Halloween TV Special

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown 1966


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Hands down one of my most favorite cartoons from childhood is the CBS Peanuts Halloween special that first aired in 1966, It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. If you grew up in the late 70’s, or early 80’s you’ve got to remember that little intro before something awesome was about to come on…

Ahh, the memories! It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown is the third Peanuts special (and second holiday-themed special, following A Charlie Brown Christmas) to be produced and animated by Bill Melendez. Its initial broadcast took place on October 27, 1966 on CBS, and re-aired annually through 2000. ABC picked up the rights beginning in 2001, where it now airs annually at Halloween.

So let me tell you all about it… our show starts with fall already in full swing and the Peanuts gang getting ready for Halloween. We follow Lucy and Linus van Pelt as they go to the pumpkin patch where Lucy proceeds to pick the absolute perfect pumpkin, which seems to be the biggest one Linus can lift.
Linus rolls the pumpkin all the way home and lugs it in the house for her. Poor Linus didn’t know it was going to be a jack -o- lantern, and yells “I didn’t know you were going to kill it” when Lucy butchers it. So funny!

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In the next scene Charlie Brown and Snoopy are cleaning up the yard and have a big old pile of leaves. Linus comes running and jumps right in, sucker in hand, then realizes that one should “never jump into a pile of leaves with a wet sucker.”

Lucy convinces Charlie Brown to run and kick the ball – she fools him into it by telling him she has a signed document – and of course she yanks it away at the last minute. Poor Charlie Brown, never gets a break! Well, maybe a broken back, LOL

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Charlie Brown finds Linus writing his annual letter to The Great Pumpkin. Linus explains to Charlie Brown that “This is the time of year to write to the Great Pumpkin! On Halloween night, the Great Pumpkin rises out of his pumpkin patch and flies through the air with his bag of toys for all the children”, but poor Linus is ridiculed by everyone for his belief in the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown thinks he’s crazy.
Snoopy comes along to find him writing his letter and can’t contain his laughter. Patty insists that the Great Pumpkin is a fake, and of course his meanie of a sister Lucy threatens him to stop.

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We can clearly see that Linus is beyond his years in intelligence when he utters the line: There are three things that I’ve learned never to discuss with people; religion, politics, and the Great Pumpkin.. Truly, words to live by.

But he doesn’t waver in his belief, and goes out to mail his letter. Lucy follows him to see him fail, because he can’t reach the mailbox. Lucy refuses to help him, but he ever so cool like he uses his blanket to open the box, then throws his letter to the wind and it gracefully swirls right on in.

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Meanwhile, Charlie Brown comes along doing the happy dance because he got an invitation to Violet’s Halloween party. It’s the first time he’s ever been invited to a Halloween party and he is super happy, until mean old Lucy tells him it was a mistake. She informs Charlie Brown that there are two lists; “one to invite and one not to invite, you must have been put on the wrooong list”.

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Finally, it’s Halloween night and we have the gang getting into costumes to go for ‘tricks or treats’. Snoopy is a World War 1 fighter pilot, and Charlie Brown imagines what he’s up to. This gives us the famous “Flying Ace” scene.

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Meanwhile, Linus heads out to the pumpkin patch to wait for the Great Pumpkin.

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Lucy makes a funny comment to the gang about your Halloween costume needing to be in direct contrast to your personality… as she puts on a witch mask! Ironic, huh?

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While the Peanuts gang go out for tricks or treats, they stop at the pumpkin patch to make fun of Linus, because he misses the fun every year. He never waivers, and is convinced that the Great Pumpkin will come, and invites the gang to wait. Of course, Sally can’t resist the temptation of sitting in the Pumpkin patch with Linus, and believes whole’heartedly in him.

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That is, until the gang shows up from trick or treating, as they head to Violet’s Halloween party with their candy. She realizes they are having all the fun with out her. When Linus mistakes Snoopy for the Great Pumpkin, Sally looses it and tells Linus off.

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Sally: “I was robbed! I spent the whole night waiting for the Great Pumpkin when I could have been out for tricks or treats! Halloween is over and I missed it! You blockhead! You kept me up all night waiting for the Great Pumpkin and all that came was a beagle! I didn’t get a chance to go out for tricks or treats! And it was all your fault! I’ll sue! What a fool I was. And could have had candy apples and gum! And cookies and money and all sorts of things! But no, I had to listen to you! You blockhead. What a fool I was. Trick or treats come only once a year. And I miss it by sitting in a pumpkin patch with a blockhead. You owe me restitution!”

The gang heads home while Linus remains in the Pumpkin patch. At 4 am Lucy’s alarm goes off and she finds that Linus is still out sleeping in the pumpkin patch. She goes out side, gathers him up and walks him to his room and tucks him into bed.

In the end, after all of the ridicule, and the Great Pumpkin never showing up, Linus is still convinced that next year the Great Pumpkin will come!

Watch it now: It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown – Instant Video

And if you want even more Peanuts Halloweenie fun, check out this fun fact filled article – 10 Things You Didn’t Know About ‘It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown’.

I absolutely love, love, love Christmas!! When I'm not here you can always chat with me over at our official forums, Talk Christmas

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