Jimmy: Hey, everybody, welcome back to the show. This is Unpacking Peanuts, where we're discussing 1967. Hope you guys are doing well. I'm Jimmy Gownley. I'm your host for this evening. I'm also the cartoonist of Amelia Rules, Seven Good Reasons Not to Grow Up, and the Dumbest Idea Ever. Joining me, as always, are my pals co hosts and fellow cartoonists.
He's a playwright and 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 he's the cartoonist of such fabulous strips as Strange Attractors, A Gathering of Spells, and Tangled River. 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.
Jimmy: Guys, we barely got to April last episode, so I think we just get right to the strips.
Harold and Michael: Sure.
Jimmy: Now, if you guys are out there listening and you want to follow along, you could fire up Gocomics.com, type in Peanuts, type in 1967, and, you could just then punch in the dates as we go along, and you can read along with us. If you want to get a heads up on what we're going to be discussing in every episode, you can go to our website, UnpackingPeanuts.com where you could sign up for our newsletter. It's a monthly newsletter where we tell you what strips we're going to be covering in each episode, and, what, if any, special episodes or guests are coming up. So, with that out of the way, let's get right to it.
April 16. Charlie Brown is out on the mound. Looks like he's getting ready to start the game. Snoopy is out in the field. He's kind of, rolling his eyes to the heavens as Charlie Brown is on the mound getting ready to start. Snoopy approaches him from behind and clears his throat. Charlie Brown, is surprised by the interruption, then turns and sees Snoopy and yells “right in the middle of a ball game? Are you out of your mind? I'm trying to pitch. Can't you see that? I've got to concentrate on what I'm doing.” Snoopy now looks really annoyed as Charlie Brown says, “oh, now you're going to be hurt, aren't you? Oh, good grief. All right, come here.” Then the next panel, Snoopy takes his hat off, and Charlie Brown scratches his head. Scritch. Scritch. Scritch Scritch. Scritch. Then Snoopy walks away, sighing, satisfied. Charlie Brown looks out at us and says, “no wonder Sandy Koufax retired.”
Michael: Harold, do you want to do your obscurity? I can't believe this is an obscurity.
Harold: No, this is not an obscurity, but I am looking at, his pitching career. And I could see this would be heartbreaking for people who, were following the Dodgers. He had, like it was crazy. He had, like, four seasons in a row where he won three quarters or more of the games. And his last year was his best earned run average ever as a pitcher.
Michael: Oh, it was insane. He was the best pitcher ever if he stayed healthy.
Harold: So what happened? Did he..?
Michael: oh, it was arm problems. He just retired young at the absolute height of his career.
Michael: And legendary. My experience with Sandy Koufax was a little weird. I grew up in LA, In a Jewish family, and everybody was Dodger fans, of course, all fanatic Dodger fans. And of the Dodgers, Sandy Koufax, the only Jew in baseball, possibly at that time, was considered possibly slightly below Moses in the estimation of Dodger fans. Jewish Dodger fans. Yeah. He was worshiped. I, of course, was a San Francisco Giant fan. Who. That was like the big rivalry. Dodgers hated the Dodger fans, hated Giant fans, vice versa. And the Giant ace pitcher, Juan Marichal from the Dominican Republic, was my hero. And so, of course, whenever those two had a match up here, I was rooting for Juan Marichal instead of Sandy Koufax to the total despair of my family. That's my story.
Harold: Yeah, well, I like that. Charlie Brown thinks that Sandy probably had to scratch his dog's head in the middle of the game.
Jimmy: That was the deciding factor in his retirement.
April 19. Linus, some strange looking girl, and Snoopy I'm kidding. It's the original Patty are walking outside. Linus says to Patty, “have you ever heard of a Cheshire Cat?” Patty says, “sure, in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.” Then Patty continues, “remember how she saw this grinning cat up in a tree? And remember how it kept disappearing all the time?” Patty continues, “the cat disappeared little by little, until only its grin was left. I always liked that part.” Now we see Snoopy has been listening to this, and he himself has a wide grin on his face in the last panel. As Patty walks away, Linus looks back and sees just the floating grin of Snoopy. As Patty says, “it's a great story, but impossible, of course.”
Michael: Now, Jimmy.
Michael: You may think I hate this, considering that the little propeller eared Snoopy yes. For some reason, this doesn't bother me. I love this.
Harold: It is such an adorable drawing, Snoopy. It's hard to describe it if you haven't seen it, but it's like this cheesy little smile that is really high up, underneath the nose. It's so cute.
Jimmy: Well, for my reaction to the Cheshire Beagle, let's go to 4-22.
Lucy walks up. Snoopy is sitting on top of his doghouse, and Lucy says, “if you pull any of that Cheshire Beagle stuff on me, I'll pound you.” Snoopy has a big grin. Still has a big grin. As Lucy walks away, and in the last panel, he's frowning, and it's just the floating grin, and he thinks to himself, “rats.”
Jimmy: That is so funny. I love that you guys like it so weird. I cannot predict either of you.
That is delightful.
Harold: Absolutely love that. Yeah. And again, going back to your Sgt. Pepper, statement about this year, what's your take on what's going on in Schulz's creativity here?
Jimmy: Well, it is weird, too, to even bring up the idea of Lewis Carroll in April of 1967.
Michael: Wait, you got to remember, this is the year of the Jefferson Airplane White Rabbit.
Jimmy: Right. Well, that didn't come out--
Michael: the counterculture embraced Lewis Carroll and Alice in Wonderland totally.
Jimmy: That's what I’m saying. When did White Rabbit came out? Yeah. Well, because it's so obviously a parallel with psychedelics.
Michael: Yeah and Pepper with-- clearly Lucy in the sky has all kinds of references.
Harold: So White Rabbit is released in June.
Jimmy: In June. That's what I'm saying. He is always just a little bit ahead. It's very strange. He's a World War II vet, straight as an arrow Sunday school teacher. But he has somehow this weird connection. This is months ahead of White Rabbit. Months ahead of Sergeant Pepper. Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds is famously filled with Alice and Wonderland style imagery.
Harold: And when does Sergeant Pepper come out?
Jimmy: June 1 and June 2.
Michael: Yeah, but yeah, he beat it for a couple of months.
Harold: Like we were saying, Schulz is at the center of things. I didn't mention this, last week. So he's on the cover of Life magazine in March, and he received a certificate of merit from the Art Directors Club of New York, which I bet meant a lot to him and that You're In Love, Charlie Brown. I guess the Valentine's Day special does come out this year. It's, Charles Schulz day in California on May 20.
Jimmy: You're In Love Charlie Brown. I don't think is--
Harold: it's not a Valentine's Day one?
Jimmy: It's not the Valentine's special that Duncan was on anyway.
Harold: No, this would have been way before that, obviously. And then You're A Good Man Charlie Brown opens off Broadway as well. And there's a lot more of the books coming out around the world, mostly in Europe at this point, the specials and all of that. Yeah. This is a ramping up year. I mean, he's not even at the peak at this point in terms of that popularity. But, boy, it's moving fast for him.
April 28. I love this strip. Snoopy with his little chin up on top of a table, spies a piece of paper and a pen. He looks around to see if anyone's looking. Then, in panel three, he makes a little doodle. And in panel four, we see what it was. These are classic doodles people used to do. One is a little cat made out of some circles and a couple of triangles. And the other is a guy named Kilroy. That was everywhere back in the 20th century as a graffiti, a graffito, I guess. And that's the strip.
Michael: Yeah. These are the two things that people who could not draw could draw.
Jimmy: Could draw. Yes.
Harold: He's so pleased with himself that last panel loves his loves his handiwork.
Jimmy: I was into Kilroy. I thought Kilroy was cool.
Harold: Yeah. Did that start in World War Two? Was that a World War Two thing?
Jimmy: It's one of those things that I think it's lost 100% in the midst of time, where it started from, but it was definitely popularized with Kilroy Was here from the World War Two Vets. Yes.
May 2, Lucy and Violet are yelling at each other. Lucy says “so there too.” Violet sticks her tongue out and says, “Nyaah.” Oh, I love reading these strips. Lucy says “Bleah.” Violet says, “Nyaah. Lucy says “Bleah, Bleah, Bleah.” Violet says Nyaah, Nyaah, Nyaah.” Yeah. Snoopy is watching all of this go down, and he walks away thinking to himself, “Girl Talk.”
Jimmy: This is anticipating Elvis Costello by ten years. It's amazing how Schulz has his finger on the Zeitgeist.
Michael: Wait, I don't get the reference.
Jimmy: Girl Talk. That song Girl Talk.
Michael: Oh, Girl Talk, of course. Actually, it's a, jazz song from by Neal Hefti the guy who wrote the Batman theme.
Jimmy: Oh, yeah, Batman theme, right.
May 4, Charlie Brown and Sally are in their house, and Sally's upset with Charlie Brown. She says, “as a big brother, you're a flop. I've lost all my respect for you.” And then she also reverts to “Nyaah” and sticks out her tongue at him. Charlie Brown looks off after Sally and says, “how sharper than a serpent's tooth is a sister's Nyaah.”
Michael: Harold, derivation?
Harold: How sharper than a serpent's tooth? yes. How sharper Type. Type. Type Type
Jimmy: Well, if you give me a second, I'm sure I, too, can come up.
Michael: Is it Bible or is it Shakespeare?
Jimmy: I think it sounds like it's Shakespeare.
Harold: Sounds Shakespearian. And yeah, but for, some let's see, the, fifth--
Jimmy: King Lear.
Harold: No. It is the fifth and final episode of the second season of the animated Science Fiction version of Star Trek The Animated Series. So there you go.
Jimmy: I also Googled that, and I'll tell you what, that alien thing, that's pretty scary looking, he's got like, a pink horn on top of his head. Wow. Don't sleep on the animated Star Trek season two.
Harold: See, Charles Schulz is ahead of his time once more.
Jimmy: Once more. He's anticipating Elvis Costello, the Beatles and Star Trek the Animated Series season two.
Harold: Yeah, it looks like King Lear, may have, something to do with the fame of that.
Jimmy: How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless child.
May 14, Charlie Brown is looking at a greeting card with the World War I flying ace. Charlie Brown says, “some of these seem to be a little too flippant.” And the next one he's looking at is like an accordion style fold out card and says, “I'm sure we can find one that will be just right.” Charlie Brown continues to look through cards for Snoopy. He says, “here's a good one. See what you think of this one.” Charlie Brown reads the card to Snoopy, who is again dressed as the World War I flying Ace. Charlie Brown reads, “dear mom, you are the sweetest mother. I love you more than any other.” Snoopy bursts into tears. Charlie Brown says, “you like this one, huh? Okay, we'll get it.” Then we see Charlie Brown addressing the envelope to mom, care of the Daisy Hill puppy farm. “How's that?” says Charlie Brown. Snoopy is still crying. “All right, now we'll take it down and mail it.” Charlie Brown and Snoopy are walking off to the mailbox. The next panel, we see Charlie Brown bending over so that Snoopy could climb up on his back and mail his card to his mother with a tear in his eye and a little sniff. Then they walk back, and Charlie Brown says to Snoopy on the walk back “there, we've bought a card, we've addressed it, and we've mailed it. Now how do you feel?” Snoopy cries out. “Waah.” Breaks down in full sobs. And Charlie Brown looks out at us and says, “these holidays are hard on us all.” Snoopy says, “Sniff,” and walks away looking forlorn.
Harold: Yeah, poor Snoopy. Now, why do you think he's in the World War I flying Ace thing when we're dealing with the story of him relating to his mom in this emotional way?
Jimmy: I don't know, but it's what kicks it up the next level to me, is that you're in this Peanuts world where just stuff is happening all around. Snoopy is kind of erratic. He's all over the place. And I could see him. He is caught up in the middle of some adventure, and then he realizes he thinks of his mother, and suddenly he has to now go do this.
Harold: Yeah, no explanation. It's pretty remarkable. And you're right, it does add this weird depth, this unknown thing. All I think of is cosplay Snoopy here. It's now melded into his regular life.
Jimmy: And, well, I love things when they're not 100% explained. Like when Star Wars says, in 1977, I fought with your father in the Clone Wars. And that's all you know, that's amazing, because you build up the Clone Wars in your head, and then 30 years later, they make a cartoon and explain it. And you might like it, you might not like it, but it's less magical than the stuff you bring to it.
Harold: Right. Like the metaclorians.
Jimmy: Exactly. Right. Which no one wants. Right. And that's the danger when you start bringing people in to mine a property for new-- You go to these little corners and you pick out your thing, and then you fully explore it and kill it.
Harold: Yeah. And I think that Schulz right now is heavily into the greeting card business himself here. He treats it with respect. It's interesting also, for some reason, I can't help but think of that scene in A Christmas Story with the kid and the goggles, waiting, behind our hero to see Santa Claus.
Jimmy: That's right. I thought you were going to say you can't help but think of the old comic book rack when you see those, the greeting card rack.
Michael: Oh, I did.
Harold: This is what replaced comic books in the 60s. Greeting cards and much more profitable. Yeah.
Jimmy: May 31, we're in the middle of another sequence. which is--
Michael: Let me interject, if I may. Sequence number four, Linus patting birds. this runs from 5/23 to 6/3, and it harkens back to something he was doing a couple of years ago. To everybody's horror, this is the climax.
May 31. Linus says to Charlie Brown, “what's wrong with patting birds on the head?” And Charlie Brown answers, “it humiliates your sister to have people go up to her and say, your brother pats birds on the head.” Linus tries to explain himself. “I can understand that, but what's wrong with it? It makes the birds happy and it makes me happy. So what's really wrong with it?” He asked Charlie Brown. Charlie Brown responds, “no one else does it.”
Michael: That really says a lot about both these characters. Charlie Brown very conventional, and he likes to go along with it, with the crowd.
Jimmy: Yeah. What this reminds me of is your observation, Michael. when we were talking about that we prayed in school strip, and you said no. The reason Charlie Brown is upset is because he's a rule follower and this is breaking the rule. And here we see that kind of confirmed. There's nothing inherently wrong with patting birds, but no one else does it, so don't do it, mhm?
Michael: Umhm, Which is, a pretty good reason to most people not to do something.
Jimmy: Oh, absolutely, yeah.
Harold: And this doesn't show Charlie Brown in the most flattering, light. But I think Schulz is being true to Charlie Brown here.
Jimmy: Yeah. And what else is true? Is it's him slightly in that big brother role for Linus, except this time he's just wrong.
Harold: Yeah, right.
Jimmy: And that's just a human thing. But that's a very odd thing to, see in a little strip like this that you have to,
Michael: Considering all the other characters are acting with total horror.
Michael: He doesn't act with total horror, but his reason is plenty enough for him.
June 6, Linus and Sally are outside, and Linus says, “life is peculiar.” He continues, “wouldn't you like to have your life to live over if you knew what you know now?” They both think about it for a second. Sally answers, “what do I know now?”
Michael: I like Sally so much.
Harold: I don't know.
Michael: At the time, she was not one of my favorite characters. But, I have a new appreciation for her.
Jimmy: She's so funny, such a great strip. I just want to take a moment here. I got a text from a friend of mine that said I've been doing something wrong. I sort of agree, but it's sort of a little annoyance, apparently, when there's these little beat panels. I have called them silent panels. And I guess, technically, if you think about it, that's wrong because all the panels are silent. Technically, it should be called a wordless panel. So I will attempt to do that.
Michael: Except there is words in that panel.
Harold: The copyright.
Jimmy: That's right.
Harold: Reg US. Pat off.
Michael: Who is this pat off guy?
Jimmy: Always horning in on every strip?
June 7, Charlie Brown is at his desk in school, and he says, “there's that pretty little red haired girl.” And he sighs. “I wonder what would happen if I walked over to her desk, put my arm around her and gave her a big kiss.” Well, jeez, Charlie Brown. Then he blisses himself out at this thought so much, he screams, “wow.” And he, like, rockets off his own desk. Then in the last panel, we see him completely blushing, totally flustered, and says, “ah, I've got to stop thinking about things like that”.
Michael: I have to say, I did not pick this one, okay? Someone else did.
Harold: I picked it because-- I picked it because it's it's it's so heartfelt. It makes me feel uncomfortable. It's like whoa. Charlie Brown. Hold on there.
Harold: We don't want to put too much into, again, where Schulz is. We can only guess, but it seems like I mean, Schulz always seem to have this odd dichotomy of a sense of self confidence and also self doubt. But my gosh, he's having so much success right now, and he's seeing people respond to all these things that he's doing, and I'm just wondering if his own confidence level is increasing. And again, that goes back to Charlie Brown being more assertive in some of these strips. Actually, Linus too is more assertive in some of these strips, and I'm just wondering if that's just part of where he is as a person. He's growing, which makes him he can think of himself in situations that maybe he didn't in the past, and it's a little too much to you get to back off of it. That's what I had in my mind.
Jimmy: Because he said, in interviews that if you read the strip, you know who he is. And, so if you take that at face value as the strip is changing very much like what you're saying, Harold, that is reflecting both external and internal changes in his life. And it's really cool to see and really great to see, and it's just so strange because we're watching this one thing grow and evolve. It's almost like if you could have a control podcast where we read an ordinary comic strip, which I don't want to name, because I don't want to slander anybody just for this particular episode. I'll slander two people next episode to make up for it. But do you know what I mean? Like something that's a really good strip that's, commercially successful and read that alongside Peanuts. And I think that the stagnancy of those strips would really be apparent when you're immersed in it next to Peanuts.
Harold: Well, I think that was always the case. Right? I mean, as a kid, you'd read the paper, and Peanuts would be in the mix of maybe, depending on your newspaper, anywhere from ten to 30 strips. It just has so much more life and personality. It's like, if there's anybody he doesn't have to worry about being taken over by AI, it's Schulz, because he's constantly surprising us with aspects of who he is. In, the 17 years we've been watching the strip, he's changing and he's growing, and he's mastering what he's doing. And, it's why coming back to it over and over again and talking with you guys about it is so rewarding, because it's a bit of a puzzle to crack. And what is it? What is he doing that he's able to get so much across that we respond in this way, where it it feels alive. It just constantly is it's vibrating with life?
Michael: Still. They're six years old.
Michael: You couldn't do this with teenagers, the same strip with a teenage character.
Jimmy: Well, you could, but it would have a completely different meaning really.
Harold: Yeah. and even so, I think, because they're so articulate, it does take you into that space a little bit, which is, like, why I think it feels awkward.
June 10. Snoopy is atop his doghouse. He's looking off, and something catches his attention. We see in panel two what it is. He thinks to himself, “I can see myself in my water dish.” Panel three, he looks down into the water dish and smiles. Panel four, he says, “I have a cute smile.” And he does.
Michael: I bet you can't guess why I picked this one.
Jimmy: Actually, I would have guessed Harold picked this one. So, no, I can't.
Michael: No. Well, it has nothing to do with the joke or anything, except one thing.
VO: It's Snoopy Watch.
Michael: This is peak forehead for Snoopy. I really noticed it, and I went, man, that forehead is big. And part of that one reason why I was noticing it is when I started searching for those early 70s Woodstock strips to count feathers, and I was noticing these Snoopies. There were some in 1975. In 1975, he had virtually no forehead. And when I first saw the no forehead Snoopy, maybe a month ago, it was like a 1990 strip. And I'm like, boy, he really looks like a stuffed animal here, a plush toy. Thinking that late in Schulz's life, he remodeled Snoopy. But 1975, that's gone. It's just like, where his eyebrow is here. Under his eyebrow here is sort of where his head ends.
Harold: That's interesting. Yeah.
Michael: So keep an eye out to see how this develops.
Harold: Forehead Watch?
Michael: Yeah. Forehead watch. We'll do that every episode.
Jimmy: Believe me. I did Forehead Watch for years until I shaved my head.
Harold: And I'm glad you picked this one because it kind of goes along with what I was talking about. This was within a week of the strip with Charlie Brown fantasizing about hugging and kissing the little redhead girl. And here he got basically Snoopy kind of admiring his looks. And I think when I read those two together, that's when it kind of clicked for me. It's like, well, where is Charles Schulz right now? Is he seeing himself possibly in a new light because of the life he's lived up until now?
Jimmy: Yeah, you know going, back one to that red haired girl strip is that we have never mentioned that she's a real person. Donna Wold, who was an early girlfriend of Mr. Schulz back when he worked at the Art Instruction League, but who ultimately, rejected his proposal, and married another guy. And it stuck with him for his whole life. And he eventually immortalized her in this character, the Little Red Haired Girl. She passed away in 2016, but she did know all about the Little Red Haired Girl and they did stay in touch later in life.
July 1, Linus and Sally are walking outside and Sally says, “I worry about getting old.” Linus says, “that's nothing to worry about.” Sally replies, “of course it's something to worry about.” She walks away saying, “who wants to be nine?”
Michael: It seems like an obvious joke, but the phrasing in that last panel is, I think, what makes it funnier. It's like a million ways Sally could have responded, like, nine seems old to me. but what she says is very funny. Who wants to be 9?
July 2, it's a baseball game. Charlie Brown and Lucy are on the bench. Lucy says, “We've had it, Charlie Brown, we're going to lose.” Then she continues, “we're doomed.” Charlie Brown says “don't say that. Our team never gives up.” Lucy asks, “how can we win? We're terrible.” Charlie Brown, in full, confident manager mode says, “we can win because we've got determination. Keep a stiff upper lip is our motto.” Lucy tries to do it literally. “How's this?” Charlie Brown says “that's great. Now you're the next batter. Keep a stiff upper lip and show their pitcher that you've got fire in your eyes.” As we see Lucy looking completely insane with both a stiff upper lip and fire in her eyes. And then as she goes off to bat, Charlie Brown yells, “oh, and show him a firm jaw too. If you have a firm jaw, you can't lose. Keep a stiff upper lip and show their pitcher you have fire in your eyes and a firm jaw.” And in the last panel, Lucy walks off with all of those things planted firmly on her face. And she says, “we may win the ball game, but he's ruining my face.”
Michael: This is the funniest drawing I think he's ever done.
Harold: It's frightening.
Jimmy: Really great. I love also the drawing of Charlie Brown chasing after her with his finger up, afterwards. Yeah, really great.
Harold: He's actually getting into this. This is actually a good thing. This is going to help.
Jimmy: I don't think we covered it, but was it last year or the year before where he did the whole thing about, if you grit your teeth, you'll get a hit. And he's the only one who grits his teeth and doesn't get a hit.
Harold: Although I would say if I was pitching and I saw Lucy at the bat, it might freak me out a little bit. It might affect my throw.
Jimmy: I think she's going to get into his head, definitely.
July 13. A bird, but with long feathers off the back of his head. It looks very upset and is is, chirping at Snoopy. Then in the third panel, we see he has flown away. And Snoopy thinks, “I don't see why he gets so upset.” And Snoopy lies down on his doghouse and thinks, “no one understands my generation either.”
Jimmy: This is what I was talking about earlier. I like how he says, I don't see why he gets so upset. As opposed to, I don't understand why he is so upset. Because this implies that he lets this hippie bird come by and yell at him fairly regularly.
Michael: This is the second hippie bird. I believe we missed the intro earlier this year.
Harold: Yeah. Such an interesting concept. And he would do it with this little bird is really fascinating. And then he winds up with Woodstock. The name Woodstock on a bird is all that's kind of tied together.
Jimmy: Yeah, it's weird. It's like that somehow from this earlier stage, he is associating the bird characters with the counterculture to the point that it ultimately ends up getting named Woodstock. I think if he would have had a better design for a hippie bird, he would have went all in on the hippie bird.
Harold: Oh, really?
Jimmy: Yeah. I don't know what it is like if he had maybe little granny glasses on the bird.
Michael: No, he needed the peace symbol.
Jimmy: Peace symbol. That's exactly what I was going to say. If he would have thought those two things, he would have went all in on the hippie bird.
Harold: wearing the Campbell's tomato soup can around his neck. Well, yeah. It's interesting here that we get a little bit of this vibe with Woodstock. I mean, the idea that these babies are being born and that's the official story is that the baby is being born. Woodstock is a generation below Snoopy. And it really comes out in this strip that I didn't always think of that way when I was reading the strips. But, Woodstock is Sally to Snoopy as it is to Charlie Brown. He's got somebody who's younger than him. And there is this a bit of separation there, which is a really interesting dynamic that's new for Snoopy.
Michael: There's a dynamic of servant to master a little bit with Woodstock later, where he's Snoopy's helper. Just like Marcie is Peppermint Patty's, helper.
Jimmy: Yeah, Woodstock is the secretary for Snoopy now and again.
Harold: Yeah. Woodstock, I guess, ran into Snoopy's car and said now he has to be his butler by court order.
Jimmy: I love a good Seinfeld reference. Listen, I think what's really wild is that he has spent all this time turning Snoopy into like a superstar. And rarely when something like that happens, would you try to add a component to the thing that's making it work. Because what he's been doing is starting with the imitation stuff. Really, he's been slowly developing Snoopy as this imaginative star of the show kind of character. It's weird to think, well, now let's give him a sidekick because that could throw everything off. And he doesn't do it immediately. I know he takes his time to work into it, but their relationship does work. And it's really a famous part of the strip.
Harold: It's like if Pink Panther had some goofy buddy who now shows up half of the sequences. And boy, peak forehead Michael in this strip.
Michael: Yeah, it's getting it's like a mountain here.
Jimmy: I'm pro Peak Mountain Snoopy Forehead.
August 19. Oh, very exciting. A top of a TV sits a very famous and very familiar looking version of Snoopy. Snoopy thinks, “here's the fierce vulture waiting patiently for a victim. Waiting, waiting, waiting.” We see as the camera pushes in a little bit on Snoopy waiting. Then in the last panel, we see Charlie Brown sitting trying to watch the TV. And he says to Snoopy, “you can't possibly realize how annoying that is.”
Michael: It was necessary not to know that Charlie Brown was sitting there for that joke to work.
Harold: Right. And here's Charlie Brown standing up for himself again, a little more than we’re used to.
Jimmy: to what Michael is saying. It's so much better as a comic strip than it is me reading it. I mean, for obvious reasons. but like you say, the fact that you don't know it's a TV set even until panel four is really good.
August 20. we see a little symbolic drawing of Snoopy as transforming into a thermometer. And then we see Snoopy hiding behind some hedges. Appears that he is spying on Linus, who is sitting out in his classic thumb and blanket position. But not for long because Snoopy runs by and steals the blanket. Clomp. Linus chases after him. “Come back here with that blanket, you crazy dog. Now where did he go?” says Linus. As Snoopy standing underneath the blanket in plain view, giggles “He he he he” Linus, clearly aware that Snoopy is under the blanket, says, “I can't imagine where he went.” The next panel we see, the sun is really out that day, and Linus says, “it's pretty hot out here today. That old sun is really beating down.” In the background of all these panels, as Linus speaks, we see Snoopy still hiding under the blanket. “I'd sure hate to be under a blanket or something on a hot day like this. A person could roast to death,” says Linus. He continues, “It seems to be getting warmer. Yes, I'd say that this is just about the hottest day we've had yet.” Snoopy is now apparently sweating under the blanket, and finally he throws it off, gasping for breath. Linus catches the blanket and walks away, leaving a disheveled and sweaty Snoopy to think, “this desert is too big to cross at noon, boys, let's wait till the cool of evening.” Linus walks away annoyed, saying, “Stupid dog.”
Michael: Who is that dog in the last panel?
Michael: Totally like a new character.
Harold: Yeah, that's Lad-a-dog from Please Don't Eat the Daisies.
Jimmy: I love that dog. That's a really cute drawing.
Michael: He's a little fuzzball.
Jimmy: Well, it's Snoopy after having been, tortured, under the blanket in the hot air. Really cool. And he is going for this kind of frenetic line more. He has said that he's a great believer in mild in cartooning, but that doesn't mean that here and like we spoke about in the last episode, the arm wrestling competition, he's not afraid to now and again go for expressionism.
Michael: Yeah, that's like Bill the cat in the second and last panel.
Jimmy: Yes, it is like Bill the cat with the tongue out and everything. You're right.
Jimmy: Bill the cat for those of you not in the know, was one of the stars of the comic strip Bloom County, a classic of 80s newspaper strips.
Harold: That was Schulz slightly editorializing in that final panel that most of Snoopy's trouble is in his head, because it's mostly only his head that's, all disheveled. Linus got to him.
Jimmy: Yeah. Maybe you have to be a Peanuts reader to get this as a joke, because otherwise, what's Snoopy even talking about? What boys? Like, why is it a desert? Right. Unless you know that Snoopy has predilection for making up fantasies about being in the French Foreign Legion. That's a really weird thing to say in the last panel.
Harold: Yeah. And in this case, he chose not to put him in the outfit.
September 12. This is the middle of a sequence where --Michael, do you want to describe the sequence?
Michael: Okay. we've seen, the blanket hating grandma before-- Linus, and Lucy's grandmother, who comes every now and then, she hates the fact that he has that blanket. So, years ago, we've had a lot of sequences, but apparently he foolishly says, I will stop using my blanket if you stop smoking. And she says, okay, you're on. At that point, he's trapped. So this is Lucy destroying the horrid blanket forever.
Jimmy: The backyard incinerator makes another appearance.
Harold: Oh, my gosh.
She begins the blanket burning. She says, “the blanket burning has begun.” And she tosses the blanket into the incinerator, shocking Linus so that his hair stands straight up on end. She says, “as I toss your blanket into the trash burner, your insecurities are symbolically destroyed forever.” Then she says, “There you are now free from the terrible hold that it once had on you. You are a new person.” Linus screams, “Augh!.”
Michael: Okay. Not quite a joke.
Jimmy: No, not at all. This is definitely going into the sequences. And the drama here is that the blanket is in that, trash burner.
Harold: Yeah. And I'm with Linus here. I feel it. We've gotten to know these characters so well. That last panel is like-- talk about electricity in a strip compared, to anything else that day on the newspaper. That panel, I'm sure, got more impact than all the rest of the strips combined.
Jimmy: Oh, I'm sure. Especially after the build up and everyone knowing the relationship of Linus in his blanket and our relationship to Linus.
Harold: And the, the way this strip ends, this sequence ends, is that Linus basically stands up for himself and he says, who are you? Or it's anybody to tell me what to do. And so while Linus stepped back from patting the birds, this time, he's got enough skin in the game that he's going to stand up for himself. And, I think at the end, Charlie Brown is is cheering for him.
Harold: So it's a really interesting, ending to this sequence, where, again, Schulz just keeps taking everything just a little bit further and all these things we've gotten to know. And this is another classic sequence where that happens.
Jimmy: Absolutely. And I love the Linus of standing up for himself. He's, one of these people that people just seem to be wanting to change. And I think it's because he's actually fairly well adjusted, fairly successful in life, and fairly happy. But he does it by non traditional methods, so therefore it has to be wrong.
Harold: Especially he won't beat you up. Right. Sometimes it's the most well adjusted that are the easiest to pick on. Right. Because you're not going to get the explosion back.
Jimmy: Well, and it's not just that. It's because their welladjustedness makes you angry because you're not welladjusted. Especially when you're a kid and you don't really have the ability to process or understand those feelings that you have or how they relate to you. So you just yell at the kid, the other kid, right?
September 19. This is a sequence of strips where Linus is calling into a radio show. He calls in and says, “hello. Say, about that last caller you had on there. What is he, some kind of far out nut or what? If he doesn't like this world, why doesn't he leave? I think I know what's good and right and wrong or I think, who's doing what they think is the trouble with all this foolishness, you know? And I'm sure. you're welcome. Goodbye.” And he hangs up the phone, walks away saying, “these phone in radio shows sure have some weird callers.”
Michael: I can imagine Linus at 60, just a complete crackpot.
Harold: This is Linus in fanatic mode and Schulz being 50 years ahead of his time with the social media.
Jimmy: Oh, absolutely. Little did he know this would be like the dominant way that news was disseminated. yeah.
Harold: And everybody else thinks everyone else is crazy.
Jimmy: Yeah. Right. 100%. Yes. Hey, and if you want to be a weird caller to a show, you can call the Unpacking Peanuts Hotline. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions ah. And that number is 717-219-4162 717-219-4162. We'd love to hear from you.
October 14, Charlie Brown and Sally are outside. Charlie Brown says to Sally, “you really need to work on your timestables Sally. I can see that. Let's try the threes. How much is three times zero? Sally, while playing in the sandbox, says to Charlie Brown, 4000? 6? Eleventy twelve? 50 quillion? overly eight? Twiddley two? Well, am I getting closer?” Charlie Brown answers, “actually, it's kind of hard to say.”
Michael: Math was really hard for me. there's probably some people who breeze through it, but I just remember the day they introduced fractions and I was just like, forget it.
Jimmy: Fractions is a dark day.
Harold: For me it was geometry. That's what got me.
Jimmy: Really, that surprises me
Michael: Killed me. My only D ever.
Jimmy: Really? I'm actually pretty good at geometry. Well, pretty good. I could get solid high Bs in trigonometry or geometry, but just pure math. When you're not visualizing anything, like algebra, forget it. Absolutely forget it. X is two wow. Thrillsville.
Harold: Which did show up in this year again. We got another
Jimmy: it did.
Michael: It's coming.
Harold: That's cool.
Jimmy: Yeah. Two strips away.
Jimmy: But right now it is
October 18. Sally is hanging out her window and Linus walks up to it and says, “Hi, Sally.” And then he holds up, a football to her and says, “come on out and we'll kick around the old cassaba.” Sally says “the what?” Linus walks away saying, “Forget it.”
Harold: Okay, I selected this. This is a weak year for obscurities, but, I would think that there were a good number of people that were with Sally on this. What the heck is Linus referring to here. And, there's no magic to this.
Michael: It's a melon.
Jimmy: It's a melon
Harold: Yeah, it's a cassaba melon. And sometimes they're round and sometimes they kind of look like a football. They're kind of yellowish. And there you go, the old cassaba melon.
Jimmy: There you go.
Liz: She missed the perfect opportunity.
Jimmy: It is a huge mistake. Why doesn't she just be like, yeah, we'll hang out. But they do go around and playing a little bit of football here. So here we go.
Harold: There is something that I have to say about the strip that I always liked. The strips where somebody is coming to somebody's house, and it's like the person who is coming to the house is, the interloper and the person who's in the house. There's this weird formality that Schulz puts into these that for some reason, I absolutely love. If someone wants to shovel their walk or whatever, I think there should be a whole book of just people coming to the doors and windows and talking. There's a whole cool thing going on here that Schulz does better than anybody else.
Jimmy: One of my big influences is the comic book Cerebus, and he did a parody. He did tons of parodies, from everything from the Rolling Stones to Moon Knight to, everything. But, he did a Peanuts one towards the end of the series. And in the editorial in the back, he talks about when you're studying Schulz, you start to think about how many things this guy invented that just work, that are now just cartoon language that you don't even think about. And one that he mentions as really working is the face looking out from the building.
Harold: Yeah, it's like, it represents this barrier between, you know, if you see one of these strips, there's a barrier between these characters. And I don't know, I find it strangely delightful.
Jimmy: and just a really graphically simple way of expressing all of that without fooling around with camera angles. And this is also really the perfect television era strip because he's not fooling around with camera angles and stuff. Like those 40s adventure strips were really inspired by things like Citizen Kane and the movies. Right. And this is a TV era strip where you just set up the camera and let it play.
Harold: Yeah. And the shake in his hand, I'm really noticing.
Jimmy: well, let's look at the What, the word balloon around the What. And that is 100% the hand tremor on the lower line, right. As he goes left to right. Look for it. Even with this, you have to be sort of precise about how you move your hand. You don't do a lot of things like pulling towards you, or rather pushing, away from you, rather, because it'll splatter and stuff. But one of the hardest maneuvers is when you're going left to right with a dip pen like that, because just the way the pressure it puts on your wrist and it really reveals his upcoming hand tremor.
Harold: And it suggests that there is a tremor, and the tremor is fairly fast. I don't know how quickly he's making that line, but it seems like he's resetting every the size he was drawing is half an inch or less.
Liz: where do you start the word balloon? Where would you put the pen to start it?
Harold: That's a good question. Yeah.
Jimmy: If, I were to do this, where I would start, it would be at one of the meeting points of the tail and the balloon. Right. So if we were looking at the What, that panel, panel three, what I would do is where the top part of the pointer meets the balloon. I would start, and I would do a counterclockwise circle to create that balloon. And then I would add the tail at the end.
Michael: wouldn't you be turning the page while you do it?
Jimmy: Possibly, but not necessarily. But probably because when you get to that part or on the circle where you come back around the end, around the bottom, rather, that's when you would necessarily you could turn it, and then you would pull the pen towards you, which would give you an easier, smoother curve for a long line. I don't think he's doing that, because that's, I think, what is causing the tremor. I think if he did turn it, it would minimize the tremor on those lines.
Harold: Yeah. And what you're saying, Jimmy, that makes sense for me, too, Liz. What's really fascinating to me about Charles Schulz's balloons at this point is that traditionally, the point of the balloon was basically a V. Right. But for whatever reason, he does, like, in the last panel, forget it. Both of them have a little curve inward on each other, and one falls short of the other one instead of the meeting at the point that's very uniquely Charles Schulz. I guess the rule would be the reason you would do that, Jimmy, is because that's a meeting point. So, it's easier to line up with the end point of the line like that. I found, like, in reality, if I had mastery, I would do what you're doing, Jimmy. I would start at the beginning of that point and end at the other one, and then draw the little pointer. But I found that I tend to start at the top and then swoop down, and then I'll try to match it up at the top again and then move back down. So, I basically start at 12:00, more or less, on each side, and then I bring it down to the left and to the right.
Jimmy: and I do think if he was doing that stuff as well, he would have minimized the hand tremor, but I think he is going swoosh one big circle.
Harold: Yeah, I think you're right. Yeah. I mean, if you're a master artist, that's the way to do it.
Jimmy: Well, he is. He sure is.
October 20, we see Sally, and now she has actually come to her senses, and she's playing some football with Linus. Although on this panel, we just see her, she races up to the football, and she gives it a good, solid kick, and it tips over, going nowhere, that she looks out at us and says, “what's so exciting about the kickoff?”
Michael: now don't you think Sally is aging slower than the other kids did?
Jimmy: Yeah, probably.
Michael: She's been at it for, what, five, six years now, and usually that's enough to get her lined up with all the other ones. But she's still tiny.
Jimmy: Yeah, I think, it's it's strange, because, like, if you follow any of the logic of the aging, Lucy was younger than Charlie Brown, but now Charlie Brown and Linus are in the same classroom. So does that mean that Lucy has somehow passed out Charlie Brown, or the only way to make a logical sense of it is if there's multiple classes in one classroom. But I don't think there is logical sense.
Harold: If anyone skipped a grade, it was Linus.
Jimmy: Well, that's true, too, as did my mother. Oh, she is very proud of that. She is 93 almost, and to this day, she will tell you she skipped the grade.
Harold: And which grade was it again?
Jimmy: well, she went from the middle of fourth to the middle of fifth.
Michael: She went from the middle of 92nd to the middle of 93rd.
Harold: I've never heard of someone skipping a grade within a school in the middle of a school year. That's crazy.
Jimmy: Oh, one thing. While we're talking about football, there's a gag in this year where it's about, let's see, instant replay for, anyone who happened to read all the strips. it's the strip where Charlie Brown, gets the football pulled away from them by Lucy and they go to instant replay. This was the year instant replay was commercialized. And it's like, really, the year football took off in America, because football without instant replay on little black and white TVs was nonsense. You couldn't follow it at all. So, that was a really big deal in American television culture.
Harold: He certainly was fascinated with the equipment. I mean, he went in on TV.
Jimmy: Clearly, someone took him into the booth right at a game.
Harold: Either that or in that Life magazine. He was featured.
Jimmy: Yeah, right. And he gave a little tour
Harold: look at that photo essay.
October 25. Linus comes up to Snoopy, who's lying on top of the doghouse. Linus says, “Snoopy, I have great news for you. I am going to let you sit in the pumpkin patch with me this year and wait for the arrival of the great pumpkin.” Snoopy looks out at us, giving us the side eye, and thinks to himself, “to quote a well worn and time honored phrase, Thrillsville.” As the two walk off to the Pumpkin patch
Michael:, I'll pick any strip that has thrills. I'm warning you right now.
Jimmy: I admire that Snoopy goes along with it, even though he looks like absolutely. This is not his bag.
Harold: Yeah. And this is the one strip I think we selected where he does kind of look like he's confiding in us. And, like I said, there's superpower, particularly Snoopy, confiding in us
Michael: Check out that forehead.
Harold: Yeah. The fact that Snoopy lets me into his world and he's thinking something, and even the kids in the story don't know necessarily what he's thinking, and we do. I don't know. Again, there's something magical about that as a reader.
Jimmy: There is. And you know what would be magical? If we took a break right now. So why don't we take a break and, we'll come back in a little bit. So meet us on the other side.
VO: Hi, everyone. I just want to take a moment to remind you that all three hosts are cartoonists themselves and their work is available for sale. You can find links to purchase books by Jimmy, Harold and Michael on our website. You can also support the show on patreon or buy us a mud pie. Check out the store link on unpacking peanuts.com.
Jimmy: And we're back. Did you miss us?
November 19. Charlie Brown is walking, outside somewhere, and he says, “boy, what a line of kids.” And then we see there is a big line of kids. Lucy comes up behind him and says, “have you been here long, Charlie Brown?” Charlie Brown says “no. I just got here.” We see it's line of kids to buy a ticket to something. Charlie Brown continues talking to Lucy. “Actually, I shouldn't be going to the movies at all. I have homework to do.” We hear an adult from the ticket booth counting off, “1497”. The voice says, as Linus buys a ticket. Charlie Brown continues, “if it weren't for the fact that they're giving away free candy bars to the first 1500 kids, I wouldn't even be here.” “1498”, says the voice as Five buys his ticket. Lucy says to Charlie Brown, “do you mind if I get ahead of you, Charlie Brown?” Charlie Brown, ever the Charlie Brown says, “no, please do. Ladies first is always my motto.” As Lucy walks past him, Charlie Brown continues, “I don't think this is a very good movie. I just came because of the free candy bars for the first 1500 kids.” Violet buys a ticket. “1499.” Then Charlie Brown continues, “I really should be home doing my reading, but you know how it is when they're giving away something free.” Then, as Lucy buys her ticket “1500.” Charlie Brown yells, “1500.” A voice from inside the ticket booth says, “sorry, kid, that's the way it goes.” Charlie Brown slumps to the ground, leans up against the ticket booth and says, “I can't stand it. I just can't stand it.”
Michael: Now you think Lucy knew what was going on?
Jimmy: Absolutely gamed the system.
Michael: And he's not paying attention, right?
Jimmy: No, he's too busy talking and being a gentleman.
Harold: yeah. Boy, again, as a kid, this one just so vividly. I remember this strip. I remember the fascination of getting to go to a movie that only kids go to, which was not really a thing when I was a little kid. The idea of going to the movies was a big deal. And then the fact that there were 1500 people going to the movies, like, wow, this is a big, big event. And then the fact that they're giving away free candy bars, it's like, what kind of world is this? I want to live in this world.
Michael: And it's only a dime, too, probably.
Harold: And then the kids with Charlie Brown. This is so classic Charlie Brown and so classic Lucy, that she's just happy she has absolutely no qualms. That she's cheating Charlie Brown out of this candy bar because of his good nature. It just speaks volumes about Lucy, and it makes it just suck you in the gut. At the end, he's, like, oh, he's not going to see the movie.
Michael: Well, he can see the movie if he wants
Harold: but he's not going to, you know, he's not going to. He says, this is not a movie I really want to see. It's just for the free candy bar. And he's not going to be in there with his friends. I mean, this was a devastating little strip. And one of the lines in this strip has stuck with me my whole life, and I think I've used it. just one of those catchphrases in life is the sorry, kid. That's the way it goes coming, out of the booth.
Jimmy: One thing I find I always love whenever you get a bunch of the characters together in one panel. What's weird, though, if you look at panel three, Violet looks squeezed in. Like, compare panel three, violet to panel four or two Violet, and her head is way it almost looks like she was squeezed in photoshop.
Michael: I think you're overthinking that.
Jimmy: Oh, I don't think
Michael: But this line of kids brings up another question. And actually, I want to ask you guys this. He’s had several where kids are lined up like this, and that's an opportunity to throw in some of the lesser known characters. Like Five he is cutting Patty out of the strip almost completely.
Jimmy: Even here. Yeah.
Michael: I mean, she only has two appearances, and I don't think she has any dialogue this year. And Violet has seven appearances. do you think it's ‘cause of the Peppermint Patty is sort of taking over the name.
Jimmy: I do, too. Yeah.
Harold: I think he realizes you can't have two Pattys in this world. He's got to let her go.
Michael: So she's going to go pretty soon, I guess.
Jimmy: Au Revoir Patty
November 26, We see a pile of wood outside with a sign that says, spiders keep out. And then we see Lucy inside speaking to someone off panel. “Okay, I'll tell him.” In the next panel, we see Linus trying to watch a TV show. And Lucy comes in and says, “mom wants you to bring in some logs for the fireplace.” Then it looks like it's suddenly night, and Lucy says, “you can pretend you're Abe Lincoln. He used to bring in logs for the fireplace all the time.” She's calling out to Linus, who is now outside, I assume, getting the logs, because in the next panel, he's back with the logs. And Lucy says, “hey, there's a spider on that log.” Linus “Augh” he yells, as he sends the logs flying everywhere. He himself lurches and in panic. He's lying in the ground, logs scattered everywhere. And Lucy says, “I'm sorry, I was wrong. It was just a piece of bark.” Linus picks them all up again. And then Lucy says, “hey, I was right. There is a spider on that log.” Linus loses it again. “Augh” Then Lucy again says, “I'm sorry, I was wrong again. It was just a piece of dirt.” As Linus picks up all the logs again, Lucy says, “I wonder if Abe Lincoln was afraid of spiders.” Linus says, “I wonder if Abe Lincoln had an older sister.”
Jimmy: it was a piece of dirt, but was it a piece of fuzz? It's a bug or a piece of fuzz.
Michael: I'm seeing Google if Abe Lincoln had an older sister.
Harold: And I just Googled what was the average annual snowfall in Sebastopol, California, which happens to be zero. That's Charles Schulz drawing, from memory of childhood. It's not something he's seeing much of, I guess.
Jimmy: Yeah, snow never goes away in in Peanuts. Even if it's not happening in his life.
Harold:, this strip again, real strong memories as a kid, the chore and how big a deal a chore was sometimes. And the fact that you have the dynamic with the sibling who also has a chore, but maybe they don't have the chore that you've got at the moment. And I love that. Lucy is trying to be helpful to Linus to make it more palatable. She actually cares enough to share that. Maybe if he imagines that he's Abe Lincoln, it'll be that much more entertaining and fun with his chore. And of course, the spider. As a little kid, I was like, Whoa.
Jimmy: I like that-- That's pretty funny that you're like, oh, she's being nice. Because you hear it as you can pretend you're Abe Lincoln. He used to bring in logs for the fireplace all the time. And I hear it as you can pretend you're Abe Lincoln. He used to bring in fireplace logs all the time.
Harold: Just by that little eyebrow line. I say, I'm right.
Jimmy: Yes, she does have-- you know what? All right, I'll concede the point. I think the eyebrow has it.
November 30. Linus and Lucy are walking outside. Lucy says, “I wonder if I wouldn't be more popular if I had a new name.” She continues, “the wrong name can be a real hindrance to a person's functioning in society. I think a name which is consistent with a person's personality is important.” They're now at the thinking wall, and Lucy says, “I wonder what would be a good. name for me.” Linus says. “How about supermouth?” We hard cut to the last panel, seeing the aftermath of Lucy having socked Linus. And he says, “I've got to stop this business of talking without thinking.”
Harold: Another childhood memory. Just absolutely. As a little kid having a big sister, I just laughed and laughed at this one. I loved it so much. And maybe this might-- Michael, to your point, this is this is still, Charles Schulz thinking through his his issues with the Pattys. One of them has to go.
December 26. Sally is working on some homework. Charlie Brown is trying to help her. He says, “but 50 is more than 25.” He continues, “you simply don't understand division. No wonder you've been getting such poor grades.” Charlie Brown continues as Sally tries to work. “You can't make 50 go into 25,” Sally says. “You can if you push it.”
Jimmy: which, by the way, is Sally's philosophy. You can get what you want if you push it.
Michael: That seems to be it.
Jimmy: All right, so that's 1967. Harold, do you want to sum it up for us?
Harold: Well, like we said, this year is this loose, free, confident Charles Schulz. He is at the top of his game here, and he is right in the center of pop culture. It's just amazing to read and watch and see these characters. He continues to take the ideas a little bit further and the characters a little bit further when he's already outstripped everybody else. He is in his own world right now, and it's a joy to behold.
Jimmy: Absolutely. Michael, we discussed the tier list at the beginning of, 1967. So, what changes do we have now?
Michael: Let's go through it. I've got the big four, same place, B level. I've got Sally, Peppermint Patty and Schroeder. C-- Frieda Violet, and the bird known as Woodstock, or maybe not. And D, demoted Patty. She's down there with Shermy and Pigpen. Pigpen only had one. Shermy had one, Patty had two. And also, in D, we put Five, who actually had three, and, Jose, who I thought may be a new character, but he's down there. And, let's put Three, and Four in the E category, assuming they're gone forever.
Jimmy: Three and four.
Michael: Adios, and Roy should be in D. Yeah. Okay.
Jimmy: All right, I think that we can send that to the president's desk to sign into law.
Michael: Okay, let's do it.
Jimmy: All right, so that brings us to the end of 1967. For you guys out there listening, if you want to follow along with this discussion, you can always follow us on social media. We're at UnpackPeanuts on both Instagram and Twitter. You can check us out on the website UnpackingPeanuts.com, where you can email us. You can, check out transcripts of previous episodes. You can buy any of our books. You can also buy us a mud pie if you want to help, just support the channel or buy some of our unpacking Peanuts T shirts. Any little bit you can chip in really helps-- keeps this podcast going. And, we want to keep it going because it's just so much fun.
So this will be it for 1967. I just need from you guys your most valuable Peanut, your Strip of the Year. And for Michael, your sequence of the year. What is your long story of the year? Michael, you can start off with this.
Michael: Okay. we're going with Strip of the Year. There's a lot of good ones. There's a lot of really good ones in there. I got to go for the Vulture on the TV. Just being a Vulture fan.
Jimmy: Well, you are a Vulture enthusiast, so that makes sense.
Jimmy: All right. And your most valuable peanut.
Michael: I don't think anyone has done this yet. I got to give it to Lucy. You have? I've never given it to Lucy. I'm a Linus man, mostly, but she's just crabby crabby earlier than usual. Just brilliantly crabby. And I think she drove a lot of the humor this year.
Jimmy: Harold, how about you? Your strip of the year and MVP.
Harold: So my Strip of the Year, I think I'm going to give to the 1500 candy bars. That's an epic peanut strip that I've always remembered really fondly. And Charlie Brown being, good and kind of losing out for it. And your heart just goes out to him. Yeah. And, I make him my MVP again. I think he's grown more than any other character this year because of his you know, he's getting some assertiveness in him that it just adds another layer to the loser side. He's rounding out really nicely to me.
And I should mention there was a milestone that we missed at the end of last year that I do want to mention that kind of backs this up. I believe it was November 27, 1966, that we had the the shift. Now, I could be wrong with that. I don't know if this went back and forth at all, but we shifted for the Sunday strips from being listed as Peanuts to Peanuts featuring good old Charlie Brown. That's a major milestone for Charlie Brown.
Michael: That is. Didn't even notice that.
Jimmy: Someone should do a podcast where they track things like that.
Michael: Yeah. Where the hosts actually notice things.
Jimmy: That would be amazing.
Jimmy: I would like and subscribe. My pick for MVP is going to be Snoopy. Really enjoyed Snoopy this year. I enjoyed the mix of classic Snoopy shenanigans like the Vulture, along with the Red Baron and Bird stuff. And there is something about that strip of him sobbing as he sends a card to his mom that really cracked me up. My Strip of the Year, I am going to go with don't give me any of your middle class morality. It's just so funny. Yeah. So those are my picks. All right, so what do you want to talk about these sequences?
Michael: I want to, announce the candidates.
Michael: And I'm missing one. I'm not sure I can remember it. But anyway, in order, we call it arm wrestling, Linus’s measles. And then I think they got sent to the principals. I think that's the one I missed. okay. Then there's Linus, patting birds. Linus going to camp. Charlie Brown lying in the dark room because he's tired of losing every baseball game. Grandma quitting smoking. Snoopy going to see the Great Pumpkin, trading Snoopy for five unmentioned, unnamed ball players. And then at the end of the other is a big thing with Snoopy going to the Olympics.
So this is the first annual Best Sequence Award. I'll go first. For me, it's Linus patting birds. It's just the outrage keeps growing that he's doing this, and then it ends on that nice little finish with Charlie Brown confessing that he's a total conformist.
Jimmy: All right, Harold how about you?
Harold: Michael, I think it was you who mentioned or maybe I can't remember, Jimmy, if you did, maybe both of you said that often these long sequences, they're entertaining, but they don't always stick the landing.
Jimmy: Yeah, that was me.
Harold: And, there was no particular sequence this year where I felt like he just nailed the ending.
Michael: Well, there's the grandma smoking one.
Harold: Yeah. But even that one does, make me it feels a little bit weird to me that I don't know how to describe it, but Linus's self indignation about it. I have a little bit of a bad taste in my mouth about it, but I did pick that sequence, of all of the ones, regardless, because it's big emotion, it's a big deal, and it's well played. And again, what's interesting to me is how it ends. Like you said, Charlie Brown ends with his take on why the bird patting thing is he keeps kind of the more or less the final word on that. I think there's maybe a strip or two after it, but still, it's like, it's like now it's like, what is Charlie Brown's take on these big things? Often seems to be the issue. So Charlie Brown just kind of shows up in the final sequence, I think, when Linus is pulling his blanket out of the incinerator and he has his speech about how nobody should tell him what he should do with his life, and Charlie Brown's cheering. He sees kind of in the corner of the fourth panel, and that makes me think of this whole good old Charlie Brown thing, that Charlie Brown is in some ways, a, bellwether. Now, for certain major, episodes in the strip, Charlie Brown, his opinion somehow matters to Schulz, that we know where he's coming from and what he thinks, even if it's not always like you say the most admirable, like he's the conformist. It's like what Charlie Brown thinks. and the big issues often seems to be very important to Schulz. So for that reason, that's why I picked that sequence.
Jimmy: We didn't discuss any of the strips, but I'm going to go with Charlie Brown lying in the dark room, just because I know when someone's up against the deadline and you need a bunch of-- there was a TV show in the 90s on NBC. It was one of those millions of shows that they would stick between Seinfeld and ER and people would watch for a season, and then they'd move it and no one would ever hear it's called Caroline in the City. And what it did have going for it was Lea Thompson, who is so charming and great, but she played a syndicated cartoonist. And I don't remember the plot, because they knew nothing about cartooning and did no research. But the plot had something to do with she had to have today's strip done or wouldn't make it in the paper tomorrow. And she was sick or whatever. And she just wakes up at the last minute realizing she has a deadline, and she just yells, Caroline's in a blackout. Black. Black. And I'm like, yes, I get that. Totally. So I am, not calling shenanigans, but I'm touching the side of my nose and saying, Charlie Brown lying in the dark room.
Harold: That's a good one. I had a question for you guys. What's the best sitcom about a comic book or comic strip character? There's quite a few of them, when you think about it.
Jimmy: There was the Duck Factory
Harold: I never saw the Carolina in the City, so I had no idea there was a cartoon tie in with it.
Jimmy: Yeah. It's basically she's Kathy Guisewite, really. I mean, she's doing a cartoon strip about herself as a single woman.
Harold: How, do you not know that? That's amazing.
Jimmy: If they had done even a little bit of research, it could have been pretty good. But they didn't.
Harold: Right. You mentioned Duck Factory.
Jimmy: Yeah. There was the Bob Newhart one.
Harold: Yeah. Called Bob because they'd used Newhart and Bob Newhart shows.
Harold: And there was Too Close for Comfort.
Jimmy: Yes. That would be my favorite cosmic cow drawing with a puppet on his hand.
Harold: And he and she have you ever seen he and she with, the husband wife team? Richard Benjamin, I think. And, what was
Michael: Pauline Prentice. I don't know--
Jimmy: They were in,
Michael: I don't know how I know that because I never saw that show.
Harold: Yeah. that's right. And that strip-- that show had, it only lasted one season in 1967 this year. And, there was an over the top performance by Jack Cassidy as this cartoonist who would dress up as a superhero character, super self into himself. It was very cartoonish, compared to the rest of the show.
Michael: Well, forget TV. I don't know if anyone's ever done a realistic cartoonist character. I mean, I liked Chasing Amy at the time.
Harold: I think they'd all fall asleep if they had a real cartoonist sitting in a room by themselves.
Jimmy: Well, it would have to be like that Norwegian slow TV where they have train ride of silence for 12 hours. Just the guy sitting at a desk.
Michael: Skritch Skritch Skritch
Harold: I sense the darkness looming over my board. But, yeah, I would choose Bob. I think Bob is my favorite of all of those.
Jimmy: All right, so let us know. Do you have a favorite sitcom about cartooning? Do you have something else you want to tell us? Something desperately interesting you you need to express to us. You can do it, by sending us an email. We'd love to hear from you.
All right, guys, 1967, great year. Come back next week and it'll be something, and we'll be here, and it'll be related to Peanuts, and we'll have a great time. So until then, for Michael and Harold, I'm Jimmy. Be of good cheer.
Harold: and Michael Yes, Be of good cheer.
VO: Unpacking Peanuts is copyright jimmy Gownley, Michael Cohen and Harold Buchholz; produced and edited by Liz Sumner; music by Michael Cohen. Additional voiceover by Aziza Shukralla Clark. For more from the show, follow Unpack Peanuts on Instagram and Twitter. For more about Jimmy, Michael and Harold, visit unpackingpeanuts.com. Have a wonderful day and thanks for listening.