Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A bit of history on the first airing of A Charlie Brown Christmas

[Ever since the debut, I’ve been a fan of the Peanuts cartoon. I can both, at times, identify and empathize with Charlie Brown. I think he is, in his own unique way, a Christ-figure. Plus, I think there is a fair bit of theology intricately woven into the Peanuts cartoon. So, also being a bit of a history buff, I was happy to come across this account of how the original A Charlie Brown Christmas almost never got aired. Dim Lamp]

Few headlines about network television make me giddy. Fewer still make me hopeful that all is good in the world. But back in August of 2010, I read the following headline from the media pages with great excitement: “Charlie Brown Is Here to Stay: ABC Picks Up ‘Peanuts’ Specials Through 2015.” The first of these to be made, the famous Christmas special, was an instant classic when it was created by Charles Schulz on a shoestring budget back in 1965, and thanks to some smart television executives, it will be around for at least another five years for all of us to see and enjoy.

What people don’t know is that the Christmas special almost didn’t happen, because some not-so-smart television executives almost didn’t let it air. You see, Charles Schulz had some ideas that challenged the way of thinking of those executives 46 years ago, and one of them had to do with the inclusion in his Christmas cartoon of a reading from the King James Bible’s version of the Gospel of Luke.

The more things change, the more things stay the same. You can read the whole thing here.

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