Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Way Back Wednesday - A Charlie Brown Christmas

A Charlie Brown Christmas is the first prime-time TV special based upon the comic strip Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz. The special aired on CBS from its debut in 1965 through 2000, and has aired on ABC since 2001. Although this wonderful special is available year-round, thanks to DVD, it is still fun to watch when it airs on TV.

I'm not going into the plot of this animated special because I'm sure everyone has seen it at least once, but I thought I've give you some interesting facts about the show.

Kathy Steinberg, who voiced Sally, was too young to read and needed to be cued line by line during the soundtrack recording.

The executives did not want to have Linus reciting the story of the birth of Christ from the Gospel of Luke, but Charles Schulz was adamant about keeping this scene in, remarking that "If we don't tell the true meaning of Christmas, who will?"

In the "fence" scene, where several of the Peanuts gang are attempting to knock cans off a fence with snowballs and Linus is seen knocking down a can with his blanket. In the original airing, this was a Coke can, but it was later replaced with a nondescript can. (The special was originally sponsored by Coke). Although I may be old, I'm not old enough to remember this - I was only 3 in 1965.

The final end credit originally had a voice-over saying, "Brought to you from the people in your town who bottle Coca-Cola." This is why the "Hark!" chorus sung at the end trails off oddly before the song would normally end.

A Charlie Brown Christmas has been accused of spearheading the popular stigmatization of artificial Christmas trees.

My Favorite Quotes:

Lucy: You're the innkeeper's wife.
Frieda: Do innkeeper's wives have naturally curly hair?

Lucy: [Snoopy licks her face] Ugh! I've been kissed by a dog! I have dog germs! Get hot water! Get some disinfectant! Get some Iodine!
Snoopy: [Snoopy sticks out his tongue] Bleah!

Charlie Brown: Pig-Pen, you're the only person I know who can raise a cloud of dust in a snowstorm.

Lucy: You think you're so smart with that blanket. What are you going to do with it when you grow up?
Linus: Maybe I'll make it into a sport coat.

Lucy: Here he comes! Attention, everyone, here's our director.
[Charlie Brown enters, while everyone applauds]
Snoopy: Whoooooooooooooooooooooo.
Charlie Brown: [sarcastically] Man's best friend.

Of course, my favorite quotes from this special are Linus' recitation of the Christmas story from the Bible.

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