Playwright Jack McManus returns to the podcast this month to discuss one of his favorite Peanuts specials: "Why, Charlie Brown, Why?" from 1990. This first TV special of the 90's arose out of Schulz's desire to honestly talk to kids about cancer. One of the Peanuts kids is diagnosed with leukemia and we follow the others as they process this information. It's a heavy episode. Does it manage to both entertain and inform?
Unfortunately, there were some audio issues that makes Jack hard to hear for a lot of the discussion. Don't give up, though, it's good stuff if you just bump up the volume a little. My apologies.
It's time to start the music! It's time to light the lights! It's time to get things started on the....oh, wait. That's the Muppet Show.
Anyway, we're talking about the 1988 animated version of SNOOPY THE MUSICAL on the podcast this month. So, to be clear: there was a comic strip called "Peanuts" (you may have heard of it) that became a stage show called SNOOPY THE MUSICAL, which, in turn, was turned into an animated TV special. Got it?
All right, the usher will now show you to your seats as the show is about to start. Please make sure your phones are turned off...NO! Wait! Don't do that! You won't be able to hear the show!
Also this month: Random Strip of the Month and a "Peanuts by Schulz" short called "Feeling Insecure".
Like the way I put words together, but need a break from my voice? Check out my short story collection MISERY BANANA: VERY SHORT STORIES INSPIRED BY OLD GAMES AND ODD THOUGHTS featuring an eclectic mix of stories in a variety of genres. Thanks!
On episode 36, it's the return of author/illustrator Jason Yungbluth! Several months ago, Jason appeared on the show and offhandedly commented that his "favorite" Peanuts special is the 1976 "IT'S ARBOR DAY, CHARLIE BROWN". So...I invited him back to the show to defend that dubious position. That'll teach him to express an opinion!
We also have a Random Strip of the Month and a review of a "Peanuts by Schulz" short episode called "Fly". Plus, the usual mixed bag of Peanuts news and musings.
Greetings, fellow blockheads! IT'S A PODCAST, CHARLIE BROWN Episode 35 is here!
Just so you're not confused, I messed with the schedule this month and not just because this episode is dropping a day late. We've still got a random strip of the month. We've still got a "Peanuts by Schulz" short (this one is called "Reach for the Stars"). We even still have episode 17 (the penultimate one!) of "The Charlie Brown & Snoopy Show".
BUT, we're shelving the planned "A Good Man, Charlie Brown" discussion until a later date. I had the unexpected good fortune of booking an interview with playwright Jack McManus about his new musical "Sparky", which debuted earlier this year in New York. The play presents significant points in Schulz's life and sounds very cool. I think you'll agree the scheduling change was well worth it.
Even we blockheads get it right once in a while.
This month, episode 34 is booting one through the ol' uprights with not one but TWO football themed episodes.
First up is IT'S YOUR FIRST KISS, CHARLIE BROWN from 1977. Charlie Brown's kicking prowess is all that stands between victory and defeat in the big Homecoming game. (Never mind that this is usually a high school thing. Peppermint Patty has a game to win!) Will the Little-Red-Haired-Girl-turned-Homecoming-Queen have Chuck banished from the royal realm? How much power do Homecoming queens actually have?
Next, we check out YOU'RE IN THE SUPERBOWL, CHARLIE BROWN. Except he's not. This 1994 tie-in with that year's Superbowl finds World Famous Coach Snoopy trying to lead his team of birds to Animal Football League glory while Linus and Charlie Brown vie for the affections of New Girl in Town Melodie Melodie even as they get ready for the "punt pass kick" contest where they could win a new bike..also, a Superbowl ticket. Just one though.
Does that Superbowl one sound fun? Want to buy a copy to watch? You can! If you time travel to 1994! And get your gas at Shell Stations! And still have a functioning VHS player! Listen to the episode to have this explained. But if you time travel BEFORE you listen, you'll spoil the ending.
We've also got a "Peanuts by Schulz" short called "Company" and another "Random Strip of the Month". Send us your Random Strip submissions right now … after you listen, of course.
This month on the podcast, all of the Peanuts secrets are revealed...
Okay, not really. But we do have a conversation with Benjamin Clark, curator of the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center in Santa Rosa, California. Benjamin gives us some insight into the daily life of a curator, how exhibits are put together, and a LOT of exciting things coming up in coming years. I even asked him, as the keeper of all things Peanuts, what is REALLY inside Snoopy's doghouse.
Want to know the answer? Tune in to this episode!
We've also got one of the few remaining "Charlie Brown & Snoopy Show" episodes (#16 to be specific). In this one, the Peanuts gang boldly goes where no Peanut has gone before. At least it felt that way.
We've also got a "Peanuts by Schulz" episode called "Nice Doggy" and another "Random Strip of the Month".
Chew your cookies loud as you want (It'll make sense after you listen) and tune in! Thanks!