Wednesday, October 26, 2011

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!

"Dear Great Pumpkin, I am looking forward to your arrival on Halloween night. I hope you will bring me lots of presents. "

Do you know what is airing tomorrow (October 27, 2011) at 8 PM on ABC?

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! 

All of the Peanuts specials made by Charles Schulz are brilliant, but this one is by far my favorite.  There are so many great lines and so much injustice going on!  It's just so enjoyable.

It was made in 1966 by the award-winning team of Charles Schulz (creator, writer), Lee Mendelson (executive producer), Bill Melendez (director, producer) and Vince Guaraldi (music composer/director).
Of course, it starts with the kids being VERY excited about Halloween.  But Linus, ever the odd one out, is writing his letter to the Great Pumpkin.  You know what I don't understand about Linus?  He is so wise and smart, yet he believes in traditions that only HE knows about.  Where does he get such ideas?

On Halloween night, Charlie Brown, of course, goofs up his costume and is the ghost with a thousand eyes.  The back of his big, round head becomes a jack-o-lantern model and after every house, he gets .. a ROCK!  Who gives out rocks, anyway?  Even adults are jerks toward Charlie Brown.
"I got a rock."

How FUN does their party look, I might add?  Violet sure can throw a good party.

And let's not forget the main plotline: LINUS!  After the party and before trick-or-treating, his big sister TRIES to change his mind and get him to come trick-or-treating.
His crush, Sally, is not convinced at first.  But, of course she stays because she is a fool in love.  So they wait.  And wait.  Surely, the pumpkin patch is sincere enough to warrant a visit from the Great Pumpkin, right?

Meanwhile, Snoopy is the Red Baron, World War I flying ace.

He crash lands and visits the party, where of course he takes a moment to torture his frienemy, Lucy:
 "Baugh! My lips touched dog lips! Baugh! Agh! Poisoned dog lips! Baugh! Agh!"
But his best part is yet to come.  His plot merges with Linus' plot as he heads over to the pumpkin patch.  Excited, Linus can hear Snoopy poking around and thinks it is the Great Pumpkin FINALLY making his appearence.  With a silly and funny "wooooo" noise, Snoopy rises in the patch. By the way, how DOES he do that?  I have always wondered!
Linus: So smart, yet so dumb ...
They realize it is Snoopy and of COURSE Sally is piiissssed and thoroughly reams him out for making him miss everything.
 "I was robbed! I spent the whole night waiting for the Great Pumpkin, when I could have been out for tricks or treats. Halloween is over, and I missed it! You blockhead. You kept me up all night waiting for the Great Pumpkin, and all that came was a beagle."

Soon, Sally goes home with his big brother, Charlie Brown. In a bittersweet end, Linus' sister, Lucy, guides him home and tucks him into bed.  For all her mean ways, she is not the type to let her brother wake up alone in a pumpkin patch.  I always liked that.  Then, Charlie Brown and Linus discuss their Halloween, and Linus still insists that the Great Pumpkin DOES exist!  That's faith!

It's all good though, because he is redeemed on Easter when he promises an Easter Beagle and Snoopy comes through for him.  I like to think that Snoopy does this to make up for humiliating Linus on Halloween.

Linus: There are three things I have learned never to discuss with people: religion, politics, and the Great Pumpkin.

Lucy as a Witch: A person should always choose a costume which is in direct contrast to her own personality.

Lucy: Charlie Brown, if you got an invitation, it was a mistake. There were two lists, Charlie Brown: one to invite, and one not to invite. You must have been put on the wrong list.

Sally to Linus:  If you try to hold my hand, I'll slug you!

Charlie Brown: You must be crazy. When are you going to stop believing in something that isn't true?
Linus: When you stop believing in that fellow with a red suit and the white beard who goes, "Ho, ho, ho!"
Charlie Brown: We're obviously separated by denominational differences.

Lucy to Sally: All you have to do is walk up to a house, ring the doorbell and say "Tricks or treats."
Sally: Are you sure it's legal?
Lucy: Of course it's legal.
Sally:  I wouldn't want to be accused of taking part in a rumble.


Again, if you don't own it, catch it tomorrow at 8 PM on ABC.  They will also be airing "You're Not Elected, Charlie Brown!"  I own it, and would watch it on TV anyway.  BUT I am anxious to see the annual Halloween episode of "Community" on NBC, so that is where I will be tuning in!


P.S. Interesting article about this special and Charles Schulz's beliefs:

P.P.S.  By the way, super-fans of this special: this month's GOT MILK? ad features the gang on Halloween night.  It excludes Linus, who is probably at the pumpkin patch again this year.  I found mine in "Parenting: The Early Years" magazine and it is hanging at my desk. I love it!

If you can't find the ad anywhere, download it here


  1. Oh man, I haven't opened my issue of Parenting yet. Now I have to!

  2. It is the November issue with Bethenny Frankel on the cover :).