It wouldn’t be October without the ritual viewing of It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. I watched it every year, in childhood, as far back as I can remember. My children are more than happy to carry on the tradition. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the show’s debut, and you can settle in to watch it on ABC on Tuesday, October 25th at 8:00 pm (ET).
(Or, apparently, you can watch the entire thing on YouTube. Technology—is there anything it can’t ruin? Fine; watch it on YouTube if you must, but I recommend a 13″ television in a basement rec room—while wearing your pajamas, natch—to obtain full nostalgia.)
While you’re waiting for next Tuesday night, may I suggest a few thematic distractions?
Snoopy.com held an essay contest in honor of the 40th anniversary of the Great Pumpkin, and you can read all the winning essays if you’re in need of some warm fuzzies and a few chuckles. My favorite is this one, about a first date on Halloween.
I would be remiss if I didn’t direct you to It’s Just My Show, Charlie Brown, a fabulous podcast in which Bill Melendez (director and the voice of Snoopy) talks all about the show. (This one is part 1 in a two part series, and I’ve stuck a post-it on my head to help me remember to go back and check out the second part, which will be about A Charlie Brown Christmas.)
Last (but certainly not least), blogcritics.org has a great review of It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown: The Making of a Television Classic up, exploring all the intricacies of the relationships between the characters. It concludes:
This is not a world of 2-D stereotypes, but a small corner of living, breathing humanity rendered with genius, and that is why we cling to it so, even now.
Is that why I still love it? And all this time I thought it was because of Charlie Brown’s perfect delivery of the greatest line ever: “I got a rock.” Huh. Yeah, I guess that other stuff is good, too.