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1966 Part 2 - The Name's Patty... "Peppermint" Patty

Jimmy: Hey, everybody, we're back. Did you miss us? This is 1966 part two, a banner year for Charles Schulz and Peanuts. And, I just want to get right to it, so hello. Hope you're doing well. I'm Jimmy Gownley. I'm one of your hosts for this evening. You might know me as the cartoonist behind Amelia Rules. The Dumbest Idea Ever. Seven Good Reasons Not to Grow Up.

Joining me, as always, are my pals co hosts and fellow cartoonists. He's a playwright, he's a composer, both for the band Complicated People, as well as for this very podcast. He's the co creator of the original Comic Book Price Guide, the original editor for Amelia Rules, and the cartoonist behind such great strips as Strange Attractors, Tangled River, and A Gathering of Spells, Michael Cohen.

Michael: hey, there.

Jimmy: And he's the executive producer and writer of Mystery Science Theater 3000, a former vice president of Archie Comics, and the current creator of the instagram strip, Sweetest Beasts, Harold Buchholz.

Harold: Hello.

Jimmy: Guys, this is a jam packed year. We're just going to get right to it.

June 12. Snoopy is lying on top of his doghouse, and a very self satisfied and happy looking Charlie Brown is leaving his house, bringing Snoopy his dog food in his supper dish. Snoopy senses this in the third panel. He then sees Charlie Brown approaching with the food and yells, “Suppertime.” We now have five panels of outrageous Snoopy dancing as he yells, “Suppertime. Oh, it's suppertime. It's suppertime.” Spinning Charlie Brown around “yahoo. It's suppertime.” Full on blissful, Snoopy happy dance as he yells, “suppertime. Suppertime. Suppertime. Good old suppertime.” Then on one knee, like Al Jolson, he says, “suppertime” to Charlie Brown. Then in the last panel, Snoopy's back on all fours like a dog eating his dog food. Charlie Brown looks out at the reader and says, “I must admit, he's a very satisfying person to cook for.”

Jimmy: such a classic.

Harold: I'm thinking Schulz is seeing his work animated, and I'm wondering if this kind of thing just gives him a lot of joy of putting all this movement in here, knowing that maybe someday it will be animated.

Jimmy: I also feel that not just with the art and things like that, but I also feel he's thinking about these specials in some of the longer stories that he does this year, too.

Harold: That's interesting.

Jimmy: Yeah.

Jimmy: A lot of them, actually, I guess, do get animated in one form or the other over the years.

Harold: It's interesting, though, Schulz being Schulz. I don't think he's being affected by what he's seeing the animators do. He's still doing Schulz and moves that are not necessarily animation moves or they're pre-animation moves. I don't see anything new that he's pulled from, like, Bill Littlejohn who did some gorgeous Snoopy animation. This is still 100% Schulz with his own characters.

Jimmy: Yeah, like you would never want to, I mean, I can't imagine animating that middle panel for the third panel, rather, on tier two. Right. Snoopy is landing on his head. There's no way to avoid that.

Harold: Yeah, Snoopy is doing this strange arc, but he's just totally rigid, at the same time, with a smile on his face. That's wonderful stuff.

Jimmy: And Suppertime written along the side of the panel as opposed to across the top, which is very rare for Schulz to do something like that. But I love it.

Harold: Yeah. Liz and Michael, what do you know about this strip and how what it influenced? because was it animated ever or did it just become part of the musical that came out?

Jimmy: Well, the musical is animated eventually

Harold: Right.

Liz: There's a song from the musical that is directly I mean, it has all these lyrics in it. [sings]

Harold: And and that would have been written probably right around this time. This strip came out. Right.

Liz: Exactly

Harold; Wow.

Jimmy: Well, as we get a little further along and in, the later half of the 60s, we're going to have to take a look at the, at the musical someday.

Harold: Yeah.

June 19. Charlie Brown is scratching Snoopy on the head and sighing. He continues in panel, too. Just as a spoiler, he's going to be scratching Snoopy on the head throughout all of these panels.

Harold: A blissed out Snoopy.

That image in mind. Charlie Brown, though, says “what a bore.” As he continues scratching Snoopy's head. He says, “this is great for him. He'll sit there all day. As long as I scratch his head, what do I get out of it? A handful of tired fingers, that's what I get out of it. I stand here scratching and scratching and scratching. I do all the work while he just sits there. Sometimes I think he takes advantage of me. I'll end up getting tendonitis or something and have to go to a doctor and get a shot. I could stand here until both my arms fall off for all he cares. Good grief. I'm the sort of person people just naturally take advantage of. That's trouble with this world. Half the people are the kind who take advantage of the other half. Well, I'm not going to be the kind who gets taken advantage of. I'm not going to just stand here and scratch his head forever. I refuse to let someone take advantage of me this way. I'm not going to let him do it. I mean, why should I?” In the last panel, he says, “I'm just the sort of person people naturally take advantage of.”

Jimmy: And by the way, lettering wise, we have Scritch, Scritch, Scritch, scratch, scratch, scratch. Scroetch. Scroetch. Scroetch.

Harold: That's the scratch, scratch, scratch in German.

Jimmy: Yeah, German. Scrootch. Scrootch. Scrootch. And Scritch. Scritch. Scritch. Speaking of other languages, we were number two in Norway, guys.

Harold: Wow.

Jimmy: We're the number two visual arts podcast in Norway.

Michael: But we have encountered scritching before.

Jimmy: That's right. There was a whole Snoopy doesn't like to be scratched. He prefers to be scritched.

Harold: Right.

Jimmy: Yeah.

Harold: Ah, interesting. It looks like Snoopy has broadened his horizons now and is blissed out for just about anything. Charlie Brown.

Michael: Even scrotching.

Harold: I think it's nice that Charlie Brown is mixing it up for him, even as he not enjoy, I guess, to give himself a little bit of variety as he's griping about it.

Jimmy: Yes. And great drawings of Charlie Brown doing all of this. It's just really cute and adorable. The kind of thing that if I had this idea as a cartoonist, I wouldn't do it even if I thought it was really funny, because I wouldn't want to draw it. I wouldn't want to draw 1-2-3-4-5-6-7, 8,10 panels of Charlie Brown scratching Snoopy's head while he just talks and talks.

Harold: Well, if you're Gary Trudeau, you just draw once.

Jimmy: Well, no, he used to redraw them. Right.

Harold: He photocopied. How many times is he going to draw the White House? I would go insane if I had to draw the White House every single panel. I think there's probably a little bit of photostatting going on.

Jimmy: Who was the cartoonist that said, well, if all it takes to be a success is to draw four bad drawings of the White House every day, I don't know anything. Some very famous cartoonist. Well, we should, now I have to add Gary Trudeau.

Michael: That's probably Feiffer.

Harold: We're sorry, Gary.

Jimmy: And I'm a fan. I'm a fan.

June 20. We're part of another long storyline here. Now, we're back at camp from last year, but this time it's Linus. We're in the sailor cap, but our old pal Roy has showed back up. So we're getting a call back from a strip of a year ago. And in this one, Roy approaches Linus, who is sitting on the edge of a dock looking out over a little lake. And Roy says, “hi, my name is Roy. How are you doing?” Linus says, “oh, I'm doing all right, I guess.” Roy says, “you'll get to like this camp after a few days. I was here last year, and I thought I'd never make it, but I did.” Linus says, “oh.” Roy says, “you know what happened? I met this funny, roundheaded kid. I can't remember his name. He sure was a funny kid,” Roy continues, as Linus looks off with a look of shock and surprise on his face. As Roy says, “he was always talking about this peculiar dog he had back home and some nutty friend of his who dragged a blanket around.”

Michael: Schulz is really relying on having a rabid readership, I think not having to introduce a character who briefly appeared two years before.

Jimmy: That's wild.

Michael: He knew everybody was reading this.

Harold: Yeah. Or you're going to figure it out by the end of the strip anyway, right. But yeah, I just love Roy. He's got his Hawaiian shirt on. it just feels very Californian to me.

Jimmy: Roy with his hair and his Hawaiian shirt. I didn't realize this, but is clearly an inspiration for my character Raja, in Seven Good Reasons Not to Grow Up who wears Hawaiian shirts and has very similar hair.

Harold: I really like Roy. it's nice to see someone who's somewhat well adjusted in the strip now and again.

Jimmy: He's some-- he's the other town’s Shermy.

Harold: Yeah. Yeah. He's like the California Shermy. Right. Because Shermy feels very Minnesota to me.

Jimmy: California Shermy is another good band name, by the way.

Harold: And the details in this little strip as fast as he's drawing and as non representational, some of this stuff is I really love that little dock that they're sitting on together.

Jimmy: Yeah.

Harold: And, and the little little water ripples around the the post and the dock, and I don't know, it's just nice.

Jimmy: Yep. Him channeling his little inner Walt Kelly there for those water ripples.

June 23, we're inside the camp bunks now, and Roy comes up to Linus and says, “come on, Linus. Each of us is supposed to say a few words around the campfire tonight.” We then cut to outside, and Linus is indeed speaking around the campfire. And as he speaks to his fellow campers, he says, “as I stand here tonight, far from home, I am reminded of the words from Jeremiah. Keep your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears, for your work shall be rewarded, says the Lord, and they shall come back from the land of the enemy. There is hope for the future, says the Lord, and your children shall come back to their own country.” Then in the last panel, Linus finishes with, “incidentally, have any of you ever been told about the Great Pumpkin?”

Harold: You've got these guys, all with their little hats on in the darkness of this fireside that Linus is lit up by, and it's all silhouette except for these vacant white eyes looking at Linus. It's great.

Jimmy: I love that second panel.

Harold: And I love that Linus is-- he goes to the camp. The story goes, he goes to the camp against his will. This is really something he didn't want to do. And so here he is being philosophical about it by quoting Jeremiah that the children will come back to their own country. That and queen snakes are the things that Linus is thinking about while he's at camp. And this was the kind of thing, when I was a kid reading, I was like, I never want to go to camp because Charles Schulz said it looks so horrible.

Jimmy: What is up with the sailor hats? Is that a camp thing?

Liz: No.

Jimmy: Why do I even register them as sailor caps, really?

Harold: I think they think they're sailor caps, right?

Michael: I think they’re concentration camp hats.

Harold: yeah. Thank you. Charles Schulz I never, ever brought up going to camp in my family, and they never brought it up to me. That was something I just did not want to do. And, I think Peanuts did have a huge part of that. I'm living in New York now, where kids go to camp all over the place. They're gone for weeks from their families. Here in New York area, that was not my life. I was hanging out at home all summer unless we were visiting relatives.

Jimmy: Yeah, I knew a couple of kids who would go to sleep away camps for a specific thing like basketball or whatever, but I never did. I did a couple of day camps. That is not this.

Harold: It's amazing how negative when you say sleep away camp, I just think of the horror film.

Jimmy: Of course.

Harold: I think this is something that Charles Schulz scarred me for camps for life.

Jimmy: Yeah. Hey, we're here on episode two of 1966 and last episode, Linus and Lucy were moving away. Here we are. We never really discussed it. Why are they back?

Harold: Boy, talk about not wrapping up, not sticking the landing. They just show up again. I mean, it's funny. It's funny that nothing's changed.

Jimmy: I guess our dad didn't like it or something.

Harold: Yeah. Yeah. I would have loved to have more middle, and I guess yeah, the ending is kind of depressing, but it is funny.

Jimmy: Well, boy, Jaime Hernandez in Love and Rockets took this to the extreme. I mean, his main characters are Maggie and Hopie, and he split them up for years.

Harold: Wow.

Jimmy: Hopie he went off, with her band and never came back.

Harold: Really?

Jimmy: I mean, didn't come back for years and years until the last issue, actually, I think of the original series.

Harold: Wow.

Jimmy: That may have gone on a touch too long. So somewhere in that middle ground, if you're going to do the people are moving away storyline yeah.

Harold: Isn't it weird that you could have had the pressure to do a spin off a strip?

Jimmy: Oh, that's true.

Harold: That just wasn't done back then. Is there an example of a strip before here where they--

Jimmy: Hi and Lois. Hi and Lois-- doesn't that go back to the 50s?

Harold: which came from?

Jimmy: Beetle Bailey,

Harold: who was in Beetle Bailey?

Jimmy: I think Lois and Beetle are brother and sister. I may be making this entirely up.

Harold: No, I don't think you're hallucinating. I think that is true. I was just thinking of Mort Walker, actually. I was like, if anyone would have done a spin off, it would be Mort Walker. And he did. But can you imagine, like, a strip where Linus and Lucy moved to Peppermint Patty's neighborhood and then he was just Schulz was having to keep both of those things going with those characters.

Jimmy: You could absolutely see it in a Mort Walker style world where you'd have to have other hands developing, and it wouldn't be the same personal thing, but if you were just trying to make a commercial success, I think you have the raw materials, too. He could have made three or four.

Harold: Right.

Michael: Well, Al Capp had Fearless Fosdick, which was kind of a strip within the strip.

Harold: Well, that's true.

Michael: Different characters.

Harold: He probably could have spun that off if he had wanted to. Although probably Dick Tracy, Chester Gould would cease and desist. Lots of cease and desist in my head.

Jimmy: I'm actually here, looking up Hi and Lois real quick. It doesn't seem to say anything on it.

Harold: Yeah. Cause Beetle started out--

Jimmy: oh, yeah. Flagstons first appeared in Walker’s Beetle Bailey.

Harold: Essentially the University of Missouri Columbia. So what was it first? Yeah.

Jimmy: Yeah. 1954. So, yeah, that's probably yeah, other than the examples of strips being taken over by a different character. But that must must be one of the very first spinoff strips.

Harold: Man, Walker was-- what an enterprising guy. I mean, it's crazy, the enclave of people that were kind of around him that came out of what he was doing. yeah.

Jimmy: To me, he's always, like, the professional newspaper cartoonist.

Harold: Yeah. And Schulz is the craft brew strip.

Jimmy: Yeah, exactly.

July 11. Linus and Lucy are in their living room. Lucy is looking left and right, trying to figure out where the TV has gone. She says, “where's the TV?” Linus, in classic thumb and blanket pose, says, “It's gone. Mom said, we fought so much over what programs we were going to watch, she decided to put it away.” Lucy shocked says “no TV?” She then grabs Linus by his shirt and says, “no TV at all?” “None. None at all.” Then she screams at the top of her voice, “I'll die.”

Michael: That's Liz.

Liz: It's true.

Harold: Yeah. I'm guessing mom did take the TV away. I'm guessing this did. Feels real life. Yeah. And boy, as a little kid reading this, I was like, Whoa, that's intense. No TV.

Jimmy: Yeah, that is intense.

July 18, it continues now Linus is watching TV, and Lucy says, “Our TV is back.” Linus says, “Mom says we can have it as long as we don't fight over it.” Lucy says, “Is this a good program you're watching? There's some cartoons on the other channel. You like cartoons, don't you? Why don't we watch some cartoons? Why don't I just turn this knob?” Linus turns and yells, “Mom.” In the last panel we see the TV has been whisked away with only the trailing power plug behind it. And Lucy sheepishly smiles at a furious Linus, saying, “Read any good books lately?”

Michael: Well, Linus is partly at fault for that, too. He didn't have to.

Jimmy: Yeah, he again, snitches, I'm surprised that.

Harold: He didn't reverse the final panel here, because Lucy is obviously instigating here, but in this very, what do you call it, she's sneaky about it.

Jimmy: Seemed like she's possibly ingratiating herself,

Harold: Possibly winning Linus over, she's suggesting. And then before we even know they turn the channel, Linus is yelling, mom. I would expect it in the final panel for Lucy to be glaring at Linus. And he saying, Read any good books lately? With a sheepish grin because he kind of jumped the gun.

Jimmy: Yeah, I guess I do see that. But, boy, I love that drawing of Lucy. And the plug makes the list of great mid century things. Schulz's drawing I love also, that's the evidence of an adult. We don't see the adult, but we see the action of her.

Harold: Yeah. And it does look like they needed to have dusted underneath the TV because there's a big cloud where that was rolled away.

August 7. Linus is standing outside with his blanket. Sally approaches him and says, “I'm going to ask you a question, and I'd like a straight answer.” Linus says ”good luck.” Now I relate to Linus. Sally says, “do you intend to hold onto that blanket for the rest of your life? Linus says, “what do you care?” Sally says, “Well, I've always sort of regarded you as husband material.” And Linus says, “forget it.” He is unperturbed. He is staying in his classic position. Now Charlie Brown comes up, and Sally says, “he just insulted me, big brother. Slug him.” Now Lucy comes up and says, “who's going to slug who?” Charlie Brown, baffled by all of it, says, “what now? Sally says, Go ahead, big brother. Slug him a good one.” Sally's furious. Linus is, unperturbed. Now Lucy is into it, and she gets into her fighting pose. “All right, Charlie Brown, I've heard enough. Come on, put them up. Put them up, and let's get this over right now. Come on, put them up.” Charlie Brown is rolling his eyes. Sally sticks her tongue out at Linus “Bleah.” And Linus looks irritated by this. Now we cut away. And there is the World War I flying ace, crawling over a hill. He looks on at the scene and says, “here's the World War I pilot down behind enemy lines. What's this? It looks like a skirmish. Probably two squads of infantry.” He bowls them over as if he's a bowling ball and they are pins. And he yells, “Charge.” Then in the last panel, they're all piled up on top of each other the kids, anyway, in the wreckage of Snoopy's, attack. And Charlie Brown says, “I never know what's going on.”

Michael: This is brilliant because he's playing off all these established relationships. He goes from Sally and Linus and then switches it to Sally and her brother and then Lucy and Charlie Brown. And then it becomes everybody. And then Snoopy just disrupts the whole thing. But unless you knew these characters, it wouldn't make any sense.

Jimmy: Could you imagine if you didn't know them? And suddenly, there's the dog with the helmet. It's utterly absurd. It's so great up until Snoopy attacks. the rest of it feels very real. Feels like this could be a kid conversation in the driveway. A bunch of kids just acting up. and then there's the surreal element comes in and of course through all of it, the normal stuff or the surreal stuff, Charlie Brown has no idea what's happening.

Harold: I love Lucy's legs sticking up in the back of a pile, straight up. This is what I think does help me connect me to the Snoopy and the Red Baron ones in the occasional overlap with the kids' worlds. I really do appreciate that in the strips because the monologue ones are a little rough to get through for me. But when we see the absurdity of the juxtaposition of the two worlds, that's when I really enjoy Snoopy and the Red Baron. That and Snoopy wearing the goggles because whenever Snoopy's in something looks like sunglasses, it's really cool.

Jimmy: It's always a good look.

August 8, Charlie Brown and Linus are just sitting outside up against a wooden fence. Linus says, “life is difficult, isn't it Charlie Brown?” Charlie, Brown says, “yes it is.” As they walk away now, they're at the thinking wall and Charlie Brown says, but I've developed a new philosophy. “I only dread one day at a time.”

Jimmy: That's a world famous comic strip.

Michael: Wise words.

Jimmy: Absolutely.

August 18, We're in the middle of another long story. This is Snoopy as the Red Baron and he's escaping captivity. In panel one we see him headbutting Charlie Brown in the stomach with his leash flying behind him. Snoopy thinks “A desperate bid for freedom.” Charlie Brown “oof” as Snoopy collides with him. Then we see Snoopy running as Linus is walking by pulling a little red wagon behind him. Snoopy thinks to himself “as the escaping pilot flees across the countryside, he suddenly spots the ammunition train he was sent to destroy.” Panel three we see Snoopy fangs bared leaping on top of Linus in the wagon. He thinks to himself, “he leaps on the engineer. The train is derailed” and Snoopy runs off, leaving Charlie Brown and Linus in the foreground, both looking totally shaken. Snoopy thinks to himself, “here's the World War I pilot racing across no man's land to rejoin his outfit. Shells burst, bullets fly.” Linus says to Charlie Brown. “Charlie Brown, why don't you try raising goldfish or something?”

Michael: I agree with Harold. When Snoopy's reacting with supposedly the real world, I like it better rather than imagining and seeing what he imagines.

Jimmy: Yeah I love that first panel where he's headbutting Charlie Brown in the stomach. That is just hilarious. As is the third panel. Actually all the panels are funny.

Harold: The third panel, yeah. I love it when Linus's hair is just totally gone wild. When he's caught by surprise and the little tongue sticking out underneath and Snoopy's bared fangs, and the little red wagon being upended. Now when I look at that little red wagon. For some reason, based on the perspective, it's a little bit wonky. Makes me think of Calvin and Hobbes.

Jimmy: Oh, it's completely a Calvin and Hobbes wagon. Absolutely. That's it's almost like a modernist expressionistic version of the Sled. Love it.

Oh, boy. Here we go.

Michael: Good luck. Just pretend you're Danny Kay.

Harold: Happy New Year.

Jimmy: Well, I always pretend I'm Danny Kay, for God's sake.

August 20. Lucy is hanging out on Schroeder's piano, annoying him. She says, “you think Beethoven was great? Well, what about Chopin,”

Michael: or as we originally read it, Choppin

Jimmy: That's what threw me off, because I was going to say choppin.

“How about Chopin? Bach? Mozart, Bloch, Bartok, Berlioz,. Bizet, Brahms, Delius, Debussey and Dvorak.”

Jimmy: Am I getting close?

Harold: Did you say Delius?

Jimmy: Yeah.

“What about Elgar, Franck, Glinka, Grieg, Handel, Haydn, Humperdinck Liszt, Mahler, Mendelssohn, Ravel, Rachmaninov, Schubert, Sibelius, Tchaikovsky and Vivaldi?” “They were great, too.” “Rats. For one brief moment I thought I had him.”

Jimmy: I always liked that strip.

Michael: Yeah.

Jimmy: I didn't know Humperdinck was a real composer. I only knew him as Engelbert Humperdinck until Michael--

Michael: Podcasts can be educational.]

Jimmy: Absolutely. You're the music head. Michael, do you have a favorite?

Michael: Yeah. Ravel.

Harold: There you go.

Jimmy: You heard it here first.

August 22. This is an exciting moment. A young girl arrives from the future. Peppermint Patty is at a table. Her pal Roy, who we've met from the last two years at summer camp, is writing a letter. She says to Roy “hi, Roy. Who are you writin’ to?” Roy says, “I'm writing to a little kid named Linus that I met at camp several weeks ago.” Patty enthusiastically says, I”s he cute? If he is, tell him your very good friend Peppermint Patty says hello. Tell him what a real swinger I am,” she says as she holds her head in her hand, looking thoughtful. Then she walks away saying, “put in a good word for me, Roy. And the next time we Indian wrestle, I'll try not to clobber you.”

Michael: Yeah, she comes in pretty strong, like a freight train because usually new characters either come up as little kids or they have one obvious schtick, like natural curly hair and it takes them a while to develop. Yeah, she's just right there.

Jimmy: Yeah.

Harold: How many different adjectives could you come up from her just from this one strip that you now know Peppermint Patty is?

Jimmy: Right. She's confident. She's forceful. She's obviously a tomboy because she's Indian wrestling. She's a swinger.

Harold: She thinks she's a swinger. And she's informal. She's saying writin. Is that the first Peanuts character who's ever dropped the--

Jimmy: Well, first off, I could ask this question is this the first comic strip ever? We never seem to know these things. Is this the first use of a question mark? I definitely think, he's doing it on purpose because if there's one thing we've talked about, it's the fact that, he has a certain formality to his language. And Peppermint Patty doesn't. Like I sort of also get, you know, peppermint Patty doesn't fully understand what a swinger is either, you know, but she hers.

Michael: Well, Frank Sinatra. Clearly.

Jimmy: Yeah, well, that's true. I don't know what swinging meant in the 60s versus the 70s,

Michael: But she just dominates from the minute she comes in, she just takes over.

Harold: I mean, yeah.

Michael: Up till this point, we've, we've noticed a few samples of strips without the main characters, without the big four, how rare they were, and boom, there's a whole sequence here of just her and Roy.

Harold: This is what I would call the first all California strip.

Jimmy: I can definitely see that for sure.

Harold: Well, they feel California instead of Minnesota to me. we did have Snoopy surfing before, but these two characters just they put out that California, maybe Northern California vibe.

Jimmy: I love that third panel, totally fresh with Peppermint Patty with their head in their hands. I think that is the cutest thing.

Harold: Well, I think of your heroines and your comics, Jimmy, when I see Peppermint Patty here, there's something about that mixture of confidence and kind of goodwill, and they're taking on the world in her own way.

Jimmy: She's a hugely influential character. I really do feel like looking at her. She is like the proto YA comics heroine. She lives in a much more real world than the other kids. She has real problems. She's scruffy. The other kids are put together with the exception of maybe Pig Pen, obviously, and maybe to a degree, Linus. But she just looked like her hair is wind blown. She doesn't even look sixties to me. She looks seventies. And it's years ahead. She's a great character. Great character and unnecessary, quotation marks both on Peppermint and on hello.

Harold: Yeah, it makes you wonder, the inflection how she did say that.

Jimmy: Yes.

August 28, Another great one where we get to see a bunch of characters hanging out in a line. I love that they're in a line, apparently for a movie. Panel one, Pig Pen's up front. He says “one please.”

Michael that's I think his solo appearance for the year.

Harold: is it really? Wow.

Jimmy: Yeah. So Schulz was down on Pig Pen.

Panel two, we, see Patty looking in her little purse for some money. She says, “one please.” Lucy says “one please.” Sally says “one please.” Now, Charlie Brown's up front. He says “one, please.” Throughout all of this, right behind, Charlie Brown has been Snoopy, standing there with his eyes closed. Snoopy now arrives at the front of the line and says, “I don't even know what's going on.”

Michael: By the way, if you're ever in doubt for a last panel punchline, I don't know what's going on will always work.

Jimmy: I was just going to say-- He goes to that again. Oh my God. He goes to it again and again and again.

Harold: I just have a couple of observations of the kids. So, the two characters who need to break a bill for their purchase are Pig Pen and Sally. And why on earth didn't Patty open-- She's been in line. Why didn't she open her change purse in advance? She's holding people up.

Jimmy: You are really holding up the line. Patty, come on.

September 4. Charlie Brown is out on the mound. He lets the one rip. Schroeder comes out, though, and it looks like he may have taken, a foul tip or something on the fingers. Charlie Brown says “what happened? What's the matter?” Schroeder says, “I got hit on the finger with a foul tip.” Charlie Brown says to him, “Is it going to be all right? Are you going to be able to play?” Schroeder says, “I'm not sure. I'll have to find out.” We then see him leaving the field, running home. He sits in front of his piano, knocks off a quick concerto, then runs back to the field and says to Charlie Brown, “it's all right, I can play.” Charlie Brown says, I never have any idea what's going on. No. He says, “that isn't exactly what I meant.”

Michael: I just liked this one.

Harold: It's great. It's great. And I love that the Schroder is being really gentle on himself because you can see it's double PP, the, double soft little segment that he's playing on the piano so he doesn't overdo it.

Jimmy: And I love that he's playing the piano in the catcher's outfit. That's just fantastic. There is just something special about him being the catcher. He's the one guy that has delicate hands that he needs to protect, and he plays the roughest position on the team. I admire Schroeder for that.

September 19. this is a famous one, a long sequence. We've talked about it before. The first comic panel I ever saw of Peanuts. Charlie Brown is in bed. He says, “Sniff, I smell smoke. Sniff, sniff.” The next panel, Snoopy is kicking the door down. Bam, bam, bam, bam. Charlie Brown runs out to see what's going on and says, “what in the world?” As we see Snoopy looking off panel, right in the direction of something that's casting a bright light. In the last panel we see it is, in fact, Snoopy's doghouse on fire. And Snoopy is saying, “my books, my records, my pool table, my Van Gogh.” He sobs. Charlie Brown looks on, comforting him and saying, “good grief.”

Michael: it looks consequential.

Jimmy: Yeah, obviously we've talked about this a number of times. I was a little disappointed you guys didn't. Earlier in the year, Snoopy, is talking about the contents of his dog house and two of the birds who are hanging around all year actually try to steal his Van Gogh. And the picture of the two birds stealing the Van Gogh is one of the funniest, funniest things going on.

Harold: Yeah. What are those? Like, catbirdlars? Okay, that's getting cut.

Jimmy: I never have any idea what's going on.

Harold: so Schulz did lose his art studio. It did burn down this year. So this is again something very personal from his life that he's going through.

Jimmy: Absolutely. It's a great sequence, it's a longish sequence. And we do see Snoopy recovers. He ends up with an Andrew Wyeth. Which may not be as valuable as a Van Gogh, but certainly a nice piece. We go to--

September 22, where we just see Snoopy walking around and then he, he comes up upon his now burned out husk of a doghouse. It's really just the frame of it, but he still managed by panel four. He still manages to get up on top and assume his classic lying on top of the doghouse pose.

Michael: Even though I rarely laugh out loud, this was my laugh out loud moment reading this year's comics because it's almost so obvious once you see it as a gag. But it was just good. That's just brilliant.

Jimmy: Beautifully drawn, burned out doghouse and not photocopied three times. Those are three very different drawings.

October 2. Well, we have just a purely visual strip. It is tons of panels of Snoopy walking through various European countryside, a little French village, through a little wooded area, over a bridge, over some sort of river. It's day, it's night. And then at the very end, after 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8, 9-10, 11-12, 13-14, after 14 panels, we finally see Snoopy resting up against a rock in the last panel. And he says “they're right. It is a long way to Tipperary.”

Michael: I think you guys are right. You were talking about Schulz maybe getting a little bored with people standing around talking for four panels. And I guess this is the artist coming out.

Harold: He did do a lot of sketching that I think he got to hang on to at least a little of from World War II. Do you think he was referring to some of that here?

Jimmy: Well, I don't know if he was referring to actual drawings or if he was just referring to his memory. But I'm sure that plays when…

Harold: When I see that fence.

Jimmy: Things like the little bicycle wheel and--

Harold: The fence, the way it's kind of strapped together. It just seems like it's such an original detail that he must have been using a reference specifically.

Jimmy: Yeah, that definitely has a very specific feel to it, like I said, as does the little cartwheel, or whatever is in the next last panel. and obviously panel one with just what clearly looks like--

Michael: Yeah, that makes me think of Bill Malden, who is a good friend of his, I believe.

Jimmy: Yeah. I'm not sure at what point, but eventually yes, very much.

Michael: Yeah. And Malden was always having his characters walk through devastated wartime landscapes.

Jimmy: Yeah, we've talked about him a little bit in the past, but one of Schulz's and one of most GIs from the World War II era's. Favorite cartoonist did a strip called Willie and Joe that was about two US. GIs.

Michael: Yeah, it was called Up Front, but that's okay.

Jimmy: Oh, featured Willie and Joe.

Michael: Yeah.

October 3. Charlie Brown's at the psychiatric booth. Lucy is counseling him. She says, “there was a real lesson to be learned from seeing Snoopy's house burn down.” She continues, “Adversity builds character. Without adversity, a person could never mature and face up to all of the things in life.” Charlie Brown says, “what things?” Lucy says “more adversity.”

Michael: Yeah, she's right. She's worth a nickel.

Jimmy: Yeah. That makes me feel that there has to be some Catholic back there in Schulz's DNA somewhere. And I know that you can't have Catholic DNA…

Harold: Midiclorians or whatever they’re called?

Jimmy: Midiclorians! First off, I'm blown away that, you know what midiclorians are. That's amazing, Harold. I have no idea how you grokked that from the because there's zero chance you saw that movie.

Harold: No, we did see it in theaters, and we were just talking about it two days ago, I think, so that was right on top of mind. … my entire pop culture experience. After I saw JarJar Binks, I've not seen a new film since.

Jimmy: I think that's a good point to just tap out. I saw that movie six times in the theater trying to convince myself it.

Harold: how did that go?

Jimmy: And by like, the fifth one, I was like, One more time, I'm giving.

Michael: Now you're dissing Jar Jar.

Jimmy: Oh, my gosh.

Michael: No one does that.

Jimmy: The list goes on. Actually, I feel bad for that poor actor. I mean, he did the best he could.

November 6. Lucy's hanging out at the psychiatry booth, just waiting for a customer to come up. And here he comes, good old Charlie Brown. Charlie Brown arrives at the booth and we see Lucy, who is just sitting there with her hand extended in a handshake type of motion. And Charlie Brown says, “what are you doing? Lucy says, I want to shake your hand. A doctor sometimes can tell a lot about a patient merely by shaking his hand.” Charlie Brown very sheepishly shakes Lucy's hand. Then Lucy says, “Mercy. I can't believe it.” Charlie Brown says “what's the matter?” Lucy looks legitimately shook by this. She says “it's fantastic. I never would have believed it. The things you can learn about someone just by shaking his hand.” Charlie Brown says “what's the matter?” Lucy is continuing. She's just stunned. And she walks away saying, “oh, I can't tell you this is one of those things that can never be discussed with a patient. It's so much better that you don't know. Actually, I still can't believe it. I just can't believe it.” This leaves Charlie Brown screaming “Aaugh” to the heavens, not knowing what is his problem.

Harold: I never know what's going on.

Jimmy: His problem is Lucy.

Michael: This is like the man in the Macintosh. This is the thing that will never be resolved.

Jimmy: There is always a man in the Macintosh, someone there who you do not expect. Who is it, by the way? Is it Joyce himself? This is a James Joyce thing. Liz actually has an ongoing edict to cut all James Joyce references. We'll see how this goes.

November 18. Charlie Brown, in the middle of another long storyline, has become the crossing guard. He is now ushering his friends across a no doubt busy suburban street and says, “all right, let's go. Pay attention to your safety Patrol. Let's go, you guys. Let's go. Hurry it up.” Frieda and Violet walk by, and Frieda says, “have you ever noticed how obnoxious some people get if you give them a badge or a uniform or a hat or a club or a sign or something?” Charlie Brown says, c”ome on, girls, hurry it up.” Violet turns after passing by, she turns back at Charlie Brown and says, “bleah.” Charlie Brown yells after her, “you can't fool me. That was a jealous Bleah.”

Michael: Notice that there are two characters who turn fascist in this year.

Harold: And this is also the year of Bleah.

Jimmy: Very much the year of Bleah, and not knowing what's going on. But as we'll see, Charlie Brown, he becomes fascist of the safety patrol. Linus also has tendencies, but, you know, Linus had them earlier when he was running for president. He says, we're going to get rid of a bunch of stuff. And then he says, we may even get rid of stupid elections like this. So Linus has those tendencies.

Michael: The two people you wouldn't suspect as being crypto fascists.

October 20. Linus and the World War I flying ace are out standing on a street corner. Linus says, “let's see. Peppermint Patty said she lived on Wardwick Avenue. She said to go south on Melendez Boulevard to Bartley Lane. And then to. And then to, to.” Linus realizes something and says to Snoopy, “let's face it, Snoopy, we're lost.” Snoopy is shocked. “Lost?” Linus says, “I can't stand to see a bodyguard cry.” Snoopy does, in fact, cry. “Waah”

Harold: Wow, what a great drawing. Is Snoopy crying?

Michael: Okay, who are those four names?

Harold: All right Aziza

VO: Peanuts Obscurities Explained

Jimmy: We have not done a Peanuts obscurity have we.

Harold: That's why we had to do this one.

Jimmy: That's great.

Harold: So do you guys remember this name? Has, I believe, come up before. on Wardwick Avenue.

Jimmy: I do not know.

Harold: Wardwick is Schulz's ophthalmologist and golf buddy.

Jimmy: Oh, I was going to say that.

Harold: And then, I guess some of our listeners would know that, Melendez Boulevard is a tribute to

Jimmy: Joe Boulevard.

Harold: Joe Boulevard, who was the inventor of the golf ball washer. No.

Jimmy: And the boulevard.

Harold: So Bill Melendez studio was making the animated films for Schulz and with Schulz. And then there's Bartley Lanes, I think, is a new one, although we're going to see it again. The Bartley family is honored multiple times, but I'm guessing this is referring to Charles R. Bartley, who was also a golf buddy who lived in Santa Rosa, and at the time of recording, is, still living in Santa Rosa at 98 years old.

Jimmy: All right, way to go. Hey, so since we're almost at the end of the year, what about the old Anger-ometer?

Harold: All right, so let's go back to 1965. So, for those of you new to our podcast, every year, for no particular reason, I go back and look through all of the strips and try to find instances in at least one panel in a strip, of the character showing anger or happiness. And then I add them all up and compare them to the previous year. And before I share that, I ask Jimmy, and Michael if they think that this year was more or less angry or happy than the previous year.

Jimmy: I'm going first this time. It is much less angrier. It is much happier.

Harold: ooh Listen to you. What do you think, Michael?

Michael: yeah, well, I think we have less anger here, but part of that is because Snoopy is like fighting the Red Baron for half the strips.

Harold: You think he's angry when he's fighting the Red Baron?

Michael: No, I don't think those count as angry.

Jimmy: Well, they're going to count in Harold’s world,

Harold: in certain instances. curse this war and all that stuff. He's not happy.

Michael: I'll just go with they're the same.

Harold: All right, well, you guys can interpret this, but there were 106 of the strips in ‘65 that were angry. 29%. And it's just about the same. 111, in

Jimmy: but it's not the same. It's higher. Meaning I am right.

Harold: All right, Jimmy, you need one? We'll give it to you.

Jimmy: I need a win, people.

Harold: And also, happiness was higher than anger, in 1965 by ten strips, 116. And the happiness is indeed up in 1966, 132, 36%. And I think maybe we can thank, some people, like Peppermint Patty, maybe, for adding a little bit more happiness to the strip. Who knows?