As the leaves start to turn and you find yourself tucking into the Halloween candy a bit early (it’s okay, there’s plenty of time to buy more), I never really feel like it’s fall until this classic Peanuts special airs.
Multiple generations have grown up on Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the rest of the Peanuts Gang. Holiday specials like “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” and “A Charlie Brown Christmas” entertained children of the 60’s who have become parents and grandparents today!
Linus: “Each year, the Great Pumpkin rises out of the pumpkin patch that he thinks is the most sincere. He’s gotta pick this one. He’s got to. I don’t see how a pumpkin patch can be more sincere than this one. You can look around and there’s not a sign of hypocrisy. Nothing but sincerity as far as the eye can see.”
I fondly remember curling up on the couch, under an afghan and watching this with my family. It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown is a beloved holiday special that celebrated its 52nd anniversary in 2018. It’s hard to believe it’s really been 52 years.
In the half-hour tale, Linus tells the gang about a giant Santa Claus–like pumpkin who descends from on high every Halloween bearing toys. In response, Linus is ridiculed and rejected by almost all his friends. (Don’t you feel for him? I do!)
Accompanied by Sally, his ever-faithful supporter, he sits in a pumpkin patch to wait for the Great Pumpkin to arrive. Eventually, after he mistakes Snoopy’s shadow for the mythical squash and passes out with excitement, Sally abandons him. Linus remains in the patch until his sister Lucy carries him home.
As a child, I felt for Linus, who tried to maintain faith in something unprovable. “If the Great Pumpkin comes, I’ll still put in a good word for you,” he calls out to Sally as she leaves him. “Good grief, I said, ‘If.’ I meant ‘When he comes,’” Linus wails. “I’m doomed. One little slip like that can cause the Great Pumpkin to pass you by. Oh, Great Pumpkin, where are you?”
This year (2018), “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” will air on Thursday, October 18 at 8pm E.T. on ABC. Fortunately for Charlie Brown fans, the network has added a final encore showing Friday, October 26th at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. That showtime will be followed by another Peanuts episode, “You’re Not Elected, Charlie Brown”, which will start at 8:30 p.m. ET on October 26 on ABC. Set yourself a reminder on your phone.
Why wait? Curl up with a blanket and bag of mini chocolate bars, watch this beloved animated classic and share your thoughts in the comments below.