It’s Memorial Day, Charlie Brown?

As most of you probably know, Monday is Memorial Day, the federal holiday during which we commemorate the military men and women who died in service of our country.  Before I continue, let’s have a moment of silence for these fine folks, because this post actually has very little to do with them.  And writing a post that uses the word “Memorial Day” in its title, while not actually discussing the true meaning of the holiday AT ALL, might actually have the unintended side-effect of making me feel like a Totally Insensitive Poopy Head.  . .

So, I’m going to try to make a half-assed attempt to remedy that right now, OK?  Here it comes . . . Shhhhh!  No talking . . .

Thank you.  On to the post . . .

So, as I said, Monday is Memorial Day, a national holiday.  And do you know what I tend to think about when approaching a national holiday?  (Aside from “Thank GOD I finally have a day off!”  . . . because, of course, I ALWAYS think about that first . . .) 

I think about Charlie Brown!  Why, you ask?  Because EVERY national holiday comes with its own Charlie Brown television special!

Thanks for the vid, fishfreak!

Correction:  Evey holiday EXCEPT Memorial Day! (And, actually, I think July 4th . . . random, right?)

Personally, I think this is an issue that needs to be remedied ASAP, Peanuts people!  And just to prove what you’re missing, Memorial Day (and July 4th!), here’s a brief look at the holiday calendar, as seen through the eyes of Peanuts cartoons . . .

Happy New Year, Charlie Brown!

Honestly, as far as Peanuts holiday installments go, this one is quite lame.  I think this has a lot to do with the fact that Peanuts gang is so YOUNG!  So, they can’t truly enjoy this holiday the way it was intended to be enjoyed.  Would you believe, the premise of the episode ACTUALLY involves Charlie Brown reading Tolstoy’s War and Peace?  

Correct me if I’m wrong here, but isn’t Charlie Brown supposed to be like EIGHT?  Do you know what I was reading at age 8?

Clearly, Charlie Brown went to a better Elementary School than I did .  . . which I find strange, considering that none of his teachers seemed to have a particularly solid grasp of the English language.

Actually, my favorite “part” of “Happy New Year, Charlie Brown,” is the unofficial “promotional poster” for it, which always seems to find its way into holiday cards, and the like.  I enjoy it immensely!  Because, unlike the actual “Happy New Year, Charlie Brown,” this poster features our main characters, Charlie Brown and Linus, impliedly doing what most of us regular folk do on New Year’s Eve — namely, get completely wasted and make bad life choices.

In Charlie Brown’s case, his “bad choice” comes in the form of deciding to wear a highly unflattering Trucker Cap . . .

Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown!

This one may very well be my favorite Charlie Brown holiday special of them all!  Unlike the New Year’s episode, which featured the Peanuts doing things I would NEVER do on that particular holiday, Charlie Brown’s Valentine’s Day looks just like mine always does!  In it, Linus develops the hots for his teacher!

Those of you who watched Dawson’s Creek back in the day, probably understand (and hopefully enjoy) the above reference. Those who DIDN’T, are undoubtedly wondering why the guy from Fringe is sporting such a ridiculous haircut . . .

During the special, Charlie Brown gets NO VALENTINES AT ALL (until the end of the show, that is, when some random girl gives him one out of pity)!  Inappropriate crushes, rejection, and self pity.  It’s just like MY Valentine’s Day, Charlie Brown!

It’s the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown!

Unlike the dream-killing Halloween Charlie Brown episode (to be discussed below), where the legendary Great Pumpkin NEVER actually makes an appearance, we actually DO get to see the titular Easter Beagle in this one!  (It’s only Snoopy, of course . . . but it’s better than nothing.)  So, you would think that being the Owner and Best Friend of the “Beagle in Charge,” would ensure that Charlie would be entitled to at least ONE Easter egg.  But NO!  He gets none . . .


On a lighter note, I LOVE the trippy, surprisingly “meta” scene from this episode, in which Snoopy engages in a dance with some very happy Easter Bunnies (Or DOES he?) .  Watch the clip and listen closely, because in it, Snoopy utters the ONLY WORD he will ever speak during the ENTIRE PEANUTS series!

Thanks for posting chickiechickie!

Personally, I think this “Easter Egg” is the KEY to deciphering the Flash Sideways World on Lost . . .

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!

Of all the Charlie Brown holiday shows, this one is probably the best known. Whenever people talk about, “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” they always seem to want to discuss, Linus’s fruitless all-night vigil in the pumpkin patch for the Great Pumpkin, who never arrives.  However, when I think of “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” this scene is always the first to come to my mind . . .

Thanks digitmarketing!

I’m guessing the “rock” is not considered “wrapped candy,” so Charlie Brown’s mom is probably going to have to throw all those away.  It’s too bad, because, with all those rocks, Charlie could have made a pretty awesome “Great Pumpkin” shrine . . .

Happy Thanksgiving, Charlie Brown!

This was probably the only Peanuts Special that made me really jealous of Charlie Brown.  After all, I was a really picky eater as a kid.   So, Iwasn’t a big fan of most of the food at MY Thanksgiving table.  But a dinner comprised of toast, pretzels, popcorn and jellybeans?  I would have been TOTALLY down with that!

A Charlie Brown Christmas

This Peanuts episode was kind of a downer for most of its duration.  (I know it probably seems, based on my descriptions of the Specials, that they were ALL downers.  But that is simply not true!)  In this Special,  Charlie Brown’s purchase of the saddest little Christmas tree alive, threatens to ruin the ENTIRE school’s Christmas pageant!

Admittedly, the entire show is a bit preachy, what with its hammering home the lesson that Christmas has become overly commecialized, and its constant discussions (damn you and your lessons, Linus!) of the “true meaning of Christmas.”  However, the last few minutes of “A Charlie Brown Christmas”  are guaranteed to be the BEST THING YOU WILL EVER WATCH ON TELEVISION during Christmas time!

I’m only a little embarrassed to say that I watched this video about eight times in a row this evening, in a feeble attempt to try and mimic each character’s dance moves . . .  DO NOT TRY THAT AT HOME!

So, there you have it folks, a calendar year, as seen through the lens of Peanuts Holiday Specials . . .

Dear Memorial Day,

       Consider yourself SCHOOLED!


                    The Peanuts Gang!


Filed under Charlie Brown Holiday Specials

10 responses to “It’s Memorial Day, Charlie Brown?

  1. imaginarymen

    I laughed for about 10 minutes at the Miss Jacobs shout out, swear to god!!

    I had no idea all these specials existed! I like the “classics” and not the ones they made in the 80’s. And I do love the Xmas one bc of Lucy’s line something about “the greeting card industrial complex”!

    That soundtrack is SO wonderful though. It’s nit Christmas until the melancholy strains if “Christmastime is Here”

    • Hey Amy!

      To be honest, I was a bit worried about the Miss Jacobs reference, as I thought it might be a bit obscure for some Peanuts fans. (I mean it’s one thing to shout out to Pacey and Joey, but Miss Jacobs? She was Season 1 . . . Only the hard core fans remember her!) But then I figured, I know at least ONE person who will catch the joke . . . 😉

      That’s an interesting point you make about “classic” versus “80s” Peanuts. As a kid, when you watch these specials, you always assume they are “new and just for you!” I was actually really surprised, when I researched this post, to find out that most of the specials came out in the 60s and 70s, as opposed to when I first started watching them. They withstand the test of time so well, that you would really never know! I bet the ’00 kids that watch them now, assume they are brand new too!

      (By the way, did you know Fergie actually did the voice of Sally, back in the 80s? Random! There were a few other famous folks that did Peanuts voices at one point or another, but I can’t remember them all right now . . .)

      LOL on the “industrial card complex comment.” You know, as a kid, I always thought Lucy was really MEAN! But I heart her so much now! She kicks butt! The image you see next to my blog’s address, actually doubled as my computer wallpaper for quite a while, before I finally changed it.

      Speaking of Peanuts, I couldn’t find an excuse to include this clip in my blog post, but I LOVE this song . . . I don’t think the Schroeder character ever had as many lines, as he did here! Who knew that character had a sense of humor?

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  3. BOZO

    Whats that tiny yellow guy’s name???

    • I love Snoopy too, BOZO! He’s the best! Snoopy’s little yellow bird companion is named Woodstock. 😉

      Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting! The Charlie Brown Christmas specials aren’t far away . . . This means we will all have a bit more Snoopy in our lives, in the coming months.

  4. I’m looking for the movie “Happy Memorial Day Charlie Brown on the computer I need help finding it on the computer though, may you please help me find it on the computer.

    • Hate to break this to you Will, but there is no such movie. The title of the article was a bit of a spoof on the fact that Charlie Brown has holiday movies based on every holiday, EXCEPT Memorial Day. Sorry to burst your bubble! 🙂

  5. Bill Mauldin

    Myabe you need to search for “What Have We Learned, Charlie Brown?”

    “Schulz marked the anniversary of D-Day in his comic each June 6 from 1993 to 1999. The cartoon you mention ran in 1998 (not 1997, as Nonsuch stated). He was a donor to the National D-Day Memorial, as well as its Capital Campaign Chairman. Schulz wrote a bit about the 5/31/98 cartoon in his 50th-anniversary book Peanuts: A Golden Celebration (©1999 United Feature Syndicate, Inc.):

    Of all my D-Day cartoons, this Sunday page created the most interest from readers, who remarked that it was often the only reference to that momentous day of June 6, 1944, in their newspapers. Most gratifyingly, I heard from those in the picture and still with us, family members, and friends of the men talking with General Eisenhower.
    The photograph itself was taken just before these men of the 101st Airborne Division parachuted into Normandy. According to Wallace Strobel, who was the youngest lieutenant with the number 23 on his chest, he had just been asked by Ike where he was from. “Michigan, Sir.” Ike brought up his thumb and said, “Go get ’em, Michigan.”
    I was glad to sign copies of the cartoon for Mr. Strobel, his family, and for others related to the men in the picture.

    Charles Schulz was not part of the Normandy invasion- his troop went over to Europe in 1945. Schulz also commemorated Veteran’s Day each year in his strip, usually with Snoopy imagining himself going down to the pub to “quaff a few root beers with Bill Mauldin.” Willie and Joe themselves, credited as being drawn by “my good friend Bill Mauldin,” appeared alongside Snoopy on Veteran’s Day 1998.”


    • Wow, this is so cool! Thank you very much for sharing it with me. Is Bill Mauldin, Sr. your father or grandfather, by chance?

      I can’t believe it’s been a year to the day that I wrote this blog post! I remember being home on Memorial Day, and completely writers’ blocked, when I decided to write a post about all my favorite Charlie Brown specials. The “It’s Memorial Day, Charlie Brown” concept was just a “hook” to tie the post to the day I happened to be writing it. And it was actually written partly in jest. Who knew a genuine Charlie Brown special commemorating our war heroes actually existed? (Well, I guess YOU knew. LOL)

      It just goes to show you, you learn something new everyday. Thanks again for stopping by, and for taking the time to craft your eloquent comment. It looks like I may have to do a bit more research on this one. 🙂

      • Bill Mauldin

        😉 no sry not bill mauldin. i’ve used the name just for fun due to snoopy at the pub with him;) I think the peanuts have been the first comics that my mother gave to me when I was 1 year old and i love them a lot. Casually I’ve found your post a couple of hour ago and simply something was ringing a bell in my mind couse shultz have always tried to commemorate the soldier of the WWII. That show in particoular it’s hard to found in Italy and on youtube also, (I’m italian) couse it have been put on vhs/dvd only one time if I’m correct.

        Have a good time 😀

        Roberto 🙂

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