Jimmy: Hey, everybody. Welcome back to the show. It's a very special day here. And Unpacking Peanuts, where we're looking at Charles Schulz's very own favorite storyline that he wrote for Peanuts is the Mr. Sack sequence from 1973. It's very famous, beloved, and I can't wait to talk to my pals about it.
How are you all doing? You doing well? I hope so. My name is Jimmy Gownley. I'm your host for this evening. I'm also the cartoonist of Amelia Rules, The Dumbest Idea Ever and Seven Good Reasons Not to Grow Up.
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 is the original editor of Amelia Rules, the co creator of the original comic book Price Guide, and the cartoonist behind such great strips as Strange Attractors, A Gathering of Spells, and Tangled River. It's Michael Cohen.
Michael: Say hey.
Jimmy: All right, Willie. And he is the executive producer and writer of Mystery Science Theater 3000, a former vice president of Archie Comics and currently the creator of the instagram sensation Sweetest Beasts, Harold Buchholz.
Harold: Hi Hello.
Jimmy: All right, guys. So we're looking at the Mr. Sack sequence. This is a special episode where we're just going to look at one storyline in depth. Before we get to that, we have some listener mail I could read to you guys. Would you be interested, please?
Jimmy: All right. Cool. This is from Barbara Castleton, who wrote, about our earlier 1973 episode. Barbara, writes, “I was out of the country when these trips were published, so I'd never seen them before.” You and Michael both. This is a new experience for so many of us. Still. “I'd seen Snoopy in many guises, but never snarky with a touch of malice. April 4 was palpably sad with Linus reminding him of his absent friend and Snoopy showing us how well he knows Woodstock and all his idiosyncrasies. I wonder if Schulz ever had friends who tried to dissuade him from being focused on a chosen project. Anyway, I was greatly relieved that Snoopy decided to catch Woodstock up on what had happened so far. In War and Peace, it takes no critical thinking to get that silly thing start wars, whether in Russia, a family, or a backyard.”
That's from Barbara. Well, thank you, Barbara. what do you guys think? That experience she asked about, though, whether he had friends that dissuaded him, I've never necessarily heard anything about that, but I'm sure there are elements of that in his life. What do you guys think?
Michael: Oh, everyone is always supportive when you want, I'm going to be a comic book artist when I grow up.
Jimmy: And they go, you do it.
Harold: You can make as much--
Michael: That's a great idea, son.
Jimmy: Yeah, so he probably did.
Harold: Well, it's funny. I mean, that just takes me back to that story that we recounted from when they were doing the Christmas special. That's like the one story I've heard where other people told Schulz trying to have his mind changed about things, about a laugh track and this sort of stuff, and how Schulz, like, he leaves the room and then like, oh, let's never speak of this again. It never happened. It just shows, number one, how strongly Schulz felt about things, but also how much people respected him as they should have. Right.
Michael: I can't remember, did cartoons have laugh tracks in those days?
Jimmy: Oh, yeah.
Michael: That's horrifying.
Jimmy: Yeah, it really is.
Harold: I mean, not all, obviously. You don't have, like, Hermey the elf telling a joke and Rudolph the red nosed reindeer going ha ha ha
Michael: But you have the people laughing to the Flintstones, the live studio.
Harold: Flintstones had it. Yeah. Boy, all those yucks. And Johnny Quest.
Jimmy: For a second, I thought you were serious. I was like, really? That'd be amazing.
Johnny Quest with a laugh track.
Harold: Oh, Bandit.
Jimmy: Yeah. I'm certain he had a couple of this, but clearly his superpower was being just completely built for this particular job, and I don't think there was any force on earth that was going to dissuade him from it.
Harold: Yeah. And he had this given all of the doubts that you see in the strip, one thing he never seemed to doubt was his ability to make right decisions with the strip, although he showed that he was concerned about what the editors might think and what the readers might think.
Actually, could I read a little thing? He said, he wrote this to Cartoonist Profiles, which was an amazing kind of insider magazine for mostly, cartoonists or people really into comics in 1971. And he was describing the changes in the strip and his sensitivities to how he thought that might not always go with everybody, but he was taking some risks and it might shed some light on where he was in this period. And particularly this thing we're about to read with Joe Sack in it.
Harold: Okay, so this is Schulz writing to I think it was Jud Hurd who was the editor. He said, “I think the Peanuts strip itself has changed considerably during the past five years.” This is in December of 1971. “I'm probably using fewer gags than ever before, and I'm depending on the personalities of the characters to carry the strip. I've learned also to trust the faithfulness of my readers, and I certainly never expect to please each one every day. I have learned to take the risk of using ideas that might be regarded as too quote, unquote, in knowing that those who understand the idea will be flattered and will appreciate it by showing even more attention to the strip than they did before. Perhaps the most in idea I have ever used was the one where Snoopy was pulling the sled up the hill, and when Charlie Brown looked down at the sled, he saw that it was named Rosebud. I also love to do things that are really kind of silly, like using terms such as queen snakes and gully cats, but realize that this is very risky because if readers are caught in a mood where they do not appreciate silliness and do not see it in this way, the whole thing is going to collapse. But I am convinced that these risks are worth taking. And I am fortunate in having editors at United Feature Syndicate who are willing to go along with this kind of thing.”
So I thought that was really interesting given what we've been talking about when we've been seeing these shifts in Schulz. And obviously Schulz was very aware of what he was doing and where he was going with this. And the idea that he loved Silliness. We've seen that from the very first year of the strip. And sometimes he indulges himself more than others. And I think he really has kind of gone into this space where he's enjoying it. I think adding Woodstock in some ways, really, you had a character where Snoopy and Woodstock in their own little world could just kind of go off in these areas of Silliness and we'll see it all the way through the end of the 50-year run. But the idea that he loves Silliness, but he was aware that maybe it doesn't always ring right with certain audiences. He was also aware of that.
Jimmy: yeah, well, it's very hard. I mean, it's basically a unique thing in the case, of Peanuts, where such a large audience had to be accounted for. Hip people, square people, highly educated people, kids, who are in kindergarten.
Michael, do you remember particularly, I guess, in the height of, say, the counterculture, which was also the height of Peanuts, was there ever any kind of cognitive dissonance with this thing being cool while at the same time having to speak to so many different types of people?
Michael: I don't think the counterculture embraced Peanuts. I was kind of on the fringe since I was still in high school. Yeah, the underground comics were starting, and I think they were pretty much trying to get as far away from this kind of storytelling as possible. just trying to be outrageous. So, I don't know, I have a feeling Schulz was probably considered kind of stodgy and kind of like his attempts to be hip. He mentions these hip references, like Citizen Kane. Anyway, it was right in gear with what me and my friends were into.
Jimmy: And you were slightly younger than that. That makes sense.
Michael: Yeah, I mean, it was sort of intellectual and it was kind of slightly depressing strip, which we appreciated and he wasn't going for laughs as much in the 60s I don't think.
Jimmy: It's funny that you should say that because I'm, looking here at the David Michaelis book, which I have slandered and stuff on our episodes. But I will, talk a little bit about this. He does talk a lot about this particular sequence, the Mr. Sack sequence that we're going to talk about. But he also talks a little bit about some of the stuff that was going on in the strip previous to this. And the testimonial dinner that Charlie Brown was supposed to have given to him. and then all the other kids decided it was hypocritical, so they back out of it, which we discussed last episode or the episode before, something like that. So a fan wrote to him and asked about that very topic, why Mr. Schulz is essentially such horrible things happening to Charlie Brown. So I'll read from Michaelis, “why Mr. Schulz asked Mr. Robert B. May of Orville, Ohio, occasioning a long defense of the melancholy in Peanuts, which concluded this is from Schulz. ‘Actually, I am very fond of Charlie Brown myself and I don't like to see him hurt. I'm afraid, however, that a happy comic strip is almost impossible to draw and would be as unrealistic as a completely happy and carefree life.’ That's the end of the Schulz quote. And then Michaelis continues “happiness, he insisted, was not a source of humor. In this observation, he echoed Tolstoy, who wrote that happy people have no history.”So there you go.
Harold: And yet, there's a whole element of Peanuts that lives that is about happiness.
Jimmy: Of course. Well, happiness is a warm puppy for goodness sakes.
Harold:. Yeah. Right. So it's interesting that Schulz in the strip is saying maybe that's not where I need to go. But when you extract it from the strip and to me, these other things of Schulz are almost like are memories of the strip. You're using the memories of the strip or you're extracting these iconic elements of the strip. And that I think he was asked to do the happiness thing. I don't think he came to somebody necessarily and did it well, he put it in strip first, though, was that we were talking that that was about the era of, the Hallmark deal. So I'm not exactly sure where it falls. It's like the things were being asked of him that were a different version.
Jimmy: Well, no, I just want to be clear. No, it did start in the strip with that happiness as a warm puppy strip.
Harold: But I think it also, if I recall, we noticed that it seemed to be lying on top of now doing greeting cards, which is a different world. Right. You're trying a good moment.
Jimmy: right. And I completely think of someone from the greeting card world would see that and go, oh, that's great. Or not even the gift book world.
Harold: Or he's being asked. Yeah, right. The gift book people were responding to Schulz, who might be responding to Hallmark by thinking through ideas. The fact that he was doing the little happiness at some point, the little happiness stamps, which was a thing that existed back when he was growing up. Reading comic strips, you'd often get these little collectible stamps that were in the Sunday comics that a cartoonist would do to try to kind of keep somebody coming back to read the thing. And you'd have these little character stamps or this and that, and he chose to do that with the happiness. But, yeah, I could be totally wrong. It's all conjecture, but I'm thinking that maybe the happiness thing, he got there because he was having to translate Peanuts into greeting cards. It just seems like that's where those ideas might have come from, since they hadn't seemed to have been there before that, part of his life existed.
Jimmy: Absolutely. This is Schulz's favorite story. And I will read one more thing from the Michaelis book here where he talks about how he sort of came up with it and what his thoughts were on it. This is from the Michaelis book called Schulz and Peanuts, and it's the chapter called Happiness. And this is a quote from Schulz.”I thought of the idea while working on a Sunday page. Instead of the sun rising, I drew a baseball on the horizon in the title panel, which is dropped by most newspapers. I worked on the idea and just thought of things as I went along. Then two years later, Schulz wrote, I don't know which story has been my favorite,” and I believe this is actually originally from that, Peanuts Jubilee book. “I don't know which story has been my favorite, but one that worked out far beyond my expectations concerned Charlie Brown's problems when, instead of seeing the sunrise early one morning, he saw a huge baseball come up over the horizon. Eventually, a rash similar to the stitching on a baseball began to appear on his head, and his pediatrician told him it would be a good idea if he went off to camp and got some rest.” Boy, they really just wanted to put kids off to camp in this strip. “Because he was embarrassed by the rash, he decided to wear a sack over his head. The first day of camp, all the boys held a meeting, and someone jokingly nominated the kid with the sack over his head as camp president. Before he knew it, Charlie Brown was running the camp and had admiration of everyone. I don't pretend there is any great truth to this story or any marvelous moral, but it was a neat little tale, and one of which I was proud.” And then, he could never explain where the idea came from. It just happened. All right, so that's kind of set up for where we are. we're going to do the thing where we looked at this as in depth as we can while skirting copyright laws. So I'll read a few of them and then describe some others, and then read a few more, and we'll go like that. That makes sense.
Jimmy: All right, so if you characters out there want to follow along, this one's going to be pretty easy. All you got to do is either pull out your beautiful Fantagraphics books, go to your gocomics.com if you're doing that, you want to type in June 11, 1973. And then away we'll go.
June 11. It's the pre dawn hours, and Charlie Brown is lying in bed. He is, however, wide awake. In panel two, he rolls over, still wide awake. Panel three, he tosses back, and we see the sun just beginning to peek over the horizon. And in panel four, we see, in fact, it is not the sun, but it's a baseball.
Jimmy: I think it's really interesting that the initial spark of an idea came from him having to do one of those symbolic, panels of a Sunday page, where he knew most paper would just throw it away. I think that's interesting that his magnum opus would come out of something that was, again, something he was forced to do rather than really wanted to do.
Michael: Yeah, that's true. Just those things, you have to learn to read them as not being part of the strip. If you try to analyze those first panels, you can go crazy because anything can happen in that first panel. Yeah. So this is, a wacky idea. This is pretty much as surreal as things have gotten so far, I think.
Jimmy: Yes, it is. But it's a more contained surrealism than, say, the head beagle thing, like, talking about the speech Snoopy made, where there was the riot and all that kind of stuff. That seems a little more chaotic and a little less I mean, believable is not the right word, but well, I mean, kind of is the right word.
Harold: Well, yeah, right. It's being tele. There's a television televised. What world is going on in Peanuts? We're having to expand our minds into what this?
Michael: Well, the only way to read this is that he's gone crazy.
Jimmy: Yeah. He's cracking up, and he has. And he's manifested physical symptoms.
Harold: But then once it becomes--
Liz: Or he’s not actually awake.
Jimmy: Or he's not at this point yeah, it could be he's not actually awake.
Michael: That's true.
Harold: But if he's manifesting real symptoms that other people are seeing, which is something that he's commonly now doing in Peanuts, where this surreal is being experienced not just by the one person, like, let's say early Snoopy, when he's Snoopy and the red baron. And it's like everybody's now aware that something's going on in his world that's that's inexplicable, Right.
Jimmy: Which brings us to
June 12. Charlie Brown, with unerringly bad judgment, decides to go and talk to Lucy about this. So we have Charlie Brown sitting at the psychiatric help booth. And he says to Lucy, “yesterday morning I woke up very early. I just couldn't sleep. My bedroom faces east, and so I could see the sun coming up. Only it wasn't the sun. It was a huge baseball.” Charlie Brown continues. “I think I must be cracking up. I think I'm finally losing my mind. And on top of it all, I feel terribly alone.” In the last panel, Lucy has apparently invited him to the other side of the psychiatric booth and she says, “okay, now tell me more about this huge baseball.”
Jimmy: I think that's actually very kind of Lucy that she invites him over to the other side of the booth.
Harold: Why do you think she's invited him to the other side?
Jimmy: Because he's feeling terribly alone.
Harold: That is a kindness of Lucy. That's the only reason.
Jimmy: I do. I feel like he's feeling terribly alone. Like, okay, now you're not terribly alone. Which I just think is really cute and it's kind of kid logic. And it does give this little, like going back to what William Pepper said there is more to Lucy than just meanness.
Harold: What's funny, I didn't read that in that. That was her response to feeling terribly alone. but that makes total sense. But I didn't read it. When I read the strip. That was Lucy's solution of his loneliness was that he's now on the other side of the boot.
Michael: I didn't understand her response at all.
Jimmy: Oh, really? Yeah.
Harold: I just thought she was really interested.
Jimmy: Oh, no. He's terribly alone. Now. He's not alone.
Harold: But you have to add the illogic to it to make it her logic. So, yeah, I think you're right, probably. I mean, that's the most obvious answer. But it didn't strike me that way when I read it.
Jimmy: Well, this continues going on. And, the next day we see Charlie Brown sees the moon, has now taken on the appearance of a baseball. And, the next day, Sally, who very nicely. Again, it's interesting. People are trying at this point to be nice to Charlie Brown. Maybe they realize he's cracking up. Sally offers him, an ice cream cone, but when he gets it, it too looks like a baseball.
Michael: Now, I have the feeling that Schulz is just jamming here. Like he doesn't know what this is leading up to.
Jimmy: 100%. Yes. He states that in somewhere. Either that thing I read or someplace else where he just was making this up as it's going along, which is a fun way to work. I've worked that way many times. I think the best things I do, I work that way. But it's also a really risky way to work.
Michael: Well, at some point you might have to just throw logic away to get things back on track. Which he does.
Harold: Yeah, he'll sometimes do that. It makes me think of animation. There's two kinds of animation. Most people do pose to pose animation, where you know the extremes of a character and then you draw the in between drawings to get there. But there's also what's called straight ahead animation, and there are a few masters of that animation where literally, you just draw the next drawing and the next drawing, and the next drawing, the next drawing, and it's considered much more dangerous, as an animator. But certain animators can really come up with some crazy stuff that you wouldn't otherwise because there are no side rails as you move forward.
Michael: Yeah. Well, this is a real important mode of storytelling where you don't know what's coming next. And actually, some of the greatest works, or some of my favorite works were written this way, surprisingly enough. especially Lord of the Rings.
Jimmy: Lord of the Rings. Yeah.
Michael: That's the best example. I could not believe it when I heard that, that Tolkien actually did not know what was going to happen next.
Harold: Well, this is an interesting question. I don't know if you guys have ever addressed this or seen this in Schulz's description of how he worked. He was obviously responsible for putting out a strip a day, and he more or less kind of seemed to be, I've done my strip. Okay. And he had to do seven in a week. He's probably working five days a week. But he had a path to do this. Right. Did Schulz do we know to what extent, Schulz, if he was working on something like this? because usually if I'm sketching something out or I've got an idea, I'm going to follow that through and I might write ten or twelve strips within a couple of hours. If something's got a flow to it and you do know where it's going and you can kind of tweak it. Do you think Schulz was actually at some point just saying, okay, I'm done for the day now I'm going to think of something else on this story tomorrow, and then I'm going to think tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow. And he is just kind of figuring it out as he's committed to a finished, first I thought you were.
Jimmy: Going into a Shakespeare monologue there tomorrow, tomorrow and tomorrow creeps in this petty pace.
Michael: No, I see this as Charlie Brown's cracking up. He's seeing these things everywhere. So he takes that as far as he can go as a gag, and then he picks it up with, the natural consequences that he has to go to the doctor.
Jimmy: Right. Which brings us now to June 15.
Charlie Brown and Linus are hanging out at the thinking wall. Charlie Brown looks distraught. He says, “Everything I see looks like a baseball to me. And now my head has started to itch. I think I have a rash or something,” he says as he scratches his head. Linus says “turn around. Let me look.” He does turn around. And in fact, he now has a rash in the shape of baseball, stitches on the back of his head. And Linus says, “I think you'd better see your pediatrician,
Harold: So here's again, where some characters, surreal concepts, somehow pull themselves into the reality of the strip. So now Linus is seeing it. He actually has the same thing. There's no explanation for this other than there is a surreal.
Jimmy: Yeah, he's manifesting the symptoms.
Harold: but I'm just saying, in our world, if I was dreaming about stitches, and a baseball, I don't think I would get a rash in the shape you know what I'm talking about? It's like,
Jimmy: I don’t think it happens very often.
Harold: But you're saying but it does happen.
Michael: Schulz has no idea that he's going to put a bag over his head and go to camp.
Harold: So you don't think he was working ahead? Because this seems bizarre to me, that maybe, he did. I mean, that he would if he has, like, a four week strip sequence, he's going to take four weeks to figure it out. He's not going to work ahead or come up with eight amazing ideas that he's got to write down. And now he knows where he's going. I don't really have a record of him saying one way or the other how that would typically work. Do you guys know baseball well enough to know why the stitches are that way? Is it some physics thing that if the pull or the tear or whatever force that's put on the ball, if it's in that shape, that it's less likely to tear apart?
Michael: Well, I think it has to do with cutting a piece that you can roll up into a sphere.
Jimmy: A sphere, yeah. and it'll never be changed, because that's how pitches are pitched. It's entirely about how you put your fingers next to the stitches. You line them up one way, it gives you a curveball. You line them up another way and flick your wrist a certain way, it gives a drop, whatever.
Here we go. So now good old Linus has recommended that Charlie Brown go to the pediatrician. And here we are.
And Charlie Brown has, in fact, put a sack over his head to hide the fact that his head now looks like a baseball. We see him talking to the desk, which is, of course, representative, of the receptionist, and he says, “yes, ma'am, I have an appointment to see the doctor. Well, it all started one night when I couldn't sleep and I saw the sun come up, only it wasn't the sun, it was a baseball. Why do I have this sack over my head? Well, I've also developed this rash or something. You see, and ma'am, do we have to discuss this in front of the whole office?”
Jimmy: I really like that strip. So why did he put a sack on his head? 1974. When did The Gong Show start?
Jimmy: The Unknown Comic. The Unknown Comic, was a pop culture phenomenon of the 70.
Harold: That was later, I believe.
Jimmy: Well, I don't know. That's what I was trying to look up. Let's see. It would be interesting to see.
Harold: ‘76. 1976.
Jimmy: Wow. The first appearance of The Unknown Comic was 1976. That shocks me. I assumed it had to have all my life, I assumed this had to have something to do with The Unknown Comic.
Harold: He must have read Peanuts.
Jimmy: He must have read Peanuts. Maybe the influence did go the other way. Who knows? Okay, so here's my question that I want to ask you guys about the baseball thing. What do you think the significance is, whether intentional on Schulz's part or not, of it being a baseball that he's seeing?
Michael: I'm assuming he was up at night thinking about some horrible thing that happened during the last game.
Jimmy: Yeah. Do you think that is? If you think of Charlie Brown as a failure, the baseball games are the thing that pop out the most in your mind with that.
Michael: Yeah. Well, he's never won a game.
Michael: Probably never had thrown a strike. Yeah, it's got to be. And it haunts him. So I think he is cracking up. And then there's this psychosomatic thing that happened.
Jimmy: Well, Harold, what do you think about the fact that it's a baseball that he's seeing?
Harold: Well, I'm just kind of fascinated with the idea that Schulz is a person every day who imagines something in his mind, and then he brings it to life. it comes into the world in a comic strip. I mean, that's what a comic strip artist does. And here he has his comic strip character kind of realize something that's coming just out of his what we think is out of his mind, and then it manifests itself. I mean, it just seems like it's, for Schulz, this is what's happening in his life, and so he has it happen in Charlie Brown's life, too.
Jimmy: Wow. That's a really interesting way to look at it. There's a Sunday in there, and then June 18, we, kind of reiterate that he does, in fact, have baseball stitching on his head. Then he on the 19th, he goes ahead and he recounts. This is really interesting because you very rarely I'm going to read this one just because it's a very odd setup for for peanuts. It's a very odd setup.
June 19 So Charlie Brown is, now talking to the doctor. He still has the sack on his head. “Well, doctor, it all started early one morning when I saw the sun come up.” We now cut to a flashback where we see Charlie Brown in bed, the sun rising. It is a baseball. And Charlie Brown's vo says, “only it wasn't the sun. It was a huge baseball.” Then we cut back to the doctor's office, and Charlie Brown is saying. “Then it was the moon, and pretty soon everything looked like a baseball to me. And then I got this rash or something on my head and well--” And in the last panel, Mr. Sack says, “am I cracking up, doctor? Is this the last of the 9th?”
Jimmy: I love that he's doing a flashback. That's such an odd thing.
Michael: I think he really needs he feels he needs to get the readers caught up. Which comics used to do these daily comics. Like, the first panel was always like, as you recall, yesterday, and it's hard to describe it.
Harold: If someone hadn't read it, they might not take literally what he's saying because it's so bizarre. It's like he has to show it.
Jimmy: Yeah. Boy, it is really hard to think about writing stories in this format, especially, like Michael was saying, the adventure strips, especially at this point when there was so little space for them. Panel one would be like, yeah, as you might recall what happened yesterday, then panel two would possibly advance the story, and then panel three would tease tomorrow, and that would be it. You'd have really like one panel to advance the story every day.
Michael: Is this the last of the 9th? I like that.
Jimmy: So here we go. Now, Charlie Brown is packing his bag.
This is on June 20, and Sally is looking him on. He still has the sack on his head. And Sally says, “what are you packing for a big brother?” Charlie Brown says, “my doctor says I should go to camp. He said, I have to do something that will take my mind off baseball.” Sally now walking behind Charlie Brown as he walks out with his duffel bag. She says, “I've seen you play. I never thought you had your mind on it.” “Thanks a lot. I'll see you in two weeks,” says Charlie Brown. Then, calling out after him. Sally yells, “you're going to be a big hit at camp, carrying your head in a sack.”'
Harold: Wow. So Sally is being, a little prescient here. And Schulz does this so much in the story stories where characters will predict something unlikely and then it happens. I've noticed he does that a lot. Or, characters will like the other big strip, I think, from 1973, the big sequence about that testimonial dinner. There's like, three different jokes about what's the fundraiser for, right. And it's like there's three different jokes about it being, for some minor ailment because they usually were doing things.
Jimmy: For stomach aches or whatever.
Harold: Right. You're for the national heart association or something. And he's going to be about stomach aches. And I don't think it's the same character making the joke. It's like everyone is saying the same joke, like, three times as if it was so obvious. But in this world and here, Sally is kind of guessing where it's going. I think that's really interesting that Schulz does that. He lets the characters kind of set us up for what's about to happen.
Jimmy: Absolutely. All right, so I think that's a good place to take a break. We're going to go get a quick snack and maybe a delicious beverage and then, come back on the other side and, we'll talk to you about more Mr. Sack. in the meantime, if you want to help us out while you're getting your snack or whatever, you can log on to our website, unpackingpeanuts.com. That's where you can go and you can buy some of our books because we're all working cartoonists and we'd love for you to read our work. you could buy a t shirt. There's two different caricature versions and one of the Be of Good Cheer slogan with the 914 radio pen nib. you can also buy us a mud pie or support us on Patreon. So why don't you guys think about doing that while we go take a break and then we'll be right back.
Jimmy: And we're back. I missed you so much.
June 21, we see Charlie Brown still wearing the sack on the bus to camp. “So here I am on a bus going to camp,” he says. Panel two, we see the bus, wide shot of the bus, and, Charlie Brown continues. “For someone who hates going to camp, I sure spend a lot of time there. Maybe I went to the wrong doctor.”Panel three, we're now back close in on Mr. Sack, Charlie Brown. As he says, “every summer, he drags his family off on a five week camping trip. His solution for everything is go to camp.” The last panel, Charlie Brown, continues. “I know what will happen to me. Just when I get old enough where I won't have to go anymore, I'll get drafted into the infantry.”
Michael: I think Schulz is a little insecure about this. I think he's over explaining it. He's a little worried that readers are not going to buy this.
Michael: he usually will not-- like panel three. To get into the doctor's motivation is a little weird.
Jimmy: So he is buying himself a little bit of time, too, if he's making this up as he goes along, maybe sometimes you need a day, to fill in just because you have to put four panels in the, newspaper that day. So maybe he just needs to buy himself a little time. So he does an explanation strip. But yeah, you're right. To get into the doctor's motivation is pretty weird. What do you think of that drawing of the bus?
Michael: It's bouncing along.
Harold: That is a really rough drawing of isn't it weird?
Jimmy: Isn't it weird? I do think that there is something personal about this. And it feels like there's something that Schulz is almost struggling to get down. that might not be the right word, but it's almost like it's not just flowing out like he describes it. Oh, yeah, it just flowed. I don't think it did just flow out because that's a weird drawing of a bus. He is explaining it more than he would. I mean, I'm loving it. I think it's brilliant. And I think he's going someplace that's personal and deep, but I don't think it's flowing out.
A couple of things I think that are interesting is, first off, you don't see any other kids on this bus. The two times you see other windows, there's nobody there. It's just Charlie Brown going with the sack on his head. And Schulz talks about in several interviews that he used to think when he was a little kid that if he got separated from his mom, no one would be able to identify him or find him because his face was so bland and plain that no one would be able to identify it as anybody specific.
Harold: What a unique fear.
Jimmy: Isn't that strange?
Harold: That is wild.
Jimmy: Yeah. And here he's doing that.
Harold: It's also interesting I've never seen him sign his name on top of art. His S is crossing the window in front of Charlie Brown on the fourth panel.
Jimmy: Yeah. Doesn't it feel it's a little…?
Harold: Well, I just want to throw something in here I've been thinking about in the back of my head, because it was something that Jeannie said, was that she said, I used to love to drop in on her, husband and hang out with him while he was drawing. And he says, it only was years later that I realized that takes tremendous concentration. But he wanted me to be there and he would converse with me while he was drawing. I know what that's like, and I'm sure you guys know what it's like when you are drawing something and you're trying to lay it down. To do that on top of a conversation, or it makes it that much harder and it's easier to be distracted. And I just think he so enjoyed being around her that this you know, you we hear occasional stories of people would come and visit him while he was doing it. He'd show he'd show them what he was doing or he would be working on it. But it's possible going forward that quite a few of these strips are being done when there's somebody else in the room. And that could also affect how your strip comes out.
Jimmy: Well, the only time you can really have a conversation while you're doing a comic is when you're inking noodley details. And there are no noodley details in Peanuts. he's drawing in ink, and it does require a lot of concentration.
This brings us to June 22. We're now at the camp, and we see one of these non-Peanuts Schulz kids saying to Charlie Brown, who's still wearing the sack, “don't just stand there, kid. There's a meeting over at the main building.” We're now at the main building, and we see a bunch of kids sitting there, including Charlie Brown. Charlie Brown says, “everything always happens so fast at camp, I never know what's going on.” One of the other kids says, “what's this meeting all about?” A third kid with glasses who actually looks like he might have male pattern baldness himself as a child. He looks like he's rocking the Larry Fine but with a hat on top. He says, “we have to elect a camp president.” The first generic kid says, “I've got a great idea. Let's nominate the kid here with the sack over his head.”
Michael: I find this really strange. This whole thing is very strange to me. This is Schulz's favorite sequence. Yet from here on, there are no characters. None of his characters except Charlie Brown.
Jimmy: Yeah, well, it has to speak to the fact that he really saw Charlie Brown as the center of the strip.
Jimmy: Maybe, you would think about this is his favorite Charlie Brown strip, which is what, in fact, makes it his favorite Peanuts strip because clearly, Charlie Brown and Snoopy, I think, are the two that are his biggest avatars.
Harold: And when you think about what this sequence is all about, it's Charlie Brown leaving his element, which is the strip. And he's going into a world that he normally doesn't go to when he's not affected by the kids in his neighborhood, he's not affected by his dog. And all of a sudden, things change for him. Yeah, it is interesting that Schulz it's almost like Charlie Brown getting to kick the football in this sequence. He gets these moments of when he's outside of his normal world, which is the strip. Normally, all of a sudden, things change for him, things get better for him. And it is so funny when I also think again in terms of the timing. I mean, this is when he's just about to get married again.
Harold: And there is this kind of new beginning for Charlie Brown in this sequence that Schulz seems to be enjoying dwelling on.
Jimmy: It's very true. It's a really interesting way, to look at it. another thing that's interesting here is if you go over to June 24, which is the Sunday, we see presumably the thing that kicked us all off, which is although it is not, directly tied into the Mr. Sack storyline, we do see the throwaway panel where Charles Schulz drew the baseball as the sun. Coming up in the first panel. All right, so the kids have, in fact elected Mr. Sack president and they've decided to call him Mr. Sack.
So now we're on June 25 and, we see Charlie Brown, in his new role as camp president. And, a little kid runs up to him and says, “hey, Mr. Sack.” Charlie Brown says, “Mr. Sack?” The kid says, “remember how I told you I couldn't find my shoe? Well, I did like you said. I looked under my bunk again and there it was.” Kid runs away with a big smile on his face saying, “you're a good camp president, Mr. Sack.” “Mr. Sack?” says Charlie Brown.
Harold: I like the eyebrows on the sack.
Jimmy: I don't think I ever noticed that.
Harold: It's so funny that we had a sequence not too long ago where just the very idea that two girls had a fight over Charlie Brown at the camp across the lake led, the camp leadership to toss him out on his ear. And here he is walking around with a sack over his head, having been elected camp president. And there's no repercussions.
Michael: The shirt would be a giveaway.
Jimmy: Well, maybe it's a different camp.
Liz: They're not wearing sailor hats.
Michael: That’s true
Jimmy: Oh, no, the next day
Harold: And it's coed too.
Jimmy: It is coed. You know what? It must be because, yeah, only one kid's wearing a sailor cap, so I, think you're right. I think this is a different camp.
On June 26, we see some more non-Peanuts Peanuts characters talking about how he did well. Well, let me read this one. It's tough to decide which ones to read and which ones not to read, but, this isn't a kind of important one, I guess.
So we see a freckle faced little Peanuts non Peanuts character saying, “you know, Sack, that wasn't a bad breakfast.” Charlie Brown is sitting next to him putting the food up in the sack. The kid continues in panel two making a grossed out face, saying, “I was here last year and the food was terrible.” Kid points at Charlie Brown saying,”I'll bet you straightened them out, didn't you, Sack? I'll bet you told them to shape up on the food here or ship out, didn't you? You're a good camp president, Sack,” the kid says as they take their trays back for cleaning. Charlie Brown just blankly looks out at us through the sack.
Jimmy: This is an interesting psychological phenomenon, you know what I mean? It really does say something about human nature that now they're just going to put all of their hopes and dreams and the positive vibes on this kid with the bag over his head.
Harold: Yeah, I mean, it doesn't ring true with human nature, I don't think.
Jimmy: Oh, really?
Harold: I wouldn't say, oh, isn't this the way things are? I mean, if he was doing it in jest, I could get that. But the fact that he thinks that this kid with a sack over his head just because he's enjoying his meal is responsible for his improved, culinary experience.
Jimmy: Well, to me, though.
Harold: The humor is that it is surreal, right? It's not that. It's like, oh, isn't that human nature?
Jimmy: Well, to me, well, I think for Schulz, he has gotten a lot of praise and a lot of awards and a lot of, whatever from a lot of people who he probably felt didn't understand him. You know what I mean?
Jimmy: Did I ever tell you when I was a little kid. Did I tell this story about making the Peanuts drawing for my grandmother? Have I heard this? Told the story?
Michael: Yeah, go ahead.
Jimmy: So I was, like, five years old, and I used to make these drawings every, season for my grandmother. Like spring has sprung was this one, right? And I drew all the Peanuts characters playing around outside. And I remember all my her and my aunts were fussing over it. Oh, you're so talented. It's so good. And then they said, it looks almost as good as Charles Schulz. And I was just so proud. And then one of them said, oh, no, I think it's better. And I melted down. I had a complete meltdown. I was crying, basically, because I realized, oh, all this praise is a lie. Do you know what I mean?
Jimmy: They can't be better even at five. I know that's not true. So why are you telling me this.
Harold: This realization that someone is going to lie to you? Yeah. Wow.
Jimmy: Yeah. And it was heartbreaking. Right. Even though it meant that they meant well. Of course.
Harold: Right. Sure.
Jimmy: And it's possible I was slightly oversensitive.
Harold: And it's possible it was slightly better than Schulz at the age of 5
Jimmy: No, but you know what I mean? I think that's what he's seeing.
Harold: Future New York Times bestselling graphic novelist.
Jimmy: Oh, brother. All right, here we go.
Harold: Wait, I do want to say I love, love the character in the very last panel on the right hand side, who's behind? Charlie Brown. What a great looking, great little throwaway character.
Jimmy: And he shops wherever, Schroeder shops.
Michael: It looks like he's a snob.
Harold: Yeah, those are hand me ups.
Jimmy: Now, I'm not going to read this one its entirety, but it is important because we have Charlie Brown, who is now writing home to his parents, and he's interrupted in the middle, by a kid who needs a little bit of advice about which type of class he should take. Charlie Brown doles out the advice, much to the kid's joy. And the upshot is Charlie Brown writes home to his parents. Life here in camp is wonderful.
Harold: that is quite a panel in the history of Peanuts, isn't it?
Jimmy: I mean, it's really amazing. It's amazing that he gives him this moment. It's so poignant and sad that it's not him, it's Mr. Sack. It's a beautiful thing in the next one. Okay, this is great, because here we go.
June 28. Now, this I'm sure there'll be some obscurities, and some explaining to do with this one. This is a good one. Charlie Brown and one of the little non Peanuts Peanuts kids is sitting out there and they're fishing. They're fishing with sticks and string, because this is a very cheap camp. Mr. Sack says to the kid, “years ago, there was a cartoon drawn by Frank Wing about fishing.” Mr. Sack continues, “this boy was helping his dad hoe the garden, and he said, “gee, Pa, I'll bet the fish are biting good today. And his dad said, uhhuh, and if you stay where you're at, they won't bite you.”
Harold: I mean, the cool thing about Peanuts fandom is, of course, they found that strip. And if you go online and you want to search for Frank Wing and Schulz and this sequence, do a Google search, just pop in some of those words, you can find exactly the comic that is being referred to. And it's cool that it's an old, old comic. And Schulz is remembering that comic here for this.
Jimmy: Yeah. And it's clear that at this point, Charlie Brown is completely just being an avatar for Schulz.
Harold: Right, yeah. Because, I mean, Schulz studied with Wing and joined him on the faculty of the art instruction schools. So he was very close to him. It's really nice that he's kind of honoring him here. And he must be, well, maybe I shouldn't say must, but he's probably remembering that strip in his memory right. Because the actual wording is not too far off. It says Gee Pa. I bet you the feesh, F-E-E-S-H are a-bitin’ great today. And Paw says, huh. Well, you stay where you're at and they won't bite you is the actual, yeah, I think it's cool that he's honoring Wing. Frank Wing is kind of there was a style of cartoonist that is largely forgotten today. They were really big in, like, the teens and into the early 40s who did these kind of Americana, Norman Rockwellesque, comics, H T. Webster did a bunch of stuff like this. I'm trying to think of the other cartoonists who did these styles. They were often single panels and they kind of were capturing this old Americana, small town, rural world. And Wing was a master at that.
Jimmy: Beautiful stuff. So, Charlie Brown goes on as Mr. Sack continuing to run the camp. Well, he points out that two kids are fighting. Another kid goes over and, stops them. But Charlie Brown, as Mr. Sack, still gets the credit.
Then here on, June 30, the same kid it's really this curly haired kid, that has been hanging out with Mr. Sack a lot. They're looking out at the stars and the kid says, “Mr. Sack, which star is the North Star? Charlie Brown says, well, do you see those two stars that make the end of the Big Dipper? Just follow them straight up six spaces and there's the North Star.” “That's amazing,” says the kid. “Being with you, Mr. Sack, has been the greatest experience of my life.” Charlie Brown walks away and says, “a prophet is not without honor save in his own country.” The other kid says, “what did you say, Mr. Sack?”
Jimmy: Which brings us to the really, the point of the strip, of the sequence, rather, is that Charlie Brown removed from his Charlie Brownness actually is someone who has great depth, has great competence, is a good friend, is all these good things.
Harold: Yeah. He knows about the North Star. In this case, he actually is sharing some information that someone finds valuable. And that's really cool. He's quoting scripture as well. That seems like a very Linus thing to do. But here we see Charlie Brown doing it.
Jimmy: Well again, because it's a very Schulz thing to do. And this is Schulz being this is Schulz under the sack. In some ways, I really do think so.
Harold: Yeah, I think you're right.
Jimmy: But now here we are on July 2. We see that in fact his head doesn't seem to itch anymore. Maybe the rash has gone away and he's contemplating taking the sack off.
On July 3. In fact, he does take the sack off. We see he's waking up early and we just see him pulling his shirt on over his head as his little friend wakes up and says, “Mr. Sack, what are you doing up so early?” But now Charlie Brown, with no sack on his head at all, says to the kid, “I'm going out to watch the sunrise. If it's the sun, I know I'm cured. If it's a baseball, I'm still in trouble.” Little kid watches him leave and says “He didn't have a sack over his head. He is our camp president?”
And suddenly, he's back to being Charlie Brown again. He sits in the dark. He waits for the day to come up. And here's the big conclusion.
July 5, it's getting light. The sun is coming up. Charlie Brown covers his eyes and says “I can't look. I can't stand the suspense, but I have to look. I have to know, will I see the sun or will I see a baseball? What will I see?” Panel three, we see he finally pulls his hands away from his eyes. He looks. And in panel four, instead of the sun, we see Mad magazine mascot Alfred E. Neuman saying What, Me Worry? And Charlie Brown just says, “Good grief.”
Jimmy: Oh man. So what do you think about that, Michael?
Michael: The Alfred E. Neuman? Yeah, looks, like he traced it.
Jimmy: He probably did, right? Yeah.
Michael: It's not in the Schulz style at all. I don't know. This is not my favorite sequence. It seems to me that Schulz said something about it, didn't have a message, but it seems the message to me is that it was his face that's been holding him back his whole life, which is something you can't do anything about. It's sort of like all his problems are caused by the way he looks..
Jimmy: Well, I think of that as being symbolic. All his problems are caused by him being Charlie Brown. And he is a bald kid at age eight. So I mean, I'm sure there is a weirdness factor to it, but I think what it is is just to me. It's like that mask allows him the same way like a, superhero would wear a mask. Right. It allows him to be something else to people rather than his mundane self, which is constantly ridiculed and picked on. I mean, as we see it, like you said, as soon as the kid sees forget it.
Michael: I don't know if that scans because the kid nominates him for camp president solely because he's got a sack on his head which has its own anything or done anything to earn this on.
Jimmy: Well, he did. He's wearing a sack on his head. I think that is what it is.
Michael: It made him stand out. Yeah.
Harold: Yeah. It's interesting, you think, about the idea of wearing a sack as a statement, say, in 1973. That's a fashion statement. There's something bold about that. There is something to wearing a sack and sticking with it. That is, I can kind of see I can't see the adults accepting it, but the kids accepting it. It is a kind of a strange thing that I could kind of get, from what I remember, what it was like to be, growing up in 1973. There was just, a lot of change, a lot of uncertainty, and people were it was the idea of making statements through fashion, your own thing was it strangely kind of does flow with the times. And the fact that it ends with Alfred E. Neuman. It's interesting that he puts what me worry over Alfred E. Neuman. It's like he needed a little help, I guess, for get people to where he was going with this strip. He wanted to get as many people over the finish line as he could. But once again, Schulz is, like, right on top of the zeitgeist. There were two years that Mad magazine had a circulation of over 2 million copies, and it was in 1973 and 1974. So once again, Schulz is just right on the pulse. And just for some reference, there was no other comic book or comic magazine that was even half that. Mad magazine was its own phenomenon in this era. And the fact that we, had brought up the thing that no other cartoonist characters had ever appeared in a Peanuts strip before. And then, of course, this is the other one, the other exception that I know of, where we actually do see Alfred E. Neuman showing up in a Peanuts, strip. That's a big deal. That Schulz is allowing Alfred E. Neuman into his world to be the final punchline of this long sequence.
Jimmy: Well, to me, it is proof of my hypotheses of Schulz as a character in Peanuts. I mean, I think this is absolute proof. I mean, who would make the sun look like Alfred E. Neuman with above its head? It's Charles Schulz, right? And who would put Charlie Brown through this thing? It's Charles Schulz. And it's weird because it's almost like and, by the way, he'll know if he's crazy or not. And what he saw was the icon of mad.
Jimmy: Right. I mean, that's not encouraging.
Harold: Right. I would love to know at what points Schulz knew where this was going. Did he go all the way and then sit and noodle at his desk the very last day? And that was like because I think if I were Schulz, I would be really questioning this. That made him laugh. But it's like, can I pull this off? Can I actually get away with this as the final joke in this long sequence? he must have thought it was pretty daring.
Jimmy: Yeah, it is daring. I mean, I don't know that I love it as a punchline. I love it as confirmation of my theory.
Harold: Well, there you go. Well, no, I would, go along with you on that. I just love the breeziness of Schulz doing things like this in the 70s. He seems to be in a place where he's willing to like he had just said a couple of years earlier, and a little less than two years earlier in that interview that I read from that he liked Silliness. And I see it in the letters that he writes to his friends in the he would go to places that he wouldn't go to in the Strip. And now I feel like he's allowing himself a side of himself that he questioned as, like, is this something really that's going to be accepted, that he really wants to put in the strip? And he's letting himself do it. And I am grateful that he's gotten to this place as a creator and as a person in his life that he's, willing to be silly. Because I love Silliness. I think Silliness is grossly underrated, and I'm really grateful that he's messing around. It doesn't always hit. And like he said, someone's not in the right mood for Silliness, they will trash whatever you're doing as the dumbest thing ever.
Harold: That's right. But he is at a place where people know him and his characters, and he's willing to do that. And I think Silliness and Joy somehow can go hand in hand. And Michael, you were talking about how the strip was depressing. We're kind of going away from that sometimes in these silly sequences where he's just kind of expressing this surreal joy in certain strips. And, yeah, he doesn't always take you there, but sometimes when he does, it's transcendent. It's just this lovely moment where you're just kind of dancing with Schulz and having fun and doesn't make any sense. It's just silly and it's fun.
Jimmy: But there also is a sadness to the whole thing because Charlie Brown has experienced this thing and he's never going to experience it again. And Schulz pull in this little gag on him at the end shown. Alfred E. Neuman it's kind of like saying that, like, well, this sequence. Is over, buddy. Now you got to go back to the strip. I always like those things where you take the character out of their element and see what happens. And to see Charlie Brown become a success. Yeah.
Harold: For whatever it happened. I mean, that's what I'm hanging on to here.
Jimmy: It happened-- I mean, fantasy sequence. And it's not going to be taken away as, like the baseball game where they won, but turns out rerun...
Harold: And I have to say, the first panel in this sequence, if for those of you who are following along, this is July 5. The first panel is lovely. It's Charlie Brown kneeling in this black ink underbrush of what an unmanicured area of a camp. Really beautifully drawn. And, he's kneeling kind of expectantly in there. That is a really pretty panel. And he draws Charlie Brown really well there. And yeah, I love that panel of expectancy.
Michael: He does make an artistic error in the second panel, which is, really rare for him.
Jimmy: What do you see?
Michael: Oh, it's just that the line of the sleeves make it look like it's his head--
Jimmy: Oh, it's a tangent. Boy, that's really interesting. Yeah. So what Michael's talking about here is they're called tangents in art. It's where one line, continues against another line that are actually unrelated. So what Michael's talking about here is the curve of Charlie Brown's bottom jaw goes right through and, becomes the curve of his sleeves. Right. That's what you're talking about? Which makes it look as if his head is actually kind of crossing planes with the arms.
Michael: Now, I didn't notice that the first time I read it.
Jimmy: Right. It is something, though, that I am always fighting against in my own drawings, actually. I think maybe it is, because when it's simpler, too, it's more obvious because there's fewer lines. Michael, did you read Mad? I know, not in the 70s, you didn't. But were you a Mad fan when you were a kid?
Michael: Yeah, like the late 50s, early 60s.
Michael: So I was surprised when you said its, sales were that high in the 70s because this was sort of when National Lampoon kind of became the hip satire mag to read. I didn’t know people were still reading Mad in those days.
Jimmy: Yeah. well, littler, younger people.
Harold: just for context. Like, in 1960, the circulation was just over a million. And then it pretty much just grows steadily every year until you hit 74, 2.1 million copies, which in the world of comics was unheard of. I mean, at one point, I think maybe back in the 40s, Captain Marvel might have been doing pushing.
Michael: Yeah, I think Captain Marvel had higher circulation than that.
Harold: But in this era, at this time, there's no comic book because essentially Mad magazine became a magazine because, of the Comics Code, which came out in 1954, where there was essentially an outcry about the content of these comics, which people were saying were for kids, but everyone was reading them at that time, adults as well. And so they toned back a lot of the content to a very strict code. Kind of like the movie code and the Hayes code in the 30s through the late fifties. And so Mad magazine survived by stopping being a comic. It went black and white. It had been in full color and the size of a comic book. But they switched over and said, okay, we're not a comic book anymore, so we don't have to follow your comic rules. And it thrived and it outsold any comic book by a long shot at this point.
Jimmy: Yeah, absolutely. So there you go, guys. That is Mr. Sack. Do we have any other final thoughts on this before, we kick it to next week?
Michael: He doesn't really resolve it. He's still crazy. Yeah, but then it's dropped, so I was kind of surprised when I saw the next strip. A couple of strips and it's back to Peanuts land without any follow up..
Jimmy: he's still sadly crazy. But that's okay.
Harold: We all are.
Harold: And it's like you say, I do believe, Jimmy, that you're right. That this is Schulz showing his hand in the strip in a distinctive way at the end. Which maybe yes, maybe it's not my favorite gag either, and it's a bit of a non sequitur, but I'm glad that we're seeing Schulz popping through the strip at this particular moment in his life, given what he's just taken Charlie Brown through. It's been a very unique few weeks of Peanuts, and I'm grateful for that.
Jimmy: Yeah, exactly. That's basically how I feel about it very much. I think this feels like a very personal sequence for Schulz. It, of course, confirms my pet theory, so I love it for that reason. And since it mattered to him, it was important for us to, take a good look at it.
So that's it though, for this week. That was Mr. Sack. Join us next week when we'll be what are you going to do next week? Oh, we're going to talk about Peanuts and how good it is and that we like it. So if you want to listen to some of that, you can come back next week. In the meantime, here's what I want you to do. I want to hear from you because it's so nice to hear from you guys, and I worry about you when I don't hear. So you can, email us through our website unpackingpeanuts.com. You can follow us on social media. We're Unpacking Peanuts on Facebook, and we're at unpackpeanuts on Twitter and Instagram. So, you can do those things. You could also call us on the hotline. And the number is hang on.
Jimmy: 717. Wait, I could do part of it. 717-219. And what's the rest?
Jimmy: There you go. 717-219-4162. We would love to get you could you could send us a text message or you could, leave us a voicemail. Other than that, just come back next week, and listen to our show. Yeah.
Harold: Correct all our egregious errors, please.
Jimmy: Yeah. Because we don't know what we're talking about. We're making I'll tell you real quick, you listen to things, you see things on the Internet, and you go, oh, well, they must know what they're talking about, right? I googled something the other day about Paul McCartney playing bass left handed. And in this context of the article, it says Paul then saw a photo of Slim Whitman on the Internet playing the guitar left handed. In 1956, Paul McCartney saw Slim Whitman on the Internet. So you can't believe everything you hear online, people. And that is the type of research we try to bring to this podcast.
Harold: We need to have an all yodeling episode.
Jimmy: Well, that's what we'll do next. But until then, for Michael and Harold, this is Jimmy.
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. Unpacking peanuts on Facebook and YouTube. For more about Jimmy, Michael and Harold, visit unpackingpeanuts.com. Have a wonderful day and thanks for listening.