Jimmy: Hey, everybody. Welcome back to the show. This is Unpacking Peanuts, where we're looking at the second half of 1972.
I'm your host for the show, Jimmy Gownley. You might know me as the cartoonist behind Amelia Rules, Seven Good Reasons Not to Grow Up, and The Dumbest Idea Ever.
Joining me, as always, are my pals co host and fellow cartoonist. 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 he's the current creator of such great strips as Strange Attractors, A Gathering of Spells, and Tangled River. It's 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 currently creating the Instagram sensation Sweetest Beasts. It's Harold Buchholz.
Jimmy: Hey, guys. we're here in 1972, and little behind the scenes thing. Right before we started recording, Liz, our intrepid producer, pointed out that we missed an opportunity, for a little obscurity just at the end of last episode, which was, if you remember, May 30 ended with good old Lucy saying, at this time of the year, all you ever get is reruns.
VO: Peanuts Obscurities Explained
Jimmy: Harold, do you want to explain what that would have mean in 1972 terms?
Harold: Yeah. So I'm sure a lot of you know exactly what that means, but some of you may not. So TV shows kind of came out of the world of radio, and radio-- They used to do these shows every single week. You get a comedy show or whatever. They would do a show every single week. But then these stars would get the summers off, and they might do movies and this sort of thing. So usually you'd have like, 39 shows, and then in the summertime, you don't have anything original. But they didn't even do reruns back on radio. They would just have a replacement show that would be on for the 13 weeks of the summer. And if it was successful, it might get its own show. But on TV, they tried that for a while, and it was killing everybody to turn out television shows, which were much more hard to do. They weren't live recordings. So over time, they started to back off on the number of episodes. And by the time I think we hit 1972, there might have been about 22 episodes being made a year. But instead of all these fill in shows in the summer, which they still did, they actually started to make just reruns of the same shows that had been on in the fall and in the spring. And so it would be typical that there would be one rerun of each of those 22 shows. And then there might be eight specials, like a Charlie Brown special in the place of it or a special movie or a sporting event or something. And so typically, every show got another shot at being seen because we didn't have VCRs and DVD recorders and DVRs and all that. So if you wanted to catch a show that you missed because you were bowling, this was your chance to do it in the summer. And so the ratings went way down because this is a seasonal thing. It's not like Netflix, where there's constantly dropping new shows when there's not a writer’s strike. So you got, this dynamic where everybody was, like, waiting for that half inch thick TV Guide to come out in September to tell you about every new show. And it was like, all dropped in September on top of each other. And there's people watching TV like crazy. And they're setting the ad rates for television in September and in February with what they called the sweeps weeks, when they would try to bump up the time slot so that that would set the ad rate for the rest of the months following. And then summertime comes around, everybody's out doing their own thing, and the reruns are happening.
Jimmy: I remember sweeps week, just from when I worked in local TV news. That was when we would do these special reports all the time. Is your coffee cup killing you? That's not a made up one.
Harold: Oh. So what was it?
Jimmy: Apparently, yeah. you can't just-- it was about workplace coffee. You have to wash the mug. That was the…
Harold: I remember that, like, in those those health and wellness free publications they'd have in the cities. And the one that always struck me was like a little over the top was-- Incontinence, the silent killer. I had no idea.
Jimmy: So there you go. We picked up a little obscurity. That's a bonus that comes free of charge. That's just the type of full service podcast we are. Yeah.
Harold: So. Thanks, Liz.
Jimmy: All right. So guys, what do you say? We're in June here of 1972. Should we just get to it?
Harold and Michael: Yep
June 10. This is in the middle of a little sequence here where the entire gang is off at camp. The boys on a boys camp. And, the girls, specifically Marcy and Peppermint Patty are in the girls camp across the lake. And in this one, we see Marcy and Peppermint Patty who are sneaking around the lake to visit the boys camp. And Peppermint Patty says, “I can hardly wait to see old Chuck. We're going to have a great time.” Marcy says, “sir. I didn't tell you, did I? But there's another girl in our camp who knows Chuck.” Peppermint Patty says, “another girl? Who?” Marcy says, “I don't know her name, but she has red hair. And she said she used to go to the same school with Chuck.” At this point, Patty's eyes are wide with shock, and in the last panel, we see her leaning her head up against a tree, as Marcy says, “sir, why are you standing with your head against that tree?”
Michael: I can't buy this.
Michael: There's no logical way that Charlie Brown's name would have come up in a conversation between Marcy and the little redhaired girl.
Jimmy: Why not?
Harold: Well, I love that. Yeah, I love that, because Charlie Brown was always mooning over this girl, and maybe the girl noticed and she never went over and talked to him. But the very fact that she knows he exists and it comes up in conversation is fascinating.
Michael: Marcy does not go to the same school as Charlie Brown, so it couldn't have come.
Jimmy: No, but yes, here could easily. Marcy and Peppermint Patty are talking. Right? And blah, blah, blah. This kid Chuck, we're going to go see him. his name is Charlie Brown, but I call him Chuck. Peppermint Patty leaves. In the same bunk there's the little red haired girl. Charlie Brown. I went to school with a kid named Charlie Brown. That's how it happened.
Michael: No, because first of all, Peppermint Patty was not there when this happened.
Jimmy: Yeah, I just said she left. It could easily happen.
Michael: No, it's impossible. They won't accept this. I'm sorry.
Harold: It's just, it is bizarre. I will give that to you, Michael, but I do, I did hear a story about two women in Arizona who one knew me in high school, and one knew me in college, and somehow I came up in conversation.
Michael: You're that handsome stud. You're not the bald stalker kid.
Harold: But this changes my perception of maybe how Charlie Brown actually was perceived by the little red haired girl. Maybe she didn't ignore her. Maybe she was shy. all of a sudden, there's this world that opens up and say, oh, my goodness, we've seen everything through the lens of Charlie Brown. Yes, of course, Lucy tried to intervene. Linus tried to intervene, but maybe there was something else going on. Charlie Brown is completely--
Michael: He’s the weird bald stalker.
Jimmy: Well, it would have been impossible for her to not know him. That's how we were saying it years ago. They're in the same class, for God's sake. Right. but no, it's totally possible for it to be Charlie Brown's complete projection of himself as a loser that has caused the problem with him and the little red haired girl and him and everybody else. Now, I have to agree with you.
Harold: He was the crossing guard at school. there's some things in there about Charlie Brown that you think he might stand out. He's kind of an upstanding kid. He's got some dignity to him in class.
Jimmy: By the way, it doesn't even say she likes him. Doesn't like him. She just says she knows them.
Harold: That's true.
Michael: I don't think she knows him. She's never spoken to him. No.
Michael : Anyway, I have one other question. I'll overlook that one, and I will pretend it never happened. There's a certain way of showing people running in a profile. Now, why are they doing this Tyrannosaur run.
Jimmy: I don't know what that means.
Michael: Well their tiny little arms hanging in front.
Harold: You double up your arms, and they kind of flap around while you're running, instead of them being the back and forth move. And why do you do that? I've done that before. I don't know. Does it have to do with rough terrain?
Jimmy: Oh, yeah, it could be rough terrain. Yeah, that's what I'm going with.
June 16. We're back at the bunk where Linus and Charlie Brown are talking, a feat which could never occur in real life.
Michael: No, of course not.
Jimmy: Linus says to Charlie Brown--
Michael: They have no teeth.
Jimmy: Oh, hang on, that's true. So, actually, this is at the end of a long sequence here. And, at this point, Charlie Brown has been called to the, camp counselor because his name has been brought up at the girls camp and has caused a ruckus.
Linus says, “what did the counselor say Charlie Brown?” Charlie Brown says to Linus, “I'm being sent home. They say that I'm a troublemaker.” Linus is outraged. “You a troublemaker? That's ridiculous.” Charlie Brown is packing up his bag. Then in panel three, Charlie Brown says, “they said that something happened over at the girls camp and my name was mentioned, and that obviously I was a troublemaker, so they're sending me home.” Linus is outraged. “We'll sue them, Charlie Brown. We'll take it to the Supreme Court.” (Good luck). And then Charlie Brown says, “my name was mentioned at the girls camp. Wow.”
Harold: So, Michael, do you have problem with this? Because I had more of a problem with the idea, the fact that a, boy's name is brought up and some girls get into whatever, a ruckus over it, and then they hear whose boy's name it was, and then he gets kicked out because his name was mentioned and they're getting upset.
Jimmy: Here is what that is an outrageous thing to happen, and it's totally paranoid and crazy. But these are all white people. And remember my rule. If there's some strange rule that happens and no one knows why, it's because some old white person was afraid of something. That's what I think happened.
Michael: Okay, well, this whole thing is problematic, but I'm assuming it's a dream sequence.
Harold: Yeah. Snoops all too much pizza.
June 23. Peppermint Patty and Linus are both talking at camp. Peppermint Patty says, “I looked at that little red haired girl, Linus, and I started to cry, and I couldn't stop. She's so pretty. She just sort of sparkles. I'll never sparkle. I'm a mud fence. I'm a plain Jane. I feel like the girl who wanted to go into the backyard and eat worms.” Peppermint Patty continues to Linus. “The only person who ever knows how I feel is Snoopy. If Snoopy were here, he'd lean over and kiss me on the cheek.” and Linus does just that, saying “like this, sweetie?”
Michael: Doesn't seem like Linus to me. But anyway, whatever.
Harold: Yeah. Again, in this year, Schulz starts to do things that feel more plot driven than character driven. And the characters don't seem to quite align with the deeply felt way I've been experiencing up until now. I'm just making a note of that. And this strip made me kind of feel that way, because I could see it happening. But it's not from that deep place that I've felt along with Schulz with this character before.
Jimmy: Well, I think the deep place comes from Peppermint Patty, and I think this happened. It feels really real to me. It feels like Schulz. Schulz was rejected by the woman he proposed marriage to and see her around with this other guy.
Harold: his little red haired girl.
Jimmy: Yeah, I think that feels real. I bet he saw them together and he cried. And that's what the deep place is.
Harold: Oh, absolutely. Peppermint Patty. I can buy Peppermint Patty feeling that way. But Linus, I just don't see Linus having the-- even though he is of great empathy for her, I just can't see him having the boldness to do it and to call her sweetie. I mean, that just is really a, stretch for me from the Linus that I know. And being a Linus as a little kid.
Michael: Plus, she's so much older than he is. It's just not appropriate.
Harold: I may have wanted to do it, I would have thought about doing I would have fantasized doing it, but I wouldn't have done it.
Jimmy: Yeah, well, very, a few kids would do that. But the Linus contains multitudes, as we expressed.
Harold: Yes, that's true. Most complex character in…
Jimmy: Exactly. And you have to do like that does happen in life. Things happen that you've never done before.
Harold: That is true.
July 4. Sally is writing some sort of essay saying “today is the 4th of July.” She continues, “this holiday is a celebration of freedom. It all began when--” Charlie Brown interrupts her and says “school is out. You don't have to write themes about holidays when school is out.” Sally tosses the paper over her shoulder and says, “I'm a victim of programming.”
Michael: Did I pick this? No, Jimmy picked it. Why didn't you pick this?
Jimmy: I don't know why I picked this. Moving on.
Michael: I usually picked the Sallys, but I didn't pick that.
Harold: Yeah, and again, it's a funny joke. it's just a step away from the character. Again, that Sally would, on July 4, be writing an essay when there's no teacher been around her. It's the joke, it's the joke. But again, it's just like, feel like I'm getting a different version of Schulz than we've been getting before with the gags and the plot lines and stuff.
July 21. Snoopy and Woodstock are looking up into a tree. Somebody's up there. Because they're yelling, “I found it.” We see whoever it is, it's crawling down the tree now, saying, “I found the strange creature who was in Woodstock's nest.” We see it was in fact Linus who shimmied up the tree and has taken down Woodstock's nest. And is looking at it saying, “there, what do you think of that?” And Snoopy says “an egg.”
Harold: what's that look on Woodstock's face?
Michael: He looks sleepy.
Jimmy: I think he looks embarrassed.
Jimmy: Is that the return of chagrin?
Harold: maybe it's embarrassment. I don't know.
Michael: Doesn't look embarrassment, but it looks more like his eyes are half closed.
Harold: Yeah, right, exactly.
Jimmy: So this continues.
July 22. Snoopy and Woodstock hanging out on top of the doghouse. Snoopy is holding the egg, saying, “this is the ‘strange creature’ that was in your nest. This is an egg. How could anyone not recognize an egg?” In panel three, Woodstock explains how, with five long rows of his little hash mark chirps. To which Snoopy answers, “that's the worst excuse I've ever heard.” And Woodstock sighs.
Harold: The little wings out, as the explaining arms out. I love that he's embarrassed.
Jimmy: So I'm assuming this is a cuckoo bird, right? Left. An egg. Isn't that the bird that leaves their eggs on other birds nests?
Michael: That's one of them, yeah.
Harold: And Snoopy’s magical power, being able to balance even an egg on the edge of a doghouse.
Jimmy: Ah, that's pretty impressive.
Michael: Whoa, that is good.
Jimmy: Have you ever done that thing on the solstice where you can balance an egg on its end?
Michael: I thought it was at the equator.
Jimmy: Yeah, well, maybe it is always at the equator, but it's also on the solstice. Try that at home, kids, next time.
Michael: eggs are too expensive.
Harold: Yeah, and if you get low self esteem, just buy a weeble.
Jimmy: There's an obscurity. I think they might still make weebles. They wobble, but they don't fall down. I had the weeble submarine. It was great.
Harold: What? There was a weeble submarine? Was it yellow?
Jimmy: No, it wasn't.
Harold: I tried to get your Beatle reference.
Jimmy: There we go. Yes. And from Harold. Oh, very exciting.
August 1, Charlie Brown. It's in the middle of a baseball game and he's outraged. He runs out to Lucy, saying, “you threw to the wrong base again. There were runners in first and second and you threw the ball to first.” Charlie Brown still ranting as Lucy just stares vacantly out. “In a situation like that, you always throw to third or to home.” Which Lucy responds, “you're destroying my creativity.”
Harold: Now that I believe.
Jimmy: Yeah, I feel that's also a very Gen Z strip.
Harold: Yeah, right. Yeah.
Jimmy: Just because we've always thrown to third or home doesn't mean we have to now.
Harold: Maybe the person of first has been a little bit--
Jimmy: exactly. You want to include
Harold maybe they dropped the last ball and they want to have a chance again.
Jimmy: Exactly. A character builder.
This, continues because Charlie Brown's very upset, and he's going to actually try to manage this ball team now.
August 2. Lucy comes up to Charlie Brown, who has one leg up on the old baseball bench, and she says, “did you want to see me, Manager?” Charlie Brown says “yes. Lucy, this is very hard for me to say, but I just don't think you're good enough for our team.” Lucy says, “if you kick me off the team, Charlie Brown, I'll never speak to you again.”And then in panel four, she says, “but I'll sure yell at you a lot,” sending Charlie Brown flying.
Michael: This is, again, the year that Schulz has a lot of people breaking up and getting fired and getting thrown out of the house.
Jimmy: Yeah, it's definitely a year of upheaval in the strip and a year of upheaval in his life, as we talked about.
Harold: And it's pretty amazing that Charlie Brown, given his pitching record. At least she threw it to first.
Jimmy: Well, here's the other thing.
Harold: I'm assuming it got there.
Jimmy: Again he is the one that put her in center field all these years. He's-- move-- at least move her to right first. She just hit a home run.
Jimmy: Maybe make her designated hitter, if there was such a thing back then. I don't know when that came in.
Harold: That's right. How many home runs have they had this year, I wonder?
Jimmy: Probably that one. But again, this goes to Charlie Brown just being a terrible manager.
Harold: Although Snoopy might be getting some good hits in, right?
Jimmy: I would think so. Yeah. And Linus, they have some hitters. Yeah. It's probably still just Charlie Brown's fault.
August 6. A Sunday. Panel one, we see, an interesting kind of head, on view of a car with Peppermint Patty and Charlie Brown, their faces as the headlights in the car. Then we cut to Charlie Brown and Peppermint Patty hanging out at their special tree. And Peppermint Patty says, “lately, everything seems to bother me.” Charlie Brown says, “how do you mean?” Then, as a non sequitur, Peppermint Patty says, “what do you think security is, Chuck?” “Security?” Charlie Brown then continues, “Security is sleeping in the backseat of the car. When you're a little kid and you've been somewhere with your mom and dad and it's night and you're riding home in the car, you can sleep in the backseat. You don't have to worry about anything. Your mom and dad are in the front seat, and they do all the worrying. They take care of everything.” Peppermint Patty is comforted by this, and she smiles, saying, “that's real neat.” Charlie Brown continues, though,” but it doesn't last. Suddenly, you're grown up, and it can never be that way again. Suddenly, it's over, and you'll never get to sleep in the backseat again. Never.” Charlie Brown actually looks upset as he says this. Peppermint Patty answers “never?” Charlie Brown says “absolutely never.” In the last panel, we see Peppermint Patty having a full on existential crisis, grabbing Charlie Brown's hand, saying, “Hold my hand, Chuck.”
Jimmy: From my point of view, this is a father's looking at his kids growing up. I once, had a very similar thought, when I was picking up one of my little girls, I thought, wow, one of the you know, you pick them up and you hold them and you carry them around, and you think, wow, one day it will be the last time I ever pick them up. My daughter Stella overheard me saying this and just, like, burst into tears. It was a sad moment, but it's true. And I think I'm feeling like Michael said, with the breakups and all this stuff, there's an element of wistfulness in the old strips, and there's an element of regret in this year. And that's sort of where I see this, where it's not just a wistful thought of how it used to be, it's this terror of it will never be that way again. Which is obviously something Schulz has gone through in his own life.
Harold: Yeah. Well, look at the car that, the headlights are faces of Peppermint Patty and Charlie Brown as looking at us head on. how do you place that car? Because it's a very distinctive looking car.
Harold: Because it looks like an older car. Right. Or is it some crazy early 70s car? I don't know.
Jimmy: It looks old to me.
Harold: Yeah, it's got the radiator.
Jimmy: Yeah. Right.
Harold: Of course, it's of the era of Schulz when he would have been in the backseat, which I think is really touching. And this one, I believe, was in the Peanuts Jubilee book, which is just a fantastic, 1975, like, basically halfway through the run of Peanuts book that came out that I got when it came out as a little kid. I was probably nine or ten years old when I got it. I think I may have got on my birthday. We're reading it in black and white, but I remember this. It's in color. When I look at it, I just remember it so vividly. And I remember as a kid reading this and taking it in kind of like Stella, like, oh, my gosh, as a child seeing kids talking about parental wisdom, it really did make an impact. And I think I felt like I was reading something profound. I remember that. Yeah, I feel that way, too, and it is profound. I think this is like, this is that mature Charlie Brown that we're probably going to get really, for the rest of the run of Peanuts. He seems to have these philosophical insights into some of the mundane aspects of life, and we've already seen him with some of the father stories at the barbershop, has had some moment with Franklin here and there, and I think he's going to continue to have those things. And, it's a part of Charlie Brown I really do like.
Jimmy: Yeah, me, too.
Michael: I was just going to point out the Rohrshach test in the middle of the page. I see a ducky and a horsie.
Jimmy: he's going for again, that center silhouette, like you pointed out last episode, Michael. He just seems to really like that as a design element and does look good. Another cartooning thing. Those faces, in the headlights. I mean, that shows you how minimal the changes are to these little faces. That makes them completely unique and different characters. Even when you remove the hair for Peppermint Patty or any other identifying face, any other identifying characteristics, there's no question who those faces belong to, right?
Harold: Yeah. And I was just thinking you were saying that I guess we were maybe collectively kind of suggesting that in this era, kind of painful era of Schulz's life. We'd mentioned in the previous episode that, Schulz is getting a divorce. His kids are leaving. He's moving away from this home that he's had with up to, like, ten people. I think we had that count in the late 50s, early 60s. It was quite a compound of family. And that was also the place where all of the kids in Sebastopoll from school who were friends of the kids, their five children would come and they would play. And there's this sense of things have just cleared out, and he's alone and he's thinking. I mean, that's the feeling that you get. But this of all of the strips from this year, this is the one that makes me this is like, this is where Charles Schulz is this year. That's the feeling I get. And it just feels profound and deep. And you really care about
Jimmy: I agree.
August 13. Woodstock is standing at the edge of what appears to be a long diving board. We, then cut to him and on top of Snoopy's doghouse, where he is going to actually perform, apparently, a high dive. And we have 123456 glorious panels of Woodstock doing a complete somersault in the air, and then, boom. Landing into Snoopy's dog dish. Snoopy's impressed. He stands up, his ears are perked up, and he says, “that was a good dive. Had it been into my water dish, I would even call it a beautiful dive. However, it was not into my water dish. It was into my supper dish.” Leaving our last panel to see poor Woodstock covered in dog food, poking out of that.
Harold: You got to love little Woodstock. I like the little wig he's been given of dog food.
Liz and Jimmy: He looks like Harpo Marx
Jimmy: oh, jinx.
Harold: Oh, man. Yeah. What do you think? Is that Gaines Burger or oh, no.
Jimmy: It would have been what was the big one back then?
Jimmy: Chuck wagon?
Harold: Yeah. It's not beef chunks. It is like Mighty Dog. Maybe it's Mighty Dog.
Jimmy: Oh, my god, I love the little drawings of Woodstock. When you see how especially the ones of him just flying through the air doing his somersaults, they're so minimal and just so cute. The fact that you see the look of complete confidence on his face as he's doing this. I also like that it's apropos of nothing. Like he didn't feel like a set up. Like two kids talking about diving or something like that, or the Olympics or whatever. Just Woodstock is going to dive.
Harold: Yeah. Which makes you focus on the final joke that much more. Yeah. What do you think about Snoopy's head in that second panel there, Michael? There's something going on with like the lump of the.
Michael: where did the forehead go?
Harold: It's like a little lump. And then it continues out to the ear, which is unusual. Looks almost like a Linus head. Yeah.
Jimmy: And as we know, Linus was definitely dropped on that head at some point.
August 20, one of our throwaway panels, which is Snoopy at the bottom of a glass, with a straw-- boy. Anyway, in panel two, Lucy and Charlie Brown are both enjoying a little drink out on the grass on a summer morning. And Lucy says, “I think it's one of the best movies I've ever seen.” Charlie Brown says, “I knew you'd like it.” They continue as they’re sipping their drinks, Lucy says to Charlie Brown, “afterward, we went to this art gallery and saw all of these wild new paintings.” She places her drink down on the ground as Snoopy comes up behind her. She continues, “some of them, of course, were quite huge. There was one that was all different shades of red.” She says. And she has her hands out now, kind of describing it. And Charlie Brown notices with absolute horror that Snoopy has taken a little drink of Lucy's drink, from behind her. Then he leaves as Lucy continues saying, “I like red, of course, but I'm not sure if I like it that much.” And sip. She takes a sip of her drink, grossing Charlie Brown out beyond belief. Got to look at that drawing. Then good old Linus comes up and says, “hi. Drinking lemonade, I see. How about letting me have a sip?” Lucy says, “don't be stupid.” As she continues to sip her drink, Charlie Brown is still utterly horrified by all of this. Lucy continues to “Linus, you think I want to sip from the same straw you've been slurping on? Get out of here.” Then she goes back to sipping and talking to Charlie Brown, saying, “anyway, there were a lot of nice paintings.” And she looks at Charlie Brown, who's been making faces this whole time, and says, “you know, it's hard to talk to you when you keep making all those strange faces.”
Michael: The last one is really strange. What is that? I can't read it as anything.
Jimmy: I think it's complete abject disgust. And Terror. My favorite is that last, one on the second tier. That's a really good expression.
Harold: This is a Peanuts that I really love. It's also one I totally remember as a little kid. I absolutely love this strip. Looking at it over and over again, and it's like the little repertory theater. You got Lucy and Charlie Brown. And since Lucy doesn't have to be brash or terrible in this strip, she's just actually carrying on a, civilized conversation with and then they're sipping their drinks, and then Snoopy walks on with that little slant eyed, closed eyed what do you call that? That's not chagrin. What does that look it's like this confident, like, I know my role here I am about to play.
Jimmy: Exactly. He's self possessed. He's doing the thing he is called to do.
Harold: and then he opens his eyes for this little innocent sip for ____ behind her. And then he walks off with the same look he had walking in, which I think is hilarious. It's like, I have done my part. I now shall exit.
Jimmy: Yeah, exactly. You know what's funny? When you say, though, he closes his eyes and he opens his eyes. Look at the difference between a closed I mean, you're right.
Harold: Isn't that amazing? Yeah. But you know that it's an open eye respond.
Jimmy: There's no question.
Harold: It's crazy. And then Linus comes on and does his little bit. It's just yeah, it's just like this classic little tableau. I love it.
Jimmy: And I'm assuming Lucy saw a Mark Rothko. That's my guess is her big red painting.
Harold: It could be, yeah.
Jimmy: I love this one.
August 24. So, Sally has lost her beach ball, out on the lake. It has floated away, but she thinks maybe it has gone to another country or something, and some other kid is playing with it. So she looks off into the distance in her goofy little child's bikini on the beach. And then in panel two, she yells out across the water, “you stupid kid who lives clear across on the other side of the world. Send back my beach ball.” Then in panel three, she waits for reply. But when nothing happens, she yells, “what are you, a communist or something?”
Michael: More than likely, if she's actually in California facing west.
Jimmy: That's right. She's got almost, at that point, almost a billion chances that it is a communist. Oh, my God. I love Sally. I love that joke for whatever. I've always liked that. And I still use this joke occasionally.
Harold: And another silhouette. Michael.
Jimmy: Hey. Yeah, I like the silhouette.
Harold: That's unusual for daily, right?
Michael: I haven't been paying that much attention except on those Peppermint Patty Charlie Brown ones.
Jimmy: Yeah. It's very strange that he is always going for that center silhouette, on those Sundays, but it's a nice little design.
Harold: How would you describe that choice? While she's yelling to the stupid kid on the other side of the world that he chooses to do that in silhouette. What is he accomplishing?
Michael: Oh, clearly he's avoiding drawing all those details.
Harold: he clearly dropped a big drop of india ink right on her face.
Jimmy: I think it's just to add a little black.
Harold: Does it have emotional experience or do you think there's anything it actually does to make a comment?
Michael: It’s one of Wally Wood’s like twelve tricks that always work.
Jimmy: 22 panels that always work, yep. A silhouette
Harold: When in doubt, black it out.
Jimmy: Oh, by the way, I do think that is the best advice. When in doubt, black it out. I've started really paying attention to that in my head, and it has made my life a lot simpler.
Harold: I'm going to start doing that. I'm going to have to remember that one.
Jimmy: I don't think he was thinking this, but subliminally, it does draw more attention to the words. It could be that, but yeah, I think it's just that that's what he thought made a nice looking strip.
Harold: Could it possibly be suggesting that Sally is a bit in the wrong rather than just letting her be Sally? Because Schulz is pretty good about letting characters just be characters, and then he doesn't build the judgment into
Michael: I think we’re overthinking this.
Harold: All right, just asking.
Jimmy: I don't think so. I am shocked and appalled at such an accusation.
Harold: I wonder what he meant by that. What does Michael really mean?
Michael: Well there are those clouds so one of them passed over the sun.
Jimmy: that's right. Yeah. It's a cloudier day.
August 29. Lucy is talking to Charlie Brown. She has a few things to say as always. She says, “you're probably the most wishy washy person I've ever known.” She continues, “you're really not much use to anyone, Charlie Brown. You're weak and dumb and boring and hopeless.” Then we have a panel of quiet contemplation before Lucy turns to Charlie Brown and says, “incidentally, how come I never hear you sing anymore?”
Michael: This is a great one. Love this one.
Michael: And it's on Charlie Parker’s birthday.
Jimmy: Hey, All right.
Jimmy: I love it that Lucy doesn't see any irony in why she…
Harold: She has a genuine concern on her face in that fourth panel.
Harold: And he pasted the 1972 copyright notice on a little crooked.
Jimmy: I wonder if he had an assistant even doing those things. At some point he had to right?
Harold: Gluing the copyright notice on no, he'd have to do it himself.
Jimmy: If he didn't, he's a sell out and a fraud. Obviously.
Harold: The copyright notice and MetLife. Those are the two things.
Jimmy: can we just think about this for a second? 22 years at this point. Twenty-two years every single day. That's nuts. I mean, if I came up with 22 good daily comic strips, I'd be happy. 22 years. It's mind blowing.
Harold: That is pretty amazing.
August 30. Charlie Brown and Sally are hanging out at the thinking wall, head in hand, when Charlie Brown turns to Sally and says, “school starts again next week.” Which dilates Sally's pupils to about ten times the size they normally are. They remain that way for the next three panels. And Charlie Brown says, “I think I've ruined her eyes for good.
Michael: This is a great one.
Jimmy: What do you like about this, just the sheer drawing of it?
Michael: The sheer drawing of it. But the fact that she never knows what time of year it is. This is like total shock. So this is totally in character. This wouldn't work with anybody else.
Jimmy: Yeah, that's true.
August 31, Charlie Brown is standing on top of the pitcher’s mound towards the end of the season and he says, “well, old mound, the baseball season is over for us.” He steps off and talks to it, saying, “we may not have won any games, but we had great times, didn't we? So long, I'll see you again next year.” Then he walks away. And in the last panel, the pitcher’s mound sighs.
Michael: he's already done this like, once or twice with the tree.
Michael: Yeah. The inanimate objects having feelings.
Jimmy: Yeah. Well, I do have some bad news about that. In a few years He thinks that's real interesting. Yeah. And like, Sally's, school building starts talking fairly regularly. Not talking, thinking. Well, you'll see what you think.
Michael: But the only other example I can think is I think the kite eating tree.
Harold: Right. Yeah. Well, so I have a question for you. On this strip, is the mound sighing because it's the end of the baseball season or because he's going to see Charlie Brown again next year?
Jimmy: Maybe a little bit of both.
September 1, a football is planted, waiting to be kicked off. And our punter, a very determined Woodstock, is racing up towards it. He gives a mighty kick in panel two, boot. But of course, the football goes nowhere in panel three. He continues, boot, boot, boot, boot, boot, boot, boot, boot, boot, boot. The ball doesn't move. In the last panel, we see Snoopy rolling his eyes, thinking, “I'm glad I can't hear what Howard Cosell is saying about this.”
Jimmy: Well, that's got to be an obscurity for kids today.
VO: Peanuts Obscurities Explained.
Jimmy: Do you want me to handle that one?
Harold: Yeah, go for it.
Jimmy: Howard Cosell was a very famous sports broadcaster and it had a very distinctive way of speaking.
VO: Hello again, everyone. This is Howard Cosell speaking of sports.
Jimmy: The greatest athletes of all time and everything was hyperbole. He was very famous for his relationship, playfully antagonistic with Mohammed Ali.
Harold: It's the thriller in Manila.
Jimmy: so he was like America's sports caster. Sad Beatles reference. He's the person who actually announced to America that John Lennon had died during Monday Night Football.
Harold: Yeah. Howard Costell. And he was one of those he, was kind of like marmite. Some people just they tune in for him and they couldn't get enough of him. And other people were like, just gritting their teeth. Oh, shut up, Howard.
Jimmy: My dad didn't like him. I loved him. I thought he was so entertaining. I thought he was great.
Harold: My piece of Howard Cosell trivia that I find fascinating was in the same year, I think within maybe a week or two of each other, there were two Saturday Night Lives that premiered in 1975. Yeah. So one was the Saturday Night Live that is still running all these years later, 48 years later. And the other one was Saturday Night Live with Howard Cosell on ABC at 08:00 pm on Saturday. And I remember watching that variety show, the very first, episode, and, it was the network debut, stand up of, Billy Crystal.
Jimmy: Oh, wow. Yeah, because Saturday night, Billy Crystal, who was bumped from the premiere of the other Saturday Night Live, he was set to go on, and they cut him during the show, probably because of that. Probably.
Harold: Wait a second. You can't do two Saturday Night Lives.
Jimmy: Well, the first season or two, I guess, of the famous SNL was actually just called NBC Saturday Night because of that Howard Cosell Show. They had to make a last minute change. And then it only really became Saturday Night Live after that. That's why it's live from New York, It's Saturday night.
Harold: Thanks, Howard.
September 5, we see a very tiny Woodstock in his football helmet. He looks like he's awaiting something to come his way. And panel two, we see Snoopy, who has just stomps all, on Woodstock's head, flattening him. And then in panel three, he looks around to see where Woodstock has even gone. And in panel four, we see just the very top of Woodstock's head popping back to life, where Snoopy says, “rah?”
Jimmy: all about the drawing in this one, I think. That last little panel of Woodstock.
Harold: Poor little Woodstock. Now, this year, there was a strip where Linus was reading from, I think, the newspaper article, or he was just quoting that football had surpassed baseball in popularity in the United States. And I thought it was fascinating that Schulz seemed to have taken that to heart. There's a ton of football strips this year also.
Michael: There's a reason for that. It's the Giants traded Willie Mays in 72. That, was it for me and baseball. He's living in the Bay Area, so he was probably pretty disgusted with that, too.
Jimmy: Well, yeah. He loved Willie Mays. I'm sure he did. Well, by the way, 1972, other than the year I was born, you got your Watergate, you got football supplanting baseball. Talk about jumping the shark. America, get it together.
Harold: Yeah, the 70s.
Michael: Jack Kirby leaves Marvel. Or that might have been early 71 or 70.
Jimmy: Yeah. this would have been the prime fourth world.
Harold: Now, I've heard some people say that the 70s was like the most eclectic creative year or decade for music, pop music. What do you guys think about the.
Michael: I didn't say that, that's for sure.
Jimmy: well, I mean, there's eclectic. Sure. Right? Because you had folk, you had the singer songwriter movement, you had punk, you had disco.
Harold: Muskrat Love
Jimmy: Muskrat Love alone has launched a thousand genres.
Harold: Steeler’s, Wheel. Sure.
Michael: Heavy Metal. Sure. No. Yeah. Eclectic, but not interesting. I was listening to Bessie Smith in the 70s.
Harold: Whole bunch of nothing.
Jimmy: You got to dig, in the 70s, to find your good stuff. Your Elvis Costellos, your Big Stars, they're around. They're around.
Harold: yeah, I was surprised to hear that. And then I said, okay, you got a point. There's a lot going on. And the music industry has probably never been more powerful than in the 70s, for good and ill. So music is everywhere. Right? You can't go to a pizza parlor without hearing Dust in the Wind.
Jimmy: Hey. Come to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. That's still true.
Harold: You will occasionally, but it's actual dust in the window.
Jimmy: Harrisburg was just rated number one place to live in Pennsylvania and 37th best in the entire country.
Jimmy: But, yeah, it will be maybe a beautiful Sunday afternoon, birds singing, and you will hear the Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald on Harrisburg radio. Like, it came out last week.
Harold: Yeah, someone had to go to the rest room.
Jimmy: Who is doing this?
Harold: I remember that was the single that you had to buy and turn over to hear the second half of it so long.
Jimmy: Yeah. Like American Pie
Jimmy: It was not easy growing up in the 70s, people. So much so that I feel like I'm having a flashback right now. So I'm going to have us take a break so we could get some water and a snack and then finish up this wild year. Sound good to you guys?
VO: Hi, everyone. We all love listening to Jimmy describe what's going on in a Peanuts strip, but did you know that comics are actually a visual medium? That's right. You can see them anytime you want at gocomics.com or in your very own copy of the Complete Peanuts, available from Fantagraphics. Plus, if you sign up for our monthly newsletter, you'll know in advance which strips we're talking about each week. Learn more about the great Peanuts Reread at Unpackingpeanuts.com.
Jimmy: And we're back. And we missed you. And here we go.
September 16. Woodstock tries to give the football another boot.
It doesn't go anywhere in panel two, but in panel three, after a beat, it does take off, surprising Woodstock, although Woodstock is pleased with this in the end.
Jimmy: That's a real tough one to narrate
Michael: But do you guys like strips where they override the rules of physics? The laws of physics?
Jimmy: I do. Just because you hate them. And that just gives me, like, pleasure watching you contort your mind around this. This would go back to my idea of Schulz being a character in the strip again. Schulz did it for him. give him a break.
Harold: Yeah, it's nice of him, but Woodstock doesn't care where it comes from he'll take the win.
Jimmy: He'll take the win, exactly.
Harold: Yeah. I like the little lowercase boot. The letter letters can't be capitalized because it's such a small kick.
Jimmy: Yeah. You know, that's really interesting. I didn't notice that as someone who pays attention to lettering. But all of the boots, that are the sound effects of Woodstock kicking have been lowercase, which is really cute.
September 30, Charlie Brown is managing another sports team, but it's not his baseball team. He has assembled, apparently, a little football team with Linus, Lucy, and Snoopy. And he says, “all right, team, let's pay attention. We're here today to try to evaluate our performances on the field. Each of us can stand a little improvement.” We even see, on the chalkboard behind him, a little X's and Os play calling that he's put together. He continues, in panel three, “each of us can learn something if we're willing to accept criticism.” To which Lucy replies, “your nose is too big.”
Michael: Gotta expect that.
Jimmy: Classic Lucy.
Michael: Yeah, she's awfully small there, isn't she?
Jimmy: I was going to say she looks very small in that panel. They, all look sort of small. I like seeing them, in the football helmets, though. I think those are good looks.
Harold: Yeah. That third panel with Charlie Brown, it's like his head is turned different angle than the football helmet.
Jimmy: Yeah, that's some Picasso perspective
Harold: you're just moving around in the football helmet, it stays in the same spot, but your head is moving all over the place. And his eyebrow, one of his eyebrows is on the football helmet.
Jimmy: Things that don't, subscribe to the laws of physics. That happens in Amelia all the time. The eyebrow over her hair. And she said--, I was talking to a bunch of 8th graders once and I drew it and someone asked me, why is her eyebrow over her hair? And I just stopped. I didn't know an answer for that. I don't know. Just the way it is, man.
October 1. Oh, this is great. In panel one, we see Snoopy with a very fuzzy looking winter hood pulled up over his head. And then in panel two, we see he is writing something. He's topped the doghouse with his typewriter and he thinks, “what a great title.” And then in panel three, we see what the title is. Toodle-oo Caribou: a Tale of the Frozen North. Snoopy continues typing. “One morning, Joe Eskimo went out to his barn to milk his polar cow. As he walked through the barn, tiny polar mice scampered across the frozen floor.” The next panel, we see Linus reading what Snoopy has written. Snoopy looks quite pleased with himself. Linus says, “I hate to tell you this, but there isn't such a thing as a polar cow.” Snoopy says “there isn't?” And Snoopy thinks to himself, “okay, scratch the polar cow. Linus ontinues to read, then hands the paper back to Snoopy as he says “there aren't such things as polar mice either.” Snoopy thinks “there aren't? Okay, scratch the polar mice.” He sighs. Then he thinks, “some of my best novels never get off the ground.”
Jimmy: This is one I always loved as a kid, just because I think Toodle-oo Caribou is one of the best titles ever. And, I really relate to that. especially I don't know if you guys find this, but if you tell anybody something about, a work you're working on too early in the process,
Harold: Oh it's devastating.
Jimmy: It's devastating. Right?
Harold: It's hard because you want to be open to constructive criticism, but at the same time, see, my problem is I'll go all the way to what's completed because, everything that gets questioned unless it's completed, I don't even tell people when it's completed.
Michael: I never tell them at all. Maybe that's why nothing sells.
Harold: It's in the drawer. Yeah. Do finish work, but just put it in a drawer. Let it season.
Jimmy: So wait, so explain that to me again, Harold. So if you do show it to people and then it causes you consternation, or are you saying--
Harold: As a general rule, you've always heard the maximum don't show finished work or unfinished work to to people who possibly to other artists or, or people who know the process but just don't do it. Because, supposedly most people cannot process where this is going or what this is going to be. They get caught up in the unfinishedness of it. But on my part, it's just my flaw that, I can't balance out what is driving me to make this in the first place. And then the feedback from somebody who was not driven to create it, but is just experiencing it. And they're saying things that are kind of out of left field to me, right. But then I dwell on them and I start to lose why I did it in the first place. And so I made a rule for myself that, I generally should just do the finished work. And I think that's probably why I do such short form stuff because it was wonderful putting out stuff on Instagram with Sweetest Beasts. It's like you have a day and you create a four, five, six panel strip. You put it up on Instagram and you get the feedback and it's like, it's done. It's out there. And it did get there in the form that I wanted to get it out there. And if it wasn't all that great or if I made a stupid mistake, I could always take it down or redo it. And sometimes I would get I remember getting some really great feedback on finished strips that I just go back and redo them. But if if I don't do that, I feel like, whatever I was trying to capture that somehow sealed inside my mind is never going to exist.
Harold: It's weird, but I've seen other people take criticism really well and they make masterpieces out of knowing how to balance the insights from other people.
Jimmy: Yeah, I mean, it depends to be on what the thing is. I write these Donald Duck stories and stuff for Disney. The problem when you're working with editors at big publishing houses is that you have to write the book before you write the book, because they have to see the entire thing. Because like you're saying, they cannot comprehend what it is. Now, when I was doing Amelia for Simon and Schuster, because I had already done four and, I was so much of a pain to deal with, they just let me kind of do what I wanted to do. But at Scholastic and at Disney, it's a different story. Especially at Scholastic, they really need like every jot and tittle down in a rough form.
Harold: With Scholastic, I get the sense that they feel like their name on that book makes them, in a sense, an author just like you. Because what they are saying as Scholastic through you is super important to them.
Jimmy: Yeah, that's a very nice way to put it. Yes.
Harold: Now, I'm noticing here something new that maybe has been around a while that I'm really kind of liking.
VO: It's Snoopy Watch.
Harold: It’s a very tiny little drawing thing of the little curled Snoopy tail. That's kind of boxy that comes down to the side in an angle. It's here twice in this Sunday and.
Jimmy: I think that's right.
Harold: Kind of cool.
Jimmy: Yeah. Top right and bottom left.
October 18, Woodstock is saying something to Snoopy with his little chirps. And then Snoopy says, “well, at least they can run faster.” Woodstock says the exact same little chirps in panel three. And then in panel four, Snoopy looks very annoyed, saying, “how can you talk to someone who keeps saying, au contraire.”
Michael: This strip is not for kids.
Harold: Well, none of these are right?
Michael: Well, unless they're French kids.
Jimmy: Au contraire, man.
Harold: We just got back from Montreal, so I've been so immersed in French, my head's spinning.
Jimmy: Very cute strip. I love the drawing of Snoopy looking annoyed and Woodstock's sort of blank expression in the last panel, too.
Harold: I would love to see a version of this strip where we see the same three panels of Woodstock chirping at him. And then the last panel is going to be saying, well, at least they can run faster.
Jimmy: I would love that.
Harold: That's a little too, I don't know, too postmodern for Charles Schulz. But.
October 19, we're in school with Peppermint Patty and Franklin. Franklin says, “I worried about this test. All night I worried and worried and worried.” Then Peppermint Patty says, “so what happened?” Franklin says, “I got an A. I wasted a good worry.”
Jimmy: Michael, this reminds me of you.
Michael: Oh, totally identify. Two weeks ago, we had to take this Italian language test. We were told it was very easy and so I didn't even think about it. And then the afternoon, a couple of hours before we had to go for the test,
Liz: 30 minutes.
Michael: 30 minutes. I started panicking, and I got all these grammar books, and I'm learning these weird tenses and all this obscure stuff. And of course I get in there and it was incredibly easy. And it was like nothing I even had to think about. I wasted a good worry.
Harold: What did you have to take the test for?
Michael: We're going for a ten year permesso, ten year visa, and we have to take this elementary Italian test, which is really nothing.
Harold: Now, when you first went over there, was it the same thing?
Michael: No, because we've been doing every two years going through the whole process. It's pain in the butt. Anyway, that has nothing to do with Peanuts.
Jimmy: This strip reminds me of me. this is in the middle of a sequence where, Snoopy has tried to go back to visit the Daisy Hill Puppy Farm, which, unfortunately has been closed and, turned into a six story parking garage.
On November 25, he has returned home. He's on the dog house with Woodstock, and he's thinking, “how could they do it? How could they tear down the place where I was born and build a six story parking garage?” But then Snoopy bolts upright and thinks, “wait a minute. Maybe that wasn't a six story parking garage. Maybe it was a huge monument erected to mark the place of my birth.” Woodstock chirps something to Snoopy in panel three. And panel four, Snoopy lies back down, thinking “it was a six story parking garage.”
Michael: That's a good Woodstock, expression in panel three there.
Harold: I love Woodstock leaning up against the back of his paws, with his head on it. That's really sweet. This is one thing that, even as a little kid, kind of confused and perturbed me, from an art standpoint, from Schulz, was if you look in that second panel and you look at stupid's two ears I never got that. There was like an angle on that second ear until it looked like just a tiny little.
Jimmy: When I was very little. I thought it was his tongue.
Michael: Yeah, it could fool you.
Harold: Yeah. But I think anybody who's read Peanuts knows what I'm talking about. When you have this kind of three quarter angle of Snoopy and he has the big ear with, the black and then the white highlight outline around the ear, but then the one on the other side of his head is like one eighth the thickness. And it was only just dawned on me as I was speaking that maybe Schulz thinks somehow it's the angle of the ear so that you're getting that thin angle of like, a dog ear. And that's why it's so thin. Because they never made sense to me as a kid. I was like, Why is that yeah, I thought that's a tongue. But no, that's not a tongue, that's his ear.
Jimmy: Yeah, no, I agree with that.
November 30, Sally is writing a theme, an English theme. And she starts “English theme, the true meaning of Christmas.” She continues in panel two as Charlie Brown watches, “to me” she writes, “Christmas is the joy of getting.” Charlie Brown says “you mean giving. Christmas is the joy of giving.” Sally looks at him and says, “I don't have the slightest idea what you're talking about.”
Jimmy: Michael, I love your newfound appreciation of Sally.
Michael: Yeah, this is a classic.
Harold: See how Charlie Brown seems like he's shrunken in size in that last panel? She deflated him, literally.
December 3, Snoopy is atop his dog house and he's received something in the mail. “Ah. he thinks a letter from my publisher.” He's reading it in panel two. We see it is in fact an author's questionnaire. “Author questionnaire. These questions are designed to prepare the media with information. “Author's name.” And Snoopy fills it in. Snoopy
Harold: in cursive
Jimmy: in cursive. That'll be an obscurity for young people. How to read cursive
“Residence: Just a doghouse. Phone: unlisted.” (Way to go, Snoopy) “Birth: See records at Daisy Hill Puppy Farm. Citizenship: Papers Misplaced. These things happen. Reason for writing book I wrote from a sense of need. I needed something to do. You can't just sleep all day long.” He continues writing in the next panel. “I was one of eight beagles. We had a happy life, lots to eat in a good cage. Although looking out at the world through chicken wire can get to you after a while.” The next panel “Married: almost once, but that's a long story. Schools and colleges attended:. Obedience school dropout.” Next last panel, we see “suggestions for promotion. If you don't promote my book, I'll get another publisher so fast it'll make your head spin.”Last panel, Snoopy smiles out at us, saying, “I like filling out questionnaires.”
Harold: There's a lot of Head Spinning jokes coming up, I think in Peanuts, if I remember correctly.
Jimmy: Yes, and this is obviously to me, this is one of these instances where Snoopy is just an avatar for Schulz, right?
Harold: Either that or Snoopy signed up for that Popular Mechanics classified ad in the back for the vanity publisher.
Jimmy: Oh, that could be. It was a Publish America or whatever that was. Yeah, well, good luck with that, Snoopy. But I also love filling out questionnaires. And that last panel. I relate to that.
Pity, my poor editors and publishers, honestly. But it's fair thought for them now and again. They're good people. They didn't ask for any of this.
December 4, Linus and Lucy are hanging out in their house. And Lucy's looking thoughtful. She says, “let's see now, how can I put this into words? What I mean is what I want to say is how can I put it into words? What I'm trying to say is--” panel three. She just POW, punches Linus right in the face. Linus is lying on the ground in the last panel and he says, “Rats I was hoping she could put it into words.”
Michael: This is a real callback to the older Peanuts.
Michael: Which I really like.
Harold: That's a darn good drawing of Lucy punching him.
Jimmy: Yeah. Now look at the shake on the hand, on the arm.
Jimmy: And it's that left to right motion where you're going to start seeing that more and more. But it is great. You really feel the impact. And that's what it's all about in these things, is this pure design. Like that is the most iconic way, you can show one little cartoon character punching another one.
Harold: It's really great and really smart. That Lucy is almost touching the left side of the third panel. And Linus has the full white space around him in the punch. That's what we want to focus on there.
Michael: I still think he's flipping over the wrong way.
Harold: I could see that.
Michael: I mean, how can he go down when she punches him?
Jimmy: Well, straight on. Well, yeah. And his head went back and he went butt over tea kettle, as they say.
Jimmy: I don't know if anyone says that, but anyway, as I say, I like that.
December 31, Snoopy is, holding a-- he's sitting like a dog for a change. And he has a giant branch in his mouth. Charlie Brown runs out of the house on a snowy day and he runs up to Snoopy's dog house and says, “Poochie's here, she wants to see you.” Oh, this is the middle of a sequence of Sundays where Poochie is going to visit Snoopy. We'll hear more about that here. Snoopy thinks, “I don't want to see her, not after what she did to me.” Charlie Brown somehow groks what Snoopy's thinking and says, “that was a long time ago.” “I don't care. We beagles have memories like beagles.” we see a puppy Snoopy prancing around in a field. And he thinks to himself, “there I was, an innocent little puppy bouncing around the yard one day, eager to please, willing to do anything for a little affection. Then this little girl comes along. Poochie was her name. She had a stick in her hand. Hi, cute puppy. She says, do you want to chase the stick?” And Snoopy, puppy Snoopy really does. And he is behaving very much like a little puppy. “So she throws the stick,” continued Snoopy “and I, like a fool, go running after it.” And we see that. “falling all over myself, bumping my nose and getting a mouthful of mud. I go running back with a stick, bright and eager.” And we see he's doing just that. And then a sad little Snoopy with a stick in his mouth, but his mouth slightly opened in disappointment, says, “just in time to see her walking away with an English sheepdog.” Charlie Brown somehow groks all this and says, “I'm amazed that you remember all that.” Snoopy thinks, “how could I forget? I still have the stick.”
Michael: Now that's a super cute puppy Snoopy.
Harold: there were Muppet babies.
Michael: When I was admiring it, I went like, wait a minute, we had a puppy Snoopy. It didn't look anything like that.
Harold: Yeah, it's so funny that we have baby Yoda and Muppet Babies and all that, but they never licensed baby Snoopy.
Jimmy: Oh, yeah, they did.
Harold: what version of baby Snoopy?
Jimmy: It looked like this, I guess mostly. It wasn't the 50s version.
Harold: Good move, licensing folk.
Jimmy: Yeah, no, they did. We had tons of baby Snoopy stuff for the kids.
Harold: Really? Is it just baby Snoopy or were there baby other characters?
Jimmy: I think it was just baby Snoopy.
Jimmy: Yeah, I'm pretty sure. At least that's all we had. I can't remember if they did it with, any of the other characters. And eventually you could get like the dolls and stuff of all Snoopy's brothers and sisters. But that was their adult version.
Harold: Oh, wow. Yeah. And then you were saying this is December 31, the last strip of the year. And we were saying this was kind of a year of regret. You're starting to see that in the strip. And you kind of have that feeling in this strip here.
Jimmy: Yes, absolutely. Very strange in that he's doing a story continuing across Sunday pages, which he almost never did. He did going back to the golf tournament way back in 54, but never happens. But it is happening here. And it'll even continue into next year.
Harold: Yeah. And as Michael was saying, this repetition of the concept of rejection. There's this woman in Snoopy's life who he saw for two minutes.
Harold: But he's never going to forget that rejection.
Jimmy: And that speaks to Schulz. I mean, he never forgot any of his rejections. And it's very sad. But he was a very melancholy person. I think he had great joy in his life and a wonder family and stuff. But I do think he was also haunted by past failures mixed with that.
Harold: Story about the little red haired girl who remembered him, someone from his past who had gone away.
Jimmy: Yeah. So that brings us to the end of a wild year. But before we get into MVP and all that sort of stuff, I do want to say what we're doing. We set aside a few sequences because there are long stories this year, that I think deserve some special attention and singling out, especially one, called The Six Bunny Wunnies Freak Out, in which, their books are banned, which, could not be more apropos for 2023. So next week, what we're going to do is we're going to actually look at those strips. It's going to be the Snoopy and next door neighbor Cat Fight, The Six Bunny Wunnies Freak Out and Thompson is in Trouble, so if you want, to find out what those strips are, what you can do is you can go on to Unpackingpeanuts.com and you could sign up for our newsletter. And then once a month, my good pal Mr. Harold Buckhholz will send you a newsletter. We don't spam you. It's just a monthly thing. And you'll be able to find out what strips we're covering and in what order. So if you wanted to do that, that would be great.
Other things you could do, you can go on and you can send us an email through our website, firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to hear from you, as we get into the especially if you're a younger person, maybe and this is the younger person in your 40s, like a kid of 48. And you want to tell us, what your favorite things are, maybe some things we might not be focusing on coming up, let us know. You can also, buy us a mud pie or support us on Patreon. And you could find out how to do all of that through Unpackingpeanuts.com. And you can find us on social media, on Twitter and Instagram. We're at unpackpeanuts and on Facebook we're unpacking peanuts. So we would love to hang out with you between episodes so you can find us that way.
But, before we get to next week, and Thompson is in trouble and the six bunny wunnies, I'm going to need, you guys to let me know your strip of the year and your nominee for most valuable peanut. Harold, why don't you go first?
Harold: All right, well, thanks. I think I might go with the strip of the year. That Charlie Brown and Peppermint Patty in the backseat of the car that you can never sleep in the backseat again. Like I said, it just feels like Schulz kind of calms for a moment in this year. And I don't know, it's just a sweet, profound, very memorable strip. And it also, I think, showcases those two characters really in a lovely way. New Charlie Brown, who's just that philosophical Charlie Brown, he's getting to stand usually he got the comeuppance with trying to make some profound statement. And now we're getting some moments where he actually does say some things that strike a real emotional chord. And I like that. But I will have to give Peanut of the Year to Snoopy once more.
Jimmy: All right, those are good picks. Michael, how about you?
Michael: Ah, well, I'm going to go with good old Sally. There was a couple of other possibilities, but strip of the Year, I'm going November 30, the joy of Getting. And she's a very modern person because basically, when she hears something she doesn't want to hear, she doesn't hear it.
Jimmy: That is very true.
Michael: And the character of the year again, is tough. I'm going to repeat myself. I'll give it to Woodstock again, just because I think the only times I laughed out loud this year were the Woodstock strips.
Jimmy: Those are good picks. Well, for MVP, I'm going to go outside the box. I'm going to give it to Joe Cool. I'm going to give it to a Snoopy Persona because I dig Joe Cool. And I'm going to give my strip of the year to maybe it was a huge, monument erected to mark the place of my birth. No, it was a six story parking garage. November 25, because I feel seen by that one.
So that's it for this year. Like I said, if you want to hang out with the gang, do all that stuff on social media and our website. we love hanging out with you once a week. It's my favorite day of the week. So come back next week. for Thompson is in trouble. The six bunny wunnies freak out. And the fight of the century. Until then, for Michael and Harold, I'm Jimmy. Be of good cheer.
Michael and Harold: 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. Unpackingpeanuts on Facebook and YouTube. For more about Jimmy, Michael and Harold, visit unpackingpeanuts.com. Have a wonderful day and thanks for listening.