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It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown -Things You Never Knew!

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ALL Photos from Google Image/ ABC/Warner Home Video

Inspired and with notes by Danny Gallagher

It was a God thing!

‘Peanuts’ creator Charles Schulz’s faith and beliefs often served as a launching point for his comic strip story lines and specials. A Halloween special might not seem like the ideal place for a message about personal beliefs but even The Great Pumpkin had something to say about faith and religion.

CBS Wanted Another Hit on Their Hands

CBS network executives wanted another ‘Peanuts’ special, but they also wanted a surefire hit. If it wasn’t they were pulling the plug on anymore Peanuts specials.

Kids sent candy to Charlie Brown after it aired.

Some of the kids, like myself, who watched the TV special felt so bad for poor Charlie Brown that they actually mailed candy and other gifts to CBS addressed to Charlie Brown.

Sally’s lines were almost ruined because of a loose tooth.

 Kathy Steinberg, the young actress who voiced Sally, almost had to be replaced. Just as they were nearing the end of her recording sessions, her mother called Mendelson one night in a panic because Kathy had a loose tooth and the gap in her teeth could cause a lisp in her voice that would sound different from the dialogue they had already recorded.

The idea of “Snoopy the Flying Ace” came from Sparky’s son.

Monte was an avid model airplane builder and loved WWI aircraft. One day, he wandered into his father’s studio and suggested that he make Snoopy an imaginary fighter pilot. His father wasn’t crazy about the idea at first but it eventually snuck into some of his daily comic strips and was later used for the ‘Great Pumpkin’ special.

NASA loved Snoopy’s Flying Ace.

 He even became a good luck charm for the NASA astronauts during the Apollo space missions and as an icon for NASA safety. The crew of the Apollo 10 mission even brought a painting of the “Flying Ace” with them into space.

 

Lucy is reading a TV Guide featuring herself on the cover.

After Linus writes his letter to the Great Pumpkin, he walks past Lucy while she is sitting in front of the TV reading a TV Guide magazine. A split second shot of the magazine features Lucy on the cover of the magazine.

I was so influenced by the Schultz special I grew pumpkins every single year. I was also taught to go to the drugstore and buy needles to inject milk into the stems to make the pumpkins larger. Oh my things have changed! Could you tell that to a pharmacy technician now and get away with it?

It’s for my pumpkins sir!