So the other night, I’m watching TV with my two sons when we notice that on one of our 2,304 channels is “Happy New Year, Charlie Brown.”
“Did we ever see that one?” Zane asks.
“See it? I’ve never even heard of it!” I answer.
And with good reason—as it was one of the less memorable (read: more lame) Peanuts specials to come down the pike. Seriously, the main plot revolves around Charlie Brown having to read War and Peace over his holiday vacation for a book report! It’s like someone said, “Hmm … Peanuts specials are pretty slow moving in the first place, so what can we do to grind it to an absolute halt and suck all the joy out of it? I know! Let’s throw in one of the most dense works in the history of literature! It’ll be awesome—kids eat up Tolstoy!!!”
So we sit through it as a social experiment of sorts, and yeah, it’s as depressing as any Peanuts special—Charlie Brown doesn’t have any fun at the New Year’s Eve party because he’s stuck reading, and he misses out on his chance to hook up with The Little Red-Haired Girl. (Note: During the show, Charlie Brown calls her “Heather,” so at least that Eternal Mystery is solved.) Oh, and if Life—aka, the cruel hand of Charles M. Schultz—doesn’t slap down ol’ Chuck hard enough, he gets a D- on the book report.
After it’s over, we all sort of start joking about how sad it was. Zane asks if anyone has ever done something about when the Peanuts kids grow up, and I suggest that all you’d see is a tombstone for Charlie Brown after he ODs, which prompts the three of us, in our twisted way, to come up with—
The Top 15 Peanuts Specials That Should Be Made
(All illustrations by Zane)
1. It’s an Intervention, Charlie Brown!
3. Snoopy Has Rabies … And It’s Fatal, Charlie Brown!
4. It’s the Robot Uprising, Charlie Brown!
6. Balls, Charlie Brown!
7. It’s Called Lymphoma, Charlie Brown!
9. It’s the Great Gatsby, Charlie Brown!
10. Don’t Marry Your Cousin, Charlie Brown!
12. Don’t Eat the Yellow Snow, Charlie Brown!
13. I’m Gonna Kick You in the Peanuts, Charlie Brown!
14. It’s a Tsunami, Charlie Brown!
15. You’re Getting Mauled by a Bear, Charlie Brown!
And now …. “We’re Waiting For a Letter from the Peanuts’ Attorneys, Charlie Brown!”