on his clumps and clumps where he does a very thin outline and has to run it up against itself to complete a letter as a sound effect. I mean, he's, he's doing something that shows how, how steady a hand he has and how good he is with his tools, but what's going to be interesting and I'll bring it up as we go further in, this is to me, the peak of, of Schulz's really clean, precise design-y Peanuts, and it's only less than two years into the strip.

He then moves into something that's, that's a looser and freer and fast.

Jimmy: Yeah. And I think that coincides with him having more responsibilities, both in his family life, but also the success of the strip brings them on a bunch of things that he didn't have to deal with before even just selecting the strips for the paperbacks or fielding offers as they start to come in in pretty short order for, you know, for licensing things in commercials.

Harold: I think that's true. I also I'm, this is total conjecture, but I'm just wondering, he must be talking about these strips with these fellow artists at the art instruction schools. And I'm wondering if they're having conversations about cleanness of line versus looseness versus, you know, if, if some of that's part of his process as he's actually, you know, deciding not only for, for expediency, but you know what, what's the, what's the right look for this.

Should I be spending so much time on these strips? Even, even not as a matter of just necessity, but maybe as a matter of, of, of a choice.

Jimmy: Oh, absolutely. You know, and then also factor, and he's now seen hundreds of these reprinted in the newspaper, so he knows what works and what doesn't work and that's going ___ too.

Harold: Yeah. And that, that one little shaky line that he drew when he sees it mangled by a newspaper press, he's like, Hmm, okay. Maybe I don't need to be so crisp on that.

Jimmy: Right. A hundred percent, you know, talking about his tools too. This is something that we as cartoonists probably don't think much about now, but you know, for kids who are, are doing work today, it's almost, it's universally almost digital.

And we're talking about a guy who, with a piece of paper and the four panels already ruled off on them would sit with just a regular number two pencil, and then would actually use a dip pen to ink it in. It was two dip pens-- one for the line work, and one for the lettering. It's technology that a monk would understand from the 1600s.

January 9th. Lucy approaches Charlie Brown with a book and says, “will you read me this story Charlie Brown?” “What? Oh, great. Scott” says, Charlie Brown. “Why do you always bother me? Once upon a time, there was three bears and they went for a walk in the woods and a girl came along and she fell asleep in the little bear's bed. And the three bears came home and the girl ran away the end.” “Thanks for nothing.”

So the reason I pick this is because this is a terrible example of lettering and one that I myself have done, and I've seen many really great letterers do this. The reason I read it so quickly, if you're following along, you can see to convey the fact that Charlie Brown was reading the book fast and he just wanted to blow through it.

So he could go back to his life and that read this to Lucy. All the words are smushed together to convey the notion of speed. The problem is it actually slows the reader down, giving the opposite effect of what is intended

Harold: Really. That's how you read it?

Jimmy: To me, Oh yeah. And like I said, I've done this and I've seen it done in Cerebus who's, he's one of the greatest letters of all time it's been done in out like, you know, great letterers to me it aesthetically and visually sort of convey.

But I think it slows you down when you're reading it, which is the opposite of what Charlie Brown’s doing.

Harold: Oh, wow. I never thought of it that way. Yeah, totally. It totally works for me on both both levels.

Michael: Hmm. I think it works for me because I'm not actually going to read it. That's too much trouble.

Harold: That one word that has 88, 87 letters is just a little bit much that well, that's, that's a really interesting and interesting thing.

So, so you, you, you did it and then it, after the fact Jim, you thought, oh, I, I just, did you get feedback or is this a later kind of epiphany oh, this really isn't working.

Jimmy: Yeah, it was just a later of epiphany that this didn't work, you know, and I, I sort of feel bad about it because I kind of knew it wasn't working when I did it, but I was like, well, I can't think-- so if any, any cartoonists out there are listening and they have a really good way of conveying someone talking fast, that isn't just smushing all the letters together

Harold: and any non, any non cartoonists, let us know if you have the same experience as Jim, that it kind of ruined the gag for you, or did, did you like the fact that Schulz was using that visual joke of removing all of the spaces between the words.

One thing. I, one thing I will, again, super designy strip Charlie Brown's head is about as perfect as you're ever going to see. That's like the perfect Charlie Brown drawing on the panel four here. It's just amazingly clean, such, just a mastery of, I, I can't imagine being able to hit the perfect circle of Charlie Brown's head every single time.

And this, I’m just in awe of this beautiful little designy, Charlie Brown in panel four here. It's crazy. He's also doing really fancy, clean things with his, with his, the little word balloons he's making these beautiful curves and arcs around the, around the lettering that I just think is beautiful, but it must have cost him quite a bit of extra time to live up to that every day.

Jimmy: Yeah. I mean, it is very difficult to draw Charlie Brown's head and you know, to do it with a, a dip pen and some India ink heightens the level of difficulty. And it seems silly to say, because it doesn't look like Rip Kirby or it doesn't look like Heart of Juliet Jones, but boy, Charles Schulz can draw.

January 18th. Linus is crawling on all fours after a little ball in his living room, he picks the ball up and plays with it, whistling a little tune. We hear a voice from off panel. “Say what happened to my new red ball? Have you seen it Charlie Brown? maybe it's in the next room. I'll go look. Linus very nervously clutches the red ball., Charlie Brown walks in and says, “well, sure enough, here it is. I'll just take it.” Linus looks very protective of the ball. He turns and growls that Charlie Brown “Grrr spit growl snap grr.” Charlie Brown walks away. “I was mistaken. Lucy. There was no ball in this room. No, sir.”

Michael: Yeah, it's a couple of strange things. Linus throughout the strip. I don't think he's ever portrayed as being angry. And mean like when he's growling at Charlie Brown here,

Jimmy: that drawing of him growling is

Michael: it's terrifying, but, but the, and panel five, looking at this, that this is a proto blanket, I think, I mean, that's a picture of insecurity.

Harold: Yeah. Yeah. And I mean, to me this whole year of, of Linus is, is a character who is continually frustrated in his attempts to, to do what he wants to do. He's being frustrated. He's being frustrated by other characters who will sit in front of him and the television set. And he's unable to communicate and he's frustrated that he can't communicate his wants and needs.

And, and he's, they're either being overlooked. And I really feel for this, this is this, this line is, is very, is very insecure. And the, and I mean, my heart goes out to him, but he also has a, he has an angry streak to him, for sure. I mean, he, he he will yell yelling at somebody because they're not getting what, he's, what he's all about.

January 23rd, Charlie Brown is outside speaking with Patty and Violet. Violet says, “can you come to our party on Monday, Charlie Brown?” Charlie Brown answers “Monday? Sure. I can be there Monday.” Patty says,” how about if we had it Tuesday?” Charlie Brown thinks, “no, I couldn't be there if you had it Tuesday” Violet says to Patty “that settles it then.” As they walk away, Violet says, “we'll have our party on Tuesday.”

Michael: This is the third iteration of the gag-- of the gag being the, the two girls sound like they want to invite him to a party, but then they find an excuse not to.

Jimmy: Right, right. They're going out of their way. Not just to have the party without him, but to make sure he knows he is not welcome.

Harold: And to do a variation of the theme over and over again on him.

Jimmy: Right. Right. Which again, you know, and I've said this millions of times the Krazy Kat influence. Obviously Schulz is looking for scenarios that he can go back to again. And which is something you have to do on a daily strip. I mean, a few people, like let's say Gary Larson aside, you're really coming up with a finite number of things that you're returning to overnight.

Michael: One thing you see he's doing this year, but it's not until later in the year that he starts doing them sequentially. So the gag might be extended over the whole week. Variations on it right now. No, it's been, might've been a month or who knows? Five months since the last time he, he pulled this little gag here, but the strip evolves to more of these thematic, weekly thematic things later.

I mean, there's, if Snoopy gets weed claustrophobia, it's going to be every day, that week in a different variant on the joke.

Jimmy: Right. That is true.

January 26th, Patty and Violet are talking while they play with dolls. Violet says, “when you get married, you have to change your name. Don't you?” Patty says, “yes, I guess you do.”

Violet says “Mrs. Charlie Brown.” She stands up and contemplates it further. “Mrs. Good. Old Charlie Brown. Nope. I just can't see it.”

Michael: Again, this is Violet playing, at least thinking about the wife being average, you know, they're four years old, but we're, we're positing that she is sort of the stand in for Schulz's first wife Joyce.

Jimmy: And by we

Michael: we meaning me. Yes, that's exactly right.

Jimmy: All right.

Harold: January 27th, I just wanted to mention is, is I think what is it first-- which is Lucy and Schroeder, where Lucy kind of sees Schroeder as a love interest. She's sitting at the piano has become so famous in later years. And she's saying, “what is that you're playing Schroeder?” Shroeder says, “this is the waltz of the flowers, Lucy it's from the Nutcracker Suite.” And she walks away with a little aura around her and a big smile. “Sweet. He called me sweet. I've never been so happy in all my life.”

Michael: I love that one.

Harold: that I think that's the first time we've ever seen Lucy seeing Schroeder that way.

So I just wanted to mention that one, cause that's a, that's a major, a major first that we'll see many, many times again, in the course of this.

Jimmy: I'm not sure if that comes before or after, but there is a thing where she says, this is the 23rd time I've seen Schroeder. Can you, do believe in love at 23rd sight.

Harold: after this? Yeah, I don't, I don't remember seeing that, but it could have been before.

January 28th, Violet is walking with something under her arm. She says, “as long as I've got a new box of stationary, I better write some letters.” She sits at a table where she's starting to write. She turns and looks at Charlie Brown and says, “do you have an eraser Charlie Brown?”

Charlie Brown, who's reading a book says, “no, that's something I've never felt the need of.” He continues. “You see, it's all a matter of proper planning. People like myself who never make mistakes” In panel four Violet hits him over the head with her box of stationary.

Harold: Which lifts her off, off the ground.

Jimmy: So this is why nobody likes you, Charlie Brown.

Michael: This is, this is why Charlie Brown in these early strips is different than the later Charlie Brown, because one of his qualities, he's kind of a braggart. And he talks about himself all the time. He thinks he's perfect, which is not later Charlie Brown. And yeah, I mean,

Jimmy: he has that beat now,

Michael: but this is so common.I mean, people do this all the time. I would never do that because I am always modest and defer to other people and let them talk. I would not dominate the conversation and talk about myself all the time.

Harold: Well, I guess we're, we, I guess we're like in that, in that way, Michael, I mean the self being self-effacing is something that I find to be really is one of my greatest strengths.

February 1st, Patty and Lucy are walking down the street. Patty says, “let's walk up to the dime store Lucy and look at all the toys.” They continue walking. Patty says, “I think it's a lot of fun, even if you can't buy anything. They're in the drugstore now. And Patty is looking at the toys, but Lucy's too short. She can't see anything above the counter. Patty says, “look here, Lucy, look at all the little dolls.” Lucy says, “all I can see is the front of the counter.” Patty continues. “Look over here. Look at the tiny dishes.” Lucy staring straight into the counter says, “I must say they're putting good wood into ‘em these days.” Patty says, “gee, and look over here.” Lucy continues to admire the counter. “Nice and smooth too. Good job of sanding.” Patty says, “look at all the paper dolls and look at those toy boats.” Lucy continues. “I see they use screws instead of nails. That's a good idea.” Patty points at more toys, “here's some tiny airplanes and there's a tiny fire engine.” They've now left and are walking home. And Patty says, “we'll have to do that again sometime, huh Lucy.” Lucy says “Sure. Call for me again in about four years.”

Michael: this is such a classic. What's interesting is that

Jimmy: This is one of my favorites from the whole 50 years. I've always loved it.

Michael:. Yeah. And the thing is the punchline is not the funniest part. The punchline is like the middle bunch of panels where Lucy's not complaining. She's making the best of the situation and admiring the wood.

Harold: Yes. It doesn't look like she's being sarcastic while she's actually spending all this time, looking at the wood in front of her instead of toys.

Jimmy: No she doesn’t.

Harold: It’s beautifully drawn.

Jimmy: Yeah. It's always been a favorite of mine. I think it might be the best drawn Peanuts strip. I think it’s gorgeous.

Harold: And for those of you at home, who are not seeing this they are in a little store and Schulz is selective in what he shows us it's, but it's it, there are these angled shots where we can see what Patty's seeing, where she's seeing toys, soldiers, and tanks, and little miniature buildings.

It's almost like they're in a like a, like a railroad, you know, how railroad type store. But it's a lot of detail and picket fencing, which is going at angles that we don't always see in later Schulz strips, beautiful trees. I mean, it just has loads and loads of of really nicely placed detail and the overall strip just as a district, gorgeous feel to it.

And it's, it is again to me, it's this is, this is peak Schulz, clean design.

Jimmy: Yeah, I love it. I love all it. Cause it's the illusion of detail. I mean, you're not really seeing all that much, but it feels like you're seeing hundreds of little action figures and little toy soldiers and stuff like that. Have you guys had any experience with actual five and 10 stores or five and dimes?

Harold: We, of course, yeah. I had a Wool, my Woolworths experience. I remember buying wacky packages for, for 5 cents. That was a huge deal as a really little kid. Seven, eight years old.

Jimmy: Yeah, we had a Woolworths too. Downstairs was the toys, but we also have. It just was a five and 10 store in Ashland, Pennsylvania, all the way up until the two thousands.

And in the two thousands, you could go and buy greeting cards that Robert Crumb worked on at American Greetings in the early sixties.

Harold: Oh my gosh.

Jimmy: You could buy toothpaste that had just expired in the nineties.

Harold: I love stores like that.

Jimmy: You could bring, they would bring out all their Christmas decorations and stuff.

That would be like that, those molded, popcorn, plastic looking things and stuff, and then they sell two of them and then they'd go back in for a year and then they can come back out to the next year.

Harold: Oh yeah. Well, I have such great memories. We were driving in Missouri and some rural area bait and tackle store.

And I was, this is probably in the night round, 1980, 84 or so. And we stop into this, this place and just things that had not been touched, you know, for years on the shelves. And there was a, I remember there was a jar of Dippity do, which was a hair gel for it, for teenage girls that had a Brownie camera offer that expired December 31st, 1959.

And that to me was just the coolest thing.

Jimmy: That's amazing.

Harold: So that's, that's the fate of the five and dime stores. The one thing that does not totally work for me in this otherwise amazing strip is that it looks like Lucy is genuinely speaking about the quality of the wood and the sanding and the screws. And then instead of nails that she's, she's genuinely making the best of this, this experience where that's all she can see.

And I can't tell if Schulz changes her attitude in the final panel, or if she's been just so incredibly good dead pan, that she's being sarcastic without any sense that she's actually being sarcastic in the rest of the strip. But I wasn't expecting her to have an attitude about call me again in about four years, a little, little furrowed brow.

Jimmy: oh see the attitude-- t hat's the part that makes it for me because whether she is putting on her best face during the thing, but it is also sarcastic. It's not a, it's not binary.

Harold: It's both’em as we like to say.

Jimmy: Exactly. And the other thing I love that Lucy knows so much about woodworking. That is just awesome.

Harold: That's great.

February 14th, Charlie Brown and Patty are sitting on a little bench. Charlie Brown is forlorn. He says, “nobody loves me. Everybody hates me. I didn't get a single Valentine. Not one.” Patty says, “that's awful. Charlie Brown here. How do you like this?” She hands him a little piece of paper. Charlie Brown says “for me? oh boy. Wow.” He holds up the Valentine Patty gave him. “This is something a real Valentine.” Patty says, “don't take it too seriously. I'm just loaning it to you so you won't feel bad.”

Michael: Oh, as someone who never got Valentines this one breaks my heart. I want everybody feels sorry for me.

Jimmy: Oh,well, yeah, I went, I went to Catholic school and the rule was, if you brought one kid, a Valentine, you had to bring everybody.

Harold: That was my public school experience. It. Yeah, I don't, I do not have fond memories of, of the buying the, the box of 32 to match every classroom you were happened to be in and, and having to, to sign your name. And if there was anybody who did want to do something special with it, certainly wasn't going to show very easily in the in that 30-pack assorted sort of general statements in beautiful over saturated color.

Jimmy: By the way, assorted general statements would be the greatest name for a Valentine's company. I find you adequate.

Harold: You'll do.

Jimmy: You know the other thing looking at-- not to get off the Valentine's theme, but I really noticed in these strips, the first panel, a chunk of the real estate was cut out for the word Peanuts.

The title was in the upper left-hand corner of every one of these strips. So sometimes he has to kind of, you know, work around that, to where he places the word.

Harold: He had another indignity for Charles Schulz that he has no room to work in. And they're carving out a chunk of the upper left-hand corner, which is super important in that strip.

Jimmy: Probably the most important, the upper left-hand corner of the first panel, where you would expect the words to be. The other thing is, I believe if you look at the Sunday strips that also occurs on the second tier of the Sunday strips, like we were talking to the other episodes where they would remove the top tier sometimes.

If you look starting at that second tier, there's always a negative space in that upper left-hand corner. So I guess the people that wanted to cut that first strip off also were cutting the, or that top tier off. We're also cutting the title out. So they would be able to, to strip it in there.

Harold: So essentially what some people saw in that space, or maybe most people saw was like, like a negative, like a white, white Peanuts on a, on a black rectangle in the upper left-hand corner. Cause I remember seeing that in the strips that I was reading now in the Fantagraphics version, I think the version that's online they've removed that, but that's, that's a, that's an element of Peanuts that I, I remember as a newspaper experiences that you had this little design icon of that Peanuts in the upper hand corner.

What's odd to me is that it's not why wouldn't it have just universally been done I guess, because the word-- cause often they would put the title above the strip and a lot of the newspapers and they didn't want to have the redundance of it. So I guess you could get the, you get it both ways as, as photo stats.

If you were a newspaper, you get, you know, a week or two daily strips and you paste them in and you probably had your choice. Of which version you would put in based on how the paper decided to use its space and whether they were going to give credits above and outside of the strip.

Jimmy: Well, and also it would all universally, if you're doing it on the comics page, it would have been named above it.

None of the other strips were doing this. The reason there's the title on this one is because again, it was sold as a space saver. A lot of times it was on, you know, the women's page or the ad page in the Pottsville Republican, which was one of the two papers I grew up with. It was on the editorial page and in those instances, the title had to be a part of the artwork.

Harold: and has otherwise, it just would look awkward, especially if it was being done vertically.

I guess you wouldn't have much space in space at all. Right. Exactly. Yeah. Wow. That's rough. I feel for Charles Schulz on that one.

Jimmy: Tons of, of restrictions put on ‘em and they were reproduced so small, but he makes every millimeter count.

February 18th. Lucy comes up to Charlie Brown and says, “Charlie Brown, will you make me a sandwich? Charlie Brown is indignant. “What? Good grief, Lucy. You're going to drive me crazy. What a nuisance.” He's pounding on the ground in frustration. “Don't you think I've got anything else to do? Why do you always bother me Lucy?? Calmly Lucy asks, “are you through?” “Yes, I guess so what kind of sandwich do you want?”

Harold: Yeah, the frustrations of fatherhood, right? Just kind of coming out--

Michael: He’s used this joke a lot, but it was Lucy in the Charlie Brown place. You will see some of these coming up where Lucy will go into a rage. And then the last panel she'll just after, you know, getting it out of her system. She'll just say, okay.

Jimmy: Robert Short, who is an author who goes on to write the books, A Gospel, According to Peanuts and The Parables of Peanuts talks about how Schulz repeats poses for their iconic and emotional value again and again again, throughout the strip. And one of the ones that he really focused on is this panel, three of the character pounding the ground in anguish. And I think that might be the first time we've seen it. It certainly struck me like that.

Harold: Yeah. Yeah. And that's also odd because it's, to my eye, it's drawn a little bit high in the panel compared to where you would normally put that, or the average artist would have dropped him a little bit down so that the ground was closer to the bottom of the panel that does your eye, do your eyes see that?Or do you, does that not register?

Jimmy: It does register for me.

Harold: And I don't, I don't know why, I don't know why he would've done that, but it certainly makes that panel stand out more than I think even if it would had been done the way maybe more artists might have made the space, you know, even out.

Jimmy: Yeah.

The other thing is he's experimenting again with lettering, he's using the jagged kind of burst word balloon, which is, you know, stereotypically used in comics to denote shouting. He doesn't really do that very much later. He, he relies on the size and the boldness of the words within the balloon to convey that, and this one is even using a serif font. Cause he's going into again, his Dan Clouse period, doing a little serif lettering. I don't know how well any of that works,

Harold: but it's definitely very designy. I mean, again, that clean design, this, this is to me, another example of the amazing clean design on a strip.

Jimmy: And where we were going. We were just talking about the real detail in the Sunday strip.

This one has no backgrounds whatsoever. Just a little line indicating the ground here and there.

February 19th, Lucy is listening to a record. The record is playing and singing “Georgie Porgie, puddin’ and pie, kiss the girls and made them cry. When the boys came out to play Georgie, Porgie ran away.” Lucy takes the record off the turntable and says “what a neurotic he must've been.”

Michael: It's one of my all time favorites.

Jimmy: That is pure Peanuts. It's also the one that the cartoonist Seth who designs all the Peanuts books for Fantagraphics. It's the one that he selected for the back cover of this volume. I can't imagine there's too many instances where neurotic was used in a comic strip before this.

Michael: Certainly not out of a kid's mouth.

Jimmy: Well, I can't imagine it coming out of Popeye's

Michael: Maybe Mary Worth or something.

Jimmy: This might as well be-- we might as well announce it, but we're also starting a second podcast. Misunderstanding Mary Worth, where we are going to take a shallow dive into a hundred years of Mary Worth strips.

Harold: Subtitled “What Price Mary?”

VO: We'll have more with Jimmy, Michael and Harold as Unpacking Peanuts continues in 1953. Unpacking Peanuts is copyright Jimmy Gownley, Michael Cohen and Harold Buchholz. Produced by Liz Sumner. Music by Michael Cohen. For more from the show follow @unpackpeanuts on Instagram and Twitter. For more about Jimmy, Michael, and Harold visit

Have a wonderful day. And thanks for listening, you blockhead.

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