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Special Episode: She's a Pretty Sharp Mother

Jimmy: Hey, everybody. Welcome back to the show. This is Unpacking Peanuts, and today we're going to look at everybody's favorite Hallmark holiday, Mother's Day. I'll be your host for the proceedings. My name is Jimmy Gownley. I'm also a cartoonist. I did the Amelia Rules series, Seven Good Reasons Not to Grow Up and The Dumbest Idea Ever. Joining me, as always, are my pals, co hosts, and fellow cartoonists. 

He's a playwright and a composer, both for the band, Complicated People, as well as for this very podcast. He's the creator of the original comic book Price Guide, the original editor for Amelia Rules, and the creator of such great strips of Strange Attractors, A Gathering of Spells, and Tangled River. It's Michael Cohen, 

Michael: say hey. 

Jimmy: And he's the executive producer and writer for Mystery Science Theater 3000, a former vice president for Archie Comics, and the creator of the instagram sensation sweetest beasts, Harold Buchholz.

Harold: Hello.

Jimmy: So, guys, we are going to look at Mother's day, strips in Peanuts, which can be a harrowing experience. As we know, some of the most emotional, melancholy and even sad, sad strips in the Peanuts canon seem to hover around Mother's Day.

Michael: This is true. I think it's kind of odd that we're dealing with a strip that never showed a mother.

Jimmy: Right.

Michael: Unless there was mothers out on that golf course when they had, he showed adults, for one.

Jimmy: Yeah. All the moms are crammed into that sequence.

Liz: And the front of the bicycle that we don't see.

Jimmy: Right, right. Yeah, we just see the little bit of her windbreaker, it looks like. I mean, obviously, this, the parent stuff is important to Schulz. It is very strange that it's the strip where, famously, adults don't appear, which he said was really a function of just having such a small strip. There was no room for them.

Harold: That's interesting. And for those who haven't heard this story, he lost his mom in a pretty harrowing way. Was, he still in his teens, I think, when, yeah, he was.

Jimmy: Heading off to war, so I think he would have. It was like, what, 19? 43, 44. So, yeah, he was just, like, 19 years old, something like that.

Harold: And she basically said her goodbye to him just as he was heading off to war. So I think the melancholy in these strips reflects maybe some of his own memories of his mom.

Jimmy: Oh, I absolutely think that's true. And, you know, oftentimes we talk about the relationship between the siblings in the cast, you know, Linus and Lucy, Charlie Brown and Sally and stuff. But Schulz himself was an only child. And I feel I can speak to this because, I, too, am an only child and have all of the pluses and minuses that only children seem to have. And one of them is they have a very different relationship with their parents than people who have multiple siblings. You're the focus. It's very intense. And, you know, Schulz being kind of a homebody, kind of a quiet guy, I'm sure it was super intense for him. 

But this is why art is amazing. He manages to take the word. That's a low point in a person's life. I, can't think of many lower points than something like that. And, he turns them into unbelievable golden nuggets of humor and wisdom and empathy. And that's why we love him and why we're going to be looking at these strips today. Well, so we're going to start. We just pulled these. The Peanuts wiki is actually a really cool resource. it has tons of stuff, obviously cobbled together by fans over years, probably, hundreds of fans. And, for one thing they do is they sort of sort things up by topic. And I just went on there and found Mother's Day strips. And the list actually conveniently starts at 1964. So it'll be more the era 64 to the eighties, that we're dealing with recently that we're going to look at today. So I think that worked out nicely. So if you guys out there want to follow along with this, in this instance, just go on over to, the Peanuts wiki. It's Peanuts dot fandom.com. Search for Mother's Day strips and you'll find it normally. What you want to do, though, is go over to UnpackingPeanuts.com. That's our website. Then you're going to sign up for something called the Great Peanuts reread. Because what we're doing is every single week, we are reading every strip from 1950 up, up to 2000. Every strip. Schulz wrote 17,897 of them. And, if you sign up for the reread, you will get an email from us once a month, just a little newsletter telling you what we're going to be covering in the upcoming month. So with, all that out of the way, let's get started.

Michael: Okay.

May 10, 1964. In the first panel, we have what looks like a homemade Mother's Day card, with a photorealistic portrait of Linus. Drawn by Linus, I assume. And it says, happy Mother's Day from your son. Me. In the next panel, we see Lucy, who looks like she's, reading possibly the newspaper, like a tabloid newspaper or something, or a magazine. And she says, listen to this. Linus is in the background watching television. And Lucy says to Linus, it says here that nothing pleases a mother more on Mother's Day than to receive a long distance call from one of her children. Linus thinks about it and says, that's a good thought. Then for the next two panels, we see him leaving the house, running through the neighborhood. And in the final panel, we see him looks like, ah, more of an city street corner in a phone booth. And he's placing a call. Hello, mom.

Michael: So that's what that weird object is in the last panel.

Jimmy: Peanuts Obscurity.

Harold: For our younger listeners. obviously, phone booths are probably things you haven't had a lot of experiences with. But also, back in the day, there certainly were lots of advertisements. Maybe this is also a little bit later. I don't know what it was in the sixties, but in the seventies, it was expensive to call people long distance.

Jimmy: Yes, it was.

Harold: It's hard to remember that, how you had to make a commitment to call somebody long distance. Because it was.

Michael: Wait, you're assuming the mom does not live with them. She's two blocks away.

Harold: As far as what Lucy's reading. Yeah. What Lucy's reading in that newspaper is, you know, I think, was it Bell telephone or whatever? Or AT&T, they would say, you know, reach out and touch someone was their slogan. You know, they'd have somebody sitting in a hotel room remembering somebody they love. And they're encouraging them to spend the money to make that long distance.

Michael: Well, you call collect.

Jimmy: Well, what you do when you're in college in 1990 is you have an at and t calling card. So you dial 1800 C A L l Att. Then you dial the area code, the number you're calling. Then you dial your prepaid. No, it wasn't even prepaid. Just your at and d long distance calling card number, which is, in my instance, eight, four, 1142-116-8660 then you would ring it twice at your house, hang up. So that that would be the code that your parents call you back. And they wouldn't have to pay for it on the card.

Michael: Cool.

Harold: Yeah. Nothing pleases a mother more on Mother's Day than to receive a collect call from one of her children.

Liz: My stepmother was so cheap about long distance calls that she, in south Jersey, would send a postcard to her friend who lived in Philadelphia. rather than call her.

Jimmy: Did she Just drive the postcard over?

Liz: She didn't drive.

Jimmy: Boy, it's cool seeing this early looking, Peanuts. After looking at more modern Peanuts for the last few months or a year or so, perspective on the phone booth, perspective on the little shop with the little awning above the window. Looks real nice.

Michael: This, to me, is, like, absolutely classic Peanuts. Right, right in the heart of the golden age.

Harold: Yeah. I love Linus's little arms bent upward as he's running out of the house. That's so classic.

Jimmy: That's a Schulz Yeah. It's such a Peanuts pose. You don't see kids running like that in any other strip.

Harold: No. On the Christmas special, my wife, Diane Cook, she was. She's always. Because, I mean, she's an artist and is really great at gesture drawing. And she can't stand that pose of Charlie Brown when he's leaning down to look at the Christmas tree at the very end of the Christmas special with his arms up.

Jimmy: She's like, nobody does that.

Harold: So I started doing it around the house. Of course.

Michael: Of course Linus is doing his tyrannosaur impersonation.

Jimmy: There's a great, example of less is more in that next to last panel where it's just the line, of roof line indicating the houses. You know, there's, there's almost no detail in the background. It's also spare. And that really focuses you on Linus in the foreground.

Harold: Yeah. Little Linus Rex.

Jimmy: Yeah.

Liz: I didn't realize that was rooftops. I thought it was mountains.

Jimmy: Oh. 1 flat mountain and 1 Pointy Mountain. So I have a question that something that Michael said in an or in an interview in an episode a little while back that I know what he means, but I can't define it. And I was wondering maybe he could define it better. But, you said something like, oh, this is very. I don't remember what strip you're looking at, but you said, oh, this is very cartoony for Schulz and my version, that is, if I would look at, say, Peanuts versus, let's say, Hi and Lois, I would go, oh, Hi and Lois is too cartoony for me. But they're both cartoony. What am I trying to say?

Michael: Well, I think what I probably was referring to is, is a panel where he threw out the guides of how he had to draw Charlie Brown or Snoopy or whoever it was just throughout kind of the rules and just went crazy on expression.

Michael: You know, for him, that's cartoony.

Jimmy: Right, right.

Michael: I think any artist has a style, and if they stretch that style for like, humor, you could call it cartoony, even if they're photorealists.

Jimmy: Yeah, yeah. You could see that in someone's work, like, say, Dave Stevens, where he'll have like one panel where it's a really exaggerated expression or something like that. 

Michael: Which is, you know, just something you've got in your grab bag of tricks, but you don't want to do it all the time.

Jimmy: Right.

Michael: Besides, you don't if you don't draw that way. Yeah, no, I, there's certain artists I am influenced by who are cartoonier than I am, but occasionally I'll go, well, maybe I'll go for that kind of exaggerated expression just for, you know, humor.

Jimmy: Yeah. Like a sn---.

Harold: Yeah. To me, cartoony is all, is almost all in the eyes. How you, how you draw the eyes somehow, to me, defines something that seems super cartoony. If you have the, you know, you have the gigantic elevated whites of the eyes with the full outline around them. That, to me, is cartoony. I don't know why.

Jimmy: Right. Which is also like the Beetle Bailey look or like the Garfield look.

Harold: Yeah.

Jimmy: Interesting. 

May 9, 1965. It's another phone gag. so, Charlie Brown goes up to the good old, phone, and he answers it, and he says, hello, by, the way, this phone has a real pride of place in the house. It's on a pedestal just by itself. So Charlie Brown says to whomever is calling, just a moment, please. I'll get him. He runs outside, goes to see Snoopy, who's on the doghouse. Charlie Brown tells him, telephone. And they both run in. Then Snoopy listens to whomever is on the phone. Then he sniffs in the next panel. He's looking very sad. And then Charlie Brown admonishes him and says, you really ought to be ashamed of yourself. And Snoopy does look upset. She was right, you know, says Charlie Brown, on Mother's day, you should have called her. He says to Snoopy. And then Snoopy says, I never think of those things.

Michael: Now, I was glancing through some, strips, and I came upon a much later strip where Snoopy's father appears. Is this true?

Jimmy: I don't actually even, I don't remember that. But, but it could be. I only read the nineties stuff once or twice. Yeah.

Michael: I went like, whoa, there's a real old Snoopy like dog, who apparently got calls from all his children or cards from all his children. And, I was, I was just wondering if Snoopy's mother actually ever appeared.

Jimmy: And, not to my knowledge. And normally it's like he doesn't know where she is, right?

Michael: I'm not sure. I’m not up on the lore here.

Harold: I love the drawings of Snoopy, listening on the phone. I don't know if you would call that lower left Snoopy more cartoony because the eyes are a little more prominent. But I think of cartoony when I see that. But I like cartoony. And I love these drawings of Snoopy's kind of looking upward, which means to be able to look like he's looking upward, we have to have a little more of the eye, the, overall eye showing.

Michael: Boy, is this max forehead. Where did his brain go when he lost his forehead?

May 8, 1966. We're at the baseball field. Schroeder's behind the plate, and he calls timeout. And then he walks out to the mound. He approaches Charlie Brown and he says, I just thought of something. Today is Mother's day. Charlie Brown says, I know it is. Then Lucy comes in from the outfield and says, what did he say? I thought I heard Schroeder mention Mother's day. Now the whole team is starting to gather around the mound. We see both Patty and five show up. And Schroder continues. He says, today is Mother's Day. We're playing baseball on Mother's Day. Lucy says, we should be home serving our mothers breakfast in bed. Patty says to Schroeder, my mother is always doing nice things for me. Five chirps in, say, every time my mother m goes to the store, she brings me a surprise. Frieda is now here. And she says, my mother always sings to me before I go to sleep at night. You see the whole team out there now. Patty says, how can we be so selfish as to spend this day away from home? Violet says, we're cruel and heartless. Lucy says, we have no shame, Shermie. We're no good. Frieda. We never think of anyone but ourselves. Then they all burst into tears, including snoopy. Waaaa. Not Charlie Brown, though, who's just standing on top of the mound, taking this all in. Then the whole team leaves, throwing their hats and mitts behind them, yelling, we're no good. We're thoughtless, we're selfish and cruel and, and then we see Charlie Brown on the last panel on the mound, saying to us, actually I sent my mother a very nice card and a dozen pink roses.

Harold: Oh, you go, Charlie Brown.

Michael: So here on, tier number three, panel one, this might be the only time you see the entire team, all nine.

Jimmy: And it's a weird team because Linus isn't playing.

Michael: This is true. Five must be subbing for him.

Harold: Now, why do you think he did that? He didn't. He didn't want to have Linus having forgot his mom. He's actually back home.

Jimmy: It could be that. Yeah, it could be. It could be something like that. It could be just wanting to get five and Shermie to have something to do, you know? Because another thing about it would be possibly what strips are going on around this. If there's like, you know, it could be bumped up against a line of sequence, for example, or something.

Jimmy: But I love any. I love, when you can see as many of the Peanuts characters in one panel, it's hard to do to get them in groups because their body shape is weird, their arm shapes are weird. Everything about them is actually very strange compared to normal anatomy. But when he can get all of them in a big, wide horizontal panel. Oh, that's great. Like, if they're in line for a movie or things like this on the ball. A lot of the discussions on the ball field, those are some of my favorite strips. Visually especially. Yeah.

Michael: And think five of them have been disappeared. There's a high mortality.

Jimmy: Okay, how many? Who's all cut? Yeah, we got. Who do we got that's gone?

Michael: Five is gone. Violet appears occasionally. Frieda's gone. And, Shermie's gone.

Jimmy: Yeah.

Michael: Wow. There's no mercy.

Harold: This strip makes me think of the final episode of Seinfeld, you know, where everyone gets kind of judged after getting away with things for all of these years. And they're all like, introspective. And these eight sad faces around Charlie Brown about, boy, you know, m gosh. but this. Yeah, this is a very unique strip, you know? And it makes it very special, I think.

Jimmy: Yeah. Nice lettering. Nice everything. 

May 10, 1970. Snoopy and Woodstock are atop the doghouse. And Woodstock, is chirping away. It's, boy, very jarring to see the earlier Woodstock after modern Woodstock. So anyway, he's chirping away and Snoopy says, really? And then Snoopy says to him, that's very nice. I hope you have a good time. And we see Woodstock fly away upside down. But after he leaves, Snoopy seems a little upset. And Snoopy thinks to himself, I should have said something. I know just what's going to happen. He's flying home to what he thinks is going to be a happy Mother's day reunion. But they'll all be gone. And then we see two adorable panels of Woodstock. With a, smile on his face. As he flies towards his home nest. But then he gets to the nest, and, in fact, no one is there. And in the penultimate panel, Woodstock flies back to Snoopy looking devastated because Schulz added a comma next to the period, which is his eye. And in the last panel, Woodstock is leaning up against Snoopy, sniffing away a tear. And Snoopy thinks to himself, I don't understand birds.

Harold: I love the little pose of Woodstock in the second and third panels. After he's, announced, unbeknownst to us yet, that he is going to be flying somewhere. And he's got his little wings extended like he's presenting himself to us in two different poses. That's so cute.

Jimmy: Yeah. It's crazy that he got this far with Woodstock, but he still had it was going to the design was still going to change. It would become even more abstract.

Harold: Yeah. That third panel is so weird with, Woodstock has this beak that's going off to one side, but his mouth is looking straight at us. So it's like that Picasso y kind of drawing style that is impossible in real life. But design wise is brilliant.

Jimmy: I love the little two panels on the last tier of him flying happily both right side up and upside down. You know, there are so many little things in Peanuts that really kind of, everybody knows that our trademarks, like Woodstock flying upside down, that that meant I knew that as a kid. That was like, if I was going to draw Woodstock flying, it would be upside down. Everybody has these tiny little either verbal tics or visual cues. And he manages to somehow get them into people subconscious that they just know, oh, yeah, that's how Woodstock flies.

Michael: But there were a lot of other birds who didn't have any distinguishing traits. And matter of fact, the the little ranger club, those birds don't really, outside of their names, don't have any distinguishing traits.

Jimmy: Yeah. No. They function as a unit, for sure.

Harold: Yeah. Is this maybe the first time we've had one of these stories of, the little bird trying to go home, trying to find mom  I guess certainly for Mother's day, right?

Jimmy: Yeah. I mean, you know, and as you get older, you become more reflective and melancholy. And I think, especially when you're very young as a father, you know, he would have been focused on Mother's day, what Mother's day meant for his kids and their mother. Right. Not him and his mother.

Harold: Yeah, it's, slightly didactic. I guess he's trying to burn something into your conscience, I think. And it's very effective, actually.

Jimmy: Absolutely. 

May 9, 1971. Linus is sitting at a desk, or actually, I guess, his kitchen table, and he is making his mother a Mother's Day card. He has a very ornate written mom and, with some hearts around it. And in panel two, he continues that. Then in panel three, Lucy comes in and says, what in the world are you doing? Linus says, I'm making a Mother's Day card. Lucy says, making one. Why didn't you just go out and buy one like I did? See? And Linus says, it looks very nice. May I read the verse, Lucy? Be my guest. Linus reads the card and says, dear mother, I bought this card for you with my own money instead of giving you a handmade one like some cheap kid I know. Lucy walks away very self satisfied, and Linus is left behind a little flummoxed and saying, these days you seem to be able to get a card for almost any occasion. 

Jimmy: Well, Schulz should know that because he made cards for virtually any occasion, I'm sure of, with a long running tie in with Hallmark.

Harold: Yeah, he kind of, walks a fine line here where Lucy says the thing that you probably shouldn't be agreeing with, but he doesn't rebut it.

Jimmy: Well, he does that and everything. I mean, the famous theme, of Charlie Brown Christmas being Christmas is too commercial. and you can now buy the tree that represented how commercial Christmas had become as an ornament, you know, so, like.

Michael: So wait, were all these cards in rhyme? Because she calls it a verse, yet it's not in rhyme.

Jimmy: No, I think they just call that the verse in the card. But they're not all in rhyme. No.

Harold: I love the drawing in the second panel of Linus lying on his stomach drawing. You don't see that very often. And it really makes it stand out the limitations of what Schulz has done with the design of his characters. Yeah.

Jimmy: The feet in particular.

Harold: So Linus's legs cannot touch the ground based on how he's designed. So he's, literally holding himself up by his kind of almost ballet style with his feet. And his legs are floating over the ground by quite a bit.

Jimmy: It's like a reverse push up or something. It would be extremely awkward.

Harold: Yeah. And then it made me think. We just looked at some strips by other artists. On one of the previous episodes. And it just makes me think of Johnny Hart's BC, who very much followed this design look. And I'm wondering if Schulz was kind of a pioneer of that and Johnny Hart was influenced by Schulz, because you've got these little. I don't even know what you call them. It's like a little rectangle of pants. it's almost like a mini skirt or something. And then the two stumps of the legs coming out, which is, you know, it's hard to make sense of from a design sense other. I mean, well, let's say an anatomical sense, but from a design sense, it's pretty appealing.

Jimmy: Well, you know, the other thing that you would be able to do in color, we're looking at it in black and white, but if you just slap a flat color behind the whole thing that indicates both, like, wall and the floor and just leave lines, you'll mitigate a little bit of that. I think if you drew, like, let's say you drew a horizon line indicating the floor, and then you colored the wall one color and the floor the other, I think you would notice, really? You know what I mean?

Harold: It would look like you'd be in trouble.

Jimmy: Yeah, yeah. Something's up there. Why is his legs balanced, on the tips of his toes, although he's.

Harold: Got a nice little shadow on his paste jar next to the scissors and the crayons that he's working with. But, yeah, good on Linus for making his homemade card.

Jimmy: There is this, like, a Krazy Kat moment between, panels three and four. Like, why? It's a couch behind him, and then it's a tv set. I mean, it doesn't change that much that it could. Right. The couch, even if you're, accounting for that angle now, that the slight angle change, the chair would be behind Linus if. If the tv was to the right.

Harold: And so because the chair is behind Linus, he has the right not to draw it, and he's moved slightly. Right. So I guess the chair's there, but it's not worth.

Jimmy: Yeah, I mean, yeah, that totally makes sense. And I think that's it. But, like, why do it? You know? Well, because it will irritate somebody 60 years down the line who's looking at it for a podcast.

Harold: so this irritates you that the chair is not visible?

Jimmy: No, not really. But, you know, you got to fill the space. I mean, for God's sakes, we tried to put these episodes out once a week. They can't all be gold.

Harold: Dross.

Jimmy: as a matter of fact, here's what we're going to do. We're going to take a break because I have not even told the, guys this, but we're having a new segment following the break, and it's going to be exciting. I think this is going to be the kind of thing that goes viral that people are not going to be able to stop talking. Oh, my goodness. So we needed, no, you're good. You don't need to. This is a fate accompli. You'll be so amazed that there's no question that you'll want to continue.

Harold: Wow, such confidence.

Jimmy: Yeah, I hope I didn't oversell it. All right, so we're going to take a break, and we'll come right back. 

BREAK

VO: If you want me to draw you or any of your friends or children or enemies in that Peanuts-ish, cartoony style that, you know so well and love from our art, for the top of the podcast, a little, thumbnail art, you can write to us at Unpackingpeanuts.com. We'll have this all set up on the website, and it'll be $25. And I'll do a digital one for you. For $50, you'll get the digital one, and I'll draw it on paper and send you the paper one in the mail. So you'd be able to have a real copy, that you can frame and put on the wall.

Harold: Wow.

Jimmy: All right, we're back. Hope you missed us. All right, so you guys ready for this exciting, new segment?

Michael: Hit me with a segment.

Harold: Yeah, lay it on us.

Jimmy: Okay, so here's we have, This is actually interesting because what made me think of it as a segment recently, we were recording and someone wrote in and said something about, what can they do to improve their skills as a cartoonist if they want it to be a career? Well, I realized there is something way more important, that we didn't discuss, and that's going to be the basis of this segment. But the other part of it is, as I've mentioned or alluded to, at least, I've had to change my diet radically here in 2024, and it's actually going pretty well. But every day I have a breakfast drink, and I always have it while we're doing the mail and recording the podcast. Now, this breakfast drink comes in three flavors, vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry.

Harold: Ooh, Carnation.

Jimmy: Well, I'm not saying what the brand is, unless they want to sponsor. I see.

Harold: They have to cough up.

Jimmy: Okay, that's right. So I have prepared one of these drinks at random, and I want you each to guess what Jimmy's drinking.

Harold: Hard pass.

Michael: Based on the sound of you slurping.

Jimmy: well, all right, I'll take. I'll take a sip right now.

Liz: Oh, that sounds like chocolate to me.

Michael: Yeah, it does.

Jimmy: All right, so we got two chocolates.

Harold: I was thinking strawberry, and you say strawberry.

Jimmy: Lock in your votes.

Harold: I'm locked.

Michael: Well, chocolate. Not strawberry. Chocolate. Possibly vanilla, but.

Jimmy: All right. You're all wrong. It is vanilla.

Michael: I was going to say vanilla, so that counts.

Jimmy: Now, this is why it's a tip for cartoonists.

Harold: Yes, go on.

Jimmy: These things are not cheap, but they're now tax deductible. Yay.

Harold: I think you need to talk to a tax lawyer, Jimmy.

Jimmy: I don't think I do. This is absolutely. First off, don't, be a buzzkill. Secondly, these are 100% tax deductible. Now. Okay, Liz, I'm hanging out in the mailbox. Do we got anything? We do.

Liz: We do. Friend of the show, William Pepper, wrote to us and says, hey, everybody.

Jimmy: Oh, great.

Liz: I continue to love Unpacking Peanuts. As someone who is not a cartoonist but pretends to know things about Peanuts, I love that you're all here to fill in some of knowledge that I don't have. On the most recent episode, you were talking about a strip where Linus is watching tv and the announcer breaks in promising news at 11:00 one of you commented that in 1984, you indeed would have had to wait until the late local news to find out what the big story was. This is not entirely true. CNN started broadcasting, for better or worse, in 1980. I can imagine Linus sitting up all night in his beanbag chair, toast with grape jelly by his side, absorbing the 24 hours news cycle. No wonder he needed that security blanket. Thanks for all you do, William Pepper from It's a Podcast. Charlie Brown, the OG.

Jimmy: Yay. Well, first off, everybody should be listening to It's a Podcast. Charlie Brown. William was one of our first guests. He's super knowledgeable. Although in this instance, he doesn't know what the hell he's talking about. Here's why. Back then, CNN was on the 20 minute loop. It was for sure 24 hours, but it wasn't updated constantly. It was only 20 minutes at a time.

Harold: Are you sure?

Jimmy: It was a 20 minutes loop for most.

Harold: I know there was headline news, and that was in that format. But you're saying the network itself started that way? And then.

Jimmy: And also they didn't cover local.

Harold: Wow.

Liz: Yeah.

Jimmy: Take that, William Pepper.

Liz: We love you.

Jimmy: We do.

Harold: We're going to have a mail chain on this one.

Jimmy: Yeah. You know, is there a chance I'm wrong, too? as always. Well, you know, look, I don't claim to be an expert in media. All I know is cartooning and tax law.

Liz: And Beatles and baseball.

Harold: Jimmy, sip away.

Jimmy: Thank you, William.

Liz: And a clip from our, interview with William Pepper is going to be in the next episode that we release.

Harold: Oh, cool.

Jimmy: Great.

Liz: And also we have a new contributor. Doctor Cynthia Ainsworth wrote to us. She writes, Spike, snoopy's brother, was probably based on Schulz's own childhood dog. Spike was an adopted stray, was independent and spent a lot of time on top of his doghouse. Schulz believed him to possess a full and inventive inner life.

Harold: So is she a Spike fan? Does she come out and say, hey, I really like Spike?

Liz: She does not go that far.

Harold: Well, maybe she can clarify that, because I know we did ask for those. Yeah.

Jimmy: And I had forgotten.

Harold: Yes. That famous Ripley's Believe it or not, when he got his first published drawing, he did a little cute drawing with Spike.

Liz: It's on page 136 and 137, of Charles M. Schulz Conversations.

Harold: Yes. Which is a great book if you want to really hear from the horse's mouth, a lot of Schulz, insights to his own work. But, yeah, yeah, I love that little thing that he did send a drawing into this other syndicated panel. that was Ripley's believe it or not. And he got it in there. And what was it that Spike had eaten? Like razor blades and thumbtacks? I mean, it's like, what are you doing to this dog? What are you leaving around the house.

Jimmy: You know, while we're talking about the proto Peanuts and stuff like that? So he has to come up with the dog, and the dog is going to be named Sniffy, but then he can't, because he sees there's a comic book with the name Sniffy.

Harold: I have, I have copies of Sniffy the Pup. I do. Yes.

Jimmy: Okay, so we have seen Snoopy be a dog, be a vulture, be Mickey Mouse, be a world war one flying ace, be a writer, be a lawyer. Have we ever seen him snoop?

Liz: Hmm.

Michael: He's a detective, isn't he?

Jimmy: I don't think so. He's a secret agent, and Thompson is in Trouble. But I don't think he detects anything. I've never, it's. You don't think about it as part of, you know, the word snoop. But obviously, if he had a dog named Sniffy, it assume that the dog is sniffing around a lot. Right? If you had a dog named scratchy.

Harold: He might have a head cold, right, whatever.

Jimmy: But he's sniffing. Snoopy never seems to snoop. It's an odd name.

Michael: He's really Sloopy all along.

Harold: Hang on.

Jimmy: Okay.

Michael: He's hanging on his doghouse.

Jimmy: So you might remember, like many, many episodes ago when we were talking about AI, I logged, on to chat GPT.

Harold: Yeah.

Jimmy: And saw if they could do an Unpacking Peanuts script.

Liz: They did a pretty good job, too.

Jimmy: yeah. So I tried it again to see if it was getting better. Uh-huh.

Harold: Yeah.

Jimmy: And I would not, worry about the rise of the robots just yet. I went to the original prompt, but now I just said a conversation about the hosts of the Unpacking Peanuts podcast, and then added about their favorite character, Spike. And I didn't even save it, but it's like, welcome to Unpacking Peanuts. This is Jimmy Gownley. And then the next one says, and I'm Michael Harold, and we're here to talk about that bleach blond bad boy, Spike.

Harold: Oh, see, chat. GPT saying, the two of us combined make one. Jimmy.

Jimmy: Well, they also thought we were talking about the character from Buffy the vampire Slayer, so I don't, I don't think it's helping.

Liz: but he is my favorite character from Buffy. And finally, we got a message from Jason Bullett, who writes, greetings, gentlemen and lady. Just wanted to express my appreciation for your podcast, especially as a lifelong fan of Peanuts. I enjoy your observations and your insight as professional cartoonists. Attached with this email is the cover of a, ready to read book called Make a trade, Charlie Brown. After coming home from the hospital after two months recovering from a stroke, my dad's fiancee bought this book for him to help with in home speech therapy. It was great to see that Sparky's work lives on almost a quarter century after his passing. Thanks for all the entertainment and of course, be of good cheer. Regards, Jason, aka caller 518.

Jimmy: Caller 518, that. Thank you for sharing.

Michael: That reveals its secret identity.

Jimmy: All right, so is that all we got there in the mailbag? Liz?

Liz: That's it for this week.

Jimmy: Okay, we got nothing on the hotline. I will just say Jim Meyer, who wrote in, a week or two ago about the tattoo question, he's actually a guy I know here in Harrisburg, Pa. Yeah. And, he was so excited that we were going to be talking about it that, he wants to set up a GoFundme to pay for me to get this Peanuts tattoo. This is not happening, so do not.

Harold: Well, it's up to him to pass that law. If he can get that law passed, then I guess it has to happen.

Jimmy: There's no way. Yeah, even if that happens, I'm hitting the road. There's, I don't know. but he thought that was, he got a royal kick out of that. All right, anyway, before we leave the mailbox and get back to the strips, Harold, give us a little update. You were working on a Kickstarter. Tell us about that, and where is it in the process?

Harold: For those of you listening, on the day of the drop of this, on a Tuesday, I'm working on a Kickstarter that ends on Thursday, May 9, at 12:00 a.m. For a comic book that is in 3D, the old blue and red glasses 3D that will make your characters pop out as if they are leaping off of the page looking at you. It's, based on the movie, the 3D movie robot monster that came out in 1953. And a bunch of really talented artists and writers have gotten together to have a lot of fun with, this goofy movie that came out years, ago. Low budget. If you not familiar with it, you may have seen images of it. It's basically the monster is a guy in a gorilla suit with a diving helmet on top of him, hanging out in a cave with a bubble machine. It's great movie. And so we said, you know, it's inspired by comics from the 1950s, the old golden age of comics. And so we decided that robot monster should get his own comic after 70, what, 71 years. So we have this Kickstarter. If you just type in robot monster comics in three D, sixty four page graphic novel or some piece of that, it should come up. We are, yeah, we are working on it. I'm doing little ten page story that, is taking the actual images from the movie and putting them available to you in 3d with, my mystery science theater style riffing in there, that I think is going to be a lot of fun. We have wonderful covers by Jeff Slemmons, Mitch O'Connell, and, Gregory Moffat, who, if you have seen the movie, he plays this star, this little boy in the film, and he is still with us and doing very well and will be signing copies of the book, which is really cool to have somebody who's still with us 71 years after the movie came out. It's a great little piece of memorabilia for those of you love classic Sci-Fi classic cheesy movies. you can also get a DVD and blu ray of the beautiful restoration of it. So I just wanted to get the word out one last chance. I'm really part of the team and want to get us across the finish line to be able to make this comic. So thanks for letting me mention it.

Jimmy: Awesome. Well, we hope you make it. you guys know what to do if you want to see that kick, in a couple bucks. all right, so how about we get back to these Mother's Day strips, right?

Harold: Yes.

May 13, 1973. Woodstock is standing at a nest and looking into it. The nest is empty. We see in the next panel, he approaches Snoopy on the doghouse. And Woodstock is holding a sign on a very long stick. And the sign we now see in panel three reads, mom. This just sends Snoopy over the edge. He sheds a tear in panel four, and he thinks to himself, that's the saddest thing I've ever seen, especially on Mother's day. Of course, who am I to talk? I don't know where my mom is either. I don't know where my dad is or any of my brothers or sisters. This makes Snoopy bolt upright. And he says, that's terrible. And then in the last panel, Snoopy is walking around with the sign that says, where is everybody? 

Jimmy: That is sad.

Michael: That is sad. Really sad.

Jimmy: so, yeah, okay. So earlier in the canon, I guess we thought it wasn't set up that Snoopy's, mom was missing. But, yes, by this point, it comes in that it's a long, held thing that Snoopy doesn't know where. Where his family is, at least at this point.

Harold: Yeah, that little heavy eyebrow, a sad eyebrow. On the very first panel of Woodstock, just looking into an empty nest is pretty heartbreaking.

Jimmy: Yeah, I love that panel. I love the way the bird's nest is constructed from those scribble lines. I love a good tree. So it stands to reason I love a good branch. That looks good. Yeah. Seeing Snoopy cry, shed a tear and have it not be like, you know, because his supper was 15 minutes late or something like that. That's.

Harold: That's very effective.

Michael: Or his Van Gogh burned down

Jimmy: Right, right. Yeah, yeah.

Harold: And here in the fourth panel, as, to your point, Snoopy is sniffing. So he should have been sniffy the sniffy the.

Jimmy: But once again, no snooping. That's all I'm saying. False advertising. 

May 12, 1974. Boy, it's a, He's on a run with these Woodstock strips from Mother's Day. Woodstock. We see, standing under a sign in, like, a symbolic panel. And it says, mom. And it has, like, a little hand pointing off in a certain direction. Off panel. Right. Woodstock then, is walking around, and he is holding a flower. And he walks up to the tree and up to a nest. And in the nest, the nest is empty. But there is a little sheet of paper. And on the sheet of paper, the little check marks that, indicate, you know, bird language. Woodstock rolls it up and takes it to Snoopy and shows it to him. Snoopy reads it so we can hear it. And it says. There's no reason for you to keep coming back to the nest on Mother's Day. That's not the way we birds do things. Once you've left little bird, that's it. You can't go home again. So fly away. Don't look back. The world is yours. Then there's a silent panel of Snoopy looking at Woodstock. And Woodstock just holding this sad little flower. Then Snoopy lies down, and Woodstock leans up against Snoopy's head. Holding the note and the now useless flower. 

Jimmy: And, Snoopy says, I must admit, she's a pretty sharp mother. I mean, this is this this is Schulz's's conversation with his mother before he goes to war.

Harold: Like, this.

Jimmy: I won't see you again. You know, have a good life.

Harold: Yeah. This the sting is slightly, slightly diminished. that she she says, the world is yours. I mean, that's that's a one positive piece here. That this is how it works for birds, and it's okay. But still, boy, that's hard on little Woodstock. And that, you know, I'm always mentioning the licensing drawings. Boy, panel three. Woodstock, smiling, holding a little flower. That's a great mug. That's a great t shirt.

Jimmy: Well, it is. And you know what's so interesting about Schulz as a cartoonist or just cartooning in general? That flower is cute and adorable and funny for 90% of this. And then the same exact flower is devastatingly sad in the last two panels.

Harold: Yeah.

Jimmy: You know, like, to me, even the next to last panel is heartbreaking. Just the silence as they look at each other. Oh, that kills me.

Harold: I love that, he kind of treats the flower as if he's holding some balloons. You know, kind of has that cheery feeling to it.

Jimmy: Yeah.

Harold: Yeah. Poor little Woodstock. yeah. I don't think there's any other cartoonist who treated Mother's Day with any of this.

Jimmy: No.

Harold: This feeling they were usually very sentimental if there was any, Mother's day mention in a strip. But boy, these, the range on these is incredible.

Michael: What is the saddest comic strip? Was there ever a comic strip that's goal was to make people cry?

Harold: This non stop sadness?

Jimmy: Yeah, first off, that would be the title. Just non stop. Oh, no. Do you know what that makes me think of, though, Michael? Do you remember Promethea, which is an Alan Moore like, Wonder Woman kind of take, let's call it. But in the background there were those ads for weeping gorilla comics.

Michael: Yeah, weeping gorilla comics.

Jimmy: and it would just be a sad gorilla saying, like, you know, no one texts me back or whatever.

Michael: Yeah, but did any strip go for this kind of, I don't know, Mary Worth maybe? I don't know. I never read that.

Jimmy: I mean, you know, I'll tell you one. Yeah. Like, For Better or For Worse was sad.

Harold: Yeah, they could have some, they could have some sad moments, for sure. And another one that comes to mind that, that could get you going is, certain strips of Harold Gray's little orphan Annie. again, that strip, for so many people, they haven't really sampled it and they don't know what it is. And because it's based on, I mean, people now think the musical. But boy, you go back to the strips from the thirties and forties. It's a depression era story of this orphan who's trying to get along in the world, and she deals with lots of loss. there's some really, really, really sad moments, but it's really hard to think of very many strips that do that.

Jimmy: And there would be things like, I remember that strip, Funky Winterbean, had a long sequence where one of the characters got cancer. And I'm not. You look, I mean, I'm not criticizing anybody's way of doing these things, but there is something about the way Schulz does it that seems so organic.

Harold: Yes.

Jimmy: That it's not like the special episode, like, oh, You know, this is the one that's gonna tug out your heartstrings. That could just happen at any moment in Peanuts.

Harold: Yeah. You have to know if you're reading Peanuts, that this, you never know what you're gonna get. It's like comics are like a box of chocolates.

Jimmy: Yeah.

Liz: I have a question.

Jimmy: Yeah.

Liz: Is, I must admit she's a pretty sharp mother. Is that sharp meaning pointed or smart?

Michael: Smart.

Harold: I was thinking pointed. I don't know what you guys think.

Jimmy: Oh, I was thinking smart.

Michael: I was thinking smart. So we tried. We have to

Harold: Interesting. What were you thinking, Liz?

Liz: My first reaction was that she was smart, but then I took a second look at it because it made me cry, the letter that she wrote.

Jimmy: So I was wondering, that's really interesting.

Harold: our listeners. Well, let's open it up to them as well, to see. See what people think. Yeah, I was absolutely thinking. He meant, that that was an intense letter, you know, that she was blunt, and I felt that he's not judging her. he's not judging her, but at the same time, he's like, wow, that's got us part.

Jimmy: You know, this reminds me of us talking recently about the strip of. That'll change your theology in a hurry.

Harold: Right.

Jimmy: Which certainly seems to mean something. But we each looked at it and was like, well, it could be this character. Could be that character.

Harold: Right, right. Yeah.

Michael: The English language for. Because, I mean, sharp could mean what? She's a good dresser?

Jimmy: I mean.

Harold: Yeah, right.

Michael: This language is insane.

Jimmy: There's a Pennsylvania rock band that was big in the nineties called 

Live, but of course, that also looks like live. But they thought one thing would be great. It's like if they ever needed to really get some cash, they would just start calling their albums after famous bands. So it would say, like, the Beatles Live. The Rolling Stones. Live.

Harold: Live. Live.

Jimmy: Right.

Harold: That's. Yeah, that's. You never know what trouble you're getting into. Sometimes you think of a title, you think it's brilliant, and then you're like, oh. It was always like, what's the famous, Tom Hanks movie where he has the band? What's, What's the name of the,

Jimmy: Oh, that thing you do?

Harold: Yeah, yeah. And they think they have the greatest name. The wonders. One o n e d e r s. Oneeaders.

Jimmy: Yeah. Yeah. I wonder whatever happened to the oneeaders? That's a pick hit to click, everybody. If you haven't seen that thing you do, he got great movie.

Liz: Who's the songwriter?

Jimmy: Adam Schlesinger.

Michael: From Fountains of Wayne.

Liz: Brilliant. Brilliant.

Michael: He died too young.

Jimmy: Too young.

Liz: Damn you, COVID.

Jimmy: Boy. This is an upbeat Mother's Day episode. Here we go. We are coming. 1975. This is gonna be an up one. I can feel it.

Harold: It's coming.

Jimmy: Oh, no, it's not. 

Snoopy is standing atop the O in Mom, and he's looking around, and now he's on top of his doghouse, and he's pondering something. He starts typing. Dear mom, just a short note to wish you a happy Mother's day. He continues typing. I miss you very much. I miss your hugs, your kisses and your apple pie. Charlie Brown says, I find it hard to believe that your mother baked apple pies. Snoopy says, he's right. Of course. Mom belonged to a little theater group and was never home very much.

Michael: This is strange because this is really an odd strip, right?

Harold: Yes.

Michael: I would think we read this, like, last year and I don't remember it. This is really a bizarre little strip.

Harold: Yeah. He sneaks some in that we, It's funny how. Yeah, you've just read it and when you see it, it's, like totally fresh again and new and you don't remember it. Yeah. A lot of oddities to this one. Why is he typing the letter to mom, right.

Jimmy: That he doesn't know where she is. So where is he going to send it? 

Harold: He's making up a story about her apple pie. Hopefully the hugs and kisses weren't made up, too. But anyway, I guess. I'm sure it was a great little theater group, though.

Jimmy: So it's a weird, weird strip.

Michael: Yeah. Well, we are going to do a show at some point and just pick, the weirdest peanut strips. This would be a nominee. This is really odd.

Harold: Yeah.

Jimmy: Yeah. Boy, talk about something that you can just ponder and have no satisfaction as to what the intent was. This is a mystery.

Liz: It's funny.

Jimmy: Yeah.

Harold: it's like Snoopy's fantasy life moves into his actual home life.

Jimmy: Right?

Harold: Which makes you question everything Snoopy's ever done and said, sure, yeah.

Michael: I mean, dogs hug. They don't hug.

Jimmy: Well, Snoopy does. Right. But, like. Well, that. Were they all puppies back then? You know, because when Snoopy was young, he was running around like a dog. He wasn't hugging. Yeah.

Michael: And who would use a typewriter as a pillow?

Jimmy: It really fits him perfectly there. That's weird.

Michael: Everything's weird about this one. Even the opening panel.

May 7, 1978. Charlie Brown's looking at a calendar and he says, May 14. I knew it. He walks outside and says, I better tell him. So he comes up to Snoopy on the doghouse and he says, next Sunday is Mother's Day. Snoopy says, it is. Charlie Brown says, you should give your mother a call or at least write her a letter. Snoopy says, M. It should be a very personal letter, says, charlie Brown, the kind that can only come from you. Then he writes, dear mom. And it's a paw print for the o. 

Jimmy: well, you know, they all can't be winners. this actually is weird. To me, because it seems like Snoopy not knowing where his mom is is obviously a poignant thing, but he goes back and forth on it without really committing either way. I don't understand that.

Michael: I don't think there's a Peanuts canon.

Jimmy: I know, but you know what I mean? Like, it seems like someone would have said, I don't know. It just. It just seems like a big contradiction in a way. I don't know. Maybe. Maybe it's just me because it's something specific. Yeah, but I don't know.

Michael: Well, Mother's day. I mean, how many Mother's day jokes could you come up with.

Jimmy: Me? One.

Michael: One, maybe in my entire life if I tried really hard.

Jimmy: Try it. Right.

Harold: Yeah. I mean, I see what you're saying, Jimmy, though. This is. This is a piece of who Snoopy is that Schulz is willing to bandy about, you know?

Jimmy: Yeah.

Harold: He's. He's more interested in the. In the gag rather than the consistency, which. Yeah. I mean, it is once a year, and.

Jimmy: Yeah.

Harold: You can't be imagining that all these years later. These people reading them back to back.

Jimmy: Yeah.

Harold: But still. Yeah. This one, you would think that that would be something that would be like, you know. I don't know. It's like Linus has a different sister. Yeah. In different panels or different.

Jimmy: Yeah. Like the whole, the old Happy Days conundrum where it starts out with there's an older brother, and then he just disappears.

Harold: Yeah. Right.

Liz: Like, My Three Sons was originally four sons.

Jimmy: Was it really?

Liz: Well, there were three sons, and then they added a son.

Jimmy: Oh, yeah. Well, the kid I always related to the kid they added at the end. I was much younger than all my cousins.

Liz: One of the sons went to high school with Michael, didn't he?

Michael: That was Stanley Livingston III.

Jimmy: Yeah, I presume.

Michael: Yeah.

Liz: He went. Didn't he go to Fairfax?

Michael: He was in my class in grade school.

Jimmy: No, no.

Michael: It was like, really. I mean, for a while. He must have been in on location or something and.

Harold: Right.

Michael: stuck him in a school for a few weeks.

Harold: Who was the fourth son and my three sons? Was it Chip?

Liz: Ernie.

Jimmy: Chip.

Liz: Chip was the third son. Ernie was the fourth.

Harold: Okay. Okay.

May 10, 1981. Snoopy's atop the doghouse, and Woodstock comes chirping by. He lands, and he, says something to Snoopy. And Snoopy says, your mom? And they both hop off the doghouse. Snoopy saying, you think you found out where she lives? Now they're running across the terrain. Snoopy has a little grin on his face. He says, that's great. Then you can give her a Mother's day card. So Snoopy and Woodstock, approach a whole bunch of bird houses that are set up. It looks like, a little thing that has six different birdhouses on one pole. And Snoopy says, wow, you think she lives there? And then they look at it, and Snoopy says, but which apartment? Then they walk towards it, and Snoopy says to Woodstock, go ahead, ask the doorman. And we actually do see a tiny little bird doorman in a little doorman outfit at the bottom of the pole. 

Jimmy: It's a good little drawing, of some birdhouses, I'll tell you that much. I like that.

Liz: I think they call that a Martin house.

Jimmy: Oh, a Martin. There you go. A Peanuts obscurity.

Harold: I did not know a Martin house. So, ah, you see six houses, I see nine.

Jimmy: Well, I'm assuming that those ones have two entrances. You could have an entrance on this side.

Harold: So the three up top are like, our storage, or.

Jimmy: Yeah, three up top storage.

Harold: Okay. All right.

Jimmy: All right. And this is gonna be our last Mother's Day special. All right, peppermint Patty, let's pull out a win here in the bottom of the 9th. Here we go. 

May 9, 1982. Peppermint Patty is writing away at a desk, and she writes, happy any day. And now we see they're in a drugstore. And Peppermint, Patty eyeballs the cards and says, over here, Marcie She walks up to the counter and says, yes, ma'am, I'd like to buy a Mother's Day card, but I don't have a mother. What I need is a Mother's Day card for my father, who has also been a mother to me. And Pepper and Patty says, you don't have any cards like that. Marcie, peruses the selection of cards and says, how about a graduation card, sir? Like he's graduated from being a father to being a father and a mother, Pepper. Patty says, I don't think so, Marcie Marcie says, how about a get well card, sir? Doesn't he have tennis elbow, Pepper? And Patty says, maybe, but I don't think so, Marcie. Marcie says, how about a Mother's Day card? But you write on it. Do not open till Father's Day, Pepper. And Patty says, I don't think so, Marcie. I think I'll just go home and give him a hug. Then they leave the store with Marcie saying, good thinking, sir. This will be the best Mother's day a father can have. 

Jimmy: I love peppermint Patty's relationship with her dad, I think it is just so sweet and genuine. And, it obviously matters so much to her that she would, you know, go through this trouble. And I think it's cool that she's in a non traditional home. I'm, sure that meant a lot to kids at this time. There wasn't a lot of that being even seen in the media or when it was, it would be something like the Brady Bunch, which was just wallpapered over so that the non traditional aspects of it essentially went away. But not, not with Schulz. This is cool.

Harold: Yeah. This is a highlight strip of that, of that year. And it's very. It's very special. It's poignant and it's sweet and. And it's genuine. Yeah. Hallmark loses today, but that's because they didn't have the card. So.

Jimmy: Yeah, I bet there is that card now, for sure, obviously. Yeah. But Schulz is. He's an interest. There's something Walt Disney ish about Schulz in that the conservative parts of Disney, as small c conservative parts of Disney, like, seem to be the best parts that you would want to conserve. And yet, it's moving, progressing and seeing the vision of the future and why there's, like, two people in the 20th century that were like that in entertainment. It's not an either or.

Harold: Yes.

Jimmy: Okay, so that is Mother's day in the Peanuts universe. If you're a mother, happy Mother's day to you this upcoming weekend. And happy Mother's day to all the mothers in your life. All right. I assigned the guys. Do we have something nice we can say about our mothers or a mother in our life?

Michael: Well, I'll talk about my favorite comic strip mother.

Jimmy: Okay.

Michael: Would be Mammy Yocum.

Jimmy: Oh, that's a great pick, little Abner.

Michael: But that's. That's Abner's mom, right? Not Daisy May's mom.

Jimmy: Yeah, it's Abner's. Yeah.

Michael: Okay. Which is she's like 2ft tall and he's like 7ft tall. That's very.

Jimmy: So we have a nice thing about Mammy Yocum. Harold, how about you?

Harold: Oh, I, you know, my mom, I think the things I appreciate the most about her faith and her idealism, she really passed that down to me. And, that's been a big part of my life. I'm very grateful to her for that.

Liz: And, Harold, your mom is the only mom who is still with us. Right?

Harold: She is still with us, yes. In fact, traveling to see her next week in Missouri.

Liz: Wonderful. What's her name?

Harold: Marilyn.

Liz: Hi, Marilyn.

Jimmy: Happy Mother's Day, Marilyn. And, she is very sweet. I've met her several times and she's adorable. She bought my daughters their first ballet costumes for when they were ballet students as toddlers.

Harold: How about you, Liz?

Liz: I had two mothers. my real mother died when I was very young. My stepmother, Agnes, was a wonderful person who told me when I was waiting for the bus to go to first grade, she said, it's more important to get A's or F's than to get C's. You don't want to be mediocre.

Jimmy: Great advice. Wow. That's, You know what?

Harold: Wow.

Jimmy: Everybody should take that.

Harold: I mean, that to say. I've never heard a parent say that, but that what a. What a person to say something like that. That the idea that the freedom to fail, that there's. There's. There's meaning in that as well. It’s powerful.

Liz: She was way cool.

Jimmy: and it's essential. And it's not something people tell a kid you're gonna fail. And you actually. You kind of have to fail in life if you're going to ever succeed.

Jimmy: That's brilliant and beautiful. My mom, I would say she passed away one year ago this week, actually, so. But if you like any of my cartooning, you can definitely throw some thanks her way, because she was hugely supportive and growing up in the coal region, I don't think a lot of people would have understood what I was trying to do or would be too worried about their kid, you know, being poor, too, support ‘em. But she did. So I am grateful for that. Hey, and I got two great adult daughters, so a shout out to their mother, Karen, for doing an amazing job with them. 

So to give you guys a little heads up on what we're going to be doing for the next couple weeks as we go on spring break. Next week we're off. Then we're coming back the week after that to do a best of guests episode where you get to go through the time machine with us and pull, out some greatest, hits from our guests that we've had in the past. And we're having another week off. Then the week after that, we'll re issue 1950, a remastered version with a new intro from us. And then the week after that, we're back to our regular schedule. So for the next month, we're on two weeks and off two weeks, basically.

Harold: Yeah. And Liz, can you tell people what you're going to be doing in the coming month?

Liz: Oh, I will be at the podcast show in London on May 22 and May 23. And I will have my Unpacking Peanuts tote bag with me. So if you see me, if you're there and you see me with my tote bag, please come up and say hello.

Jimmy: All right, so that's it, guys. Happy Mother's day to all. we will be back with our next episode. Whenever it is, I lose track of these things, but I can't wait for it. Until then. You can go on our website, UnpackingPeanuts.com, and you can send us an email. We're Unpackingpanutsmail.com. You can follow us on social media, on Instagram and threads. We're on YouTube, Bluesky, and whatever the other one is, we're at Unpacking Peanuts. So follow us there. We'll, be around. Until next time, Michael, Harold, and Liz, this is Jimmy saying, be of good cheer. 

Harold, Liz, and Michael: Yes, yes, be of good cheer. 

Liz: Unpacking Peanuts is copyright Jimmy Gownley, Michael Cohen and Harold Buchalt produced and edited by Liz Sumner Music by Michael Cohen additional voiceover by Aziza Shukrala Clark for more from the show, follow unpack Peanuts on Instagram and threads. Unpacking Peanuts on Facebook, Blue sky, and YouTube. For more about Jimmy, Michael, and Harold, visit UnpackingPeanuts.com. Have a wonderful day and thanks for listening.

Jimmy: The world is yours.

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Jimmy: Hey, everybody. Welcome back to the show. It's another season finale here on Unpacking Peanuts. As we wrap up, 1980 to 1984, I'll be your host for the proceedings. My name is Jimmy Gownley. I'm

1984-2 Peppermint Paris

Jimmy: Hey, everybody. Welcome back to the show. This is Unpacking Peanuts. Today we're looking at the second half of 1984. I'll be your host for the proceedings. My name is Jimmy Gownley. I'm also a

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