24 Days: It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!
If you don’t remember this Halloween special, you’re either too young (and shouldn’t be reading this blog*) or you have Alzheimer’s, in which case you may not be able to read this blog. Either way, Charles Schultz provided zillions of kids with an hour of wholesome entertainment consisting of begging for candy, dressing up like pagan monsters, and worshipping grim pumpkiny deities.
That last might be a stretch, but it closes the joke, dammit. ITGP,CB stars the much-loved Peanuts kids in a Halloween Hijinx as Linus Van Pelt waits in a local pumpkin patch once again for the elusive Great Pumpkin. This special parts from the usual formula of Charlie Brown being the star and replaces him with Kinus as being the target of the other children’s ire. In fact, it is a little disconcerting to watch these shows as an adult, as they really seem to conentrate on children treating each other badly through pretty much the whole story. Except for Marcie and Peppermint Patty, who are always kind to each other. And you know what that means: Lesbians!
Back to the plot. Linus writes a letter to the Great Pumpkin and is spied by Lucy who predictably threatens to “sock” him. This is the second of my posts in a row to mention the word “sock”, so there is a trifecta in play! Lucy then refuses to open the mailbox for Linus, so out comes the ever-trusty security blanket to open the mailbox.
Charlie Brown gets an invitation to a Halloween party and does a little dance of joy. Has the world turned upside-down? No, Lucy is there to once again stomp on what little dignity and self-esteem that Chuck has by telling him that there were two lists for the party, invite and don’t-invite, and Chuck obviously was put on the wrong list. We don’t see Chuck at any Halloween parties, so it’s evident that Lucy has so beaten Chuck out of any love for himself that he simply took her word for it and didn’t show. Wimmins… can’t live with them, what’s on TV?
Enduring more ridicule, Linus makes his way to the pumpkin patch with his stalker, Sally, in tow. Now, I don’t remember if the show touched on this, but according to the strips, the Great Pumpkin only shows at the “most sincere” pumpkin patch. For the first time, here is a deleted scene that expands on this that I have just made upaquired:
Pumpkin Patch: Hello Linus!
Linus: Holy sweet fucking Christ! A talking pumpkin patch!
PP: Settle down, Spasmo. Listen, I need to talk to you about something, and please don’t be offended. It’s your hair. You’re too young to have a head that looks like you got cracked out and glued black yarn to it. Now, don’t be angry, I’m just trying to help. When you brush, brush lightly, don’t wear a hat unless you have to, and please, don’t scrub your hair when you shampoo! Massage gently using small circular motions. I’m not trying to be mean, I just want to help you out.
Linus: AAAUUUUUGH! (runs away)
PP: *sigh* I was just trying to help. Oh, hey, Great Pumpkin!
GP: Hey. Did that kid run away again?
GP: What a douche.
Anyways, it’s also in this show that we are graced with one of the most memorable scenes in campy Halloween history.
Charlie Brown in his ghost costume, which has about 50 eyeholes cut in it becasue he’s bad with scissors. Kid’s so fucked up that he’s lost the human skill of tool use. And what does he get for his trick-or-treating? Rocks. At least it’s evident that he won’t be able to use them as a weapon or tan leather.
Sally and Linus are firghtened by a sound in the patch. Is it the Great Pumpkin? No, it’s Snoopy in the middle of another one of his special dog biscuit induced hallucinations of WWI. Linus faints. When he wakes up, he is showered by loving worry from stalker Sally. No, wait, she bitches him out and threatens to sue because she missed trick-or-treating.
Well, Halloween ends and Lucy finds Linus sleeping in the pumpkin patch, the end of another unsuccessful attempt to see the Great Pumpkin. In the only act of compassion in the show, Lucy helps Linus home and puts him to bed.
The next day sees Charlie Brown and Linus talking:
Charlie Brown: Well, another Halloween has come and gone.
Linus: Yes, Charlie Brown.
Charlie Brown: I don’t understand it. I went trick-or-treating and all I got was a bag full of rocks! I suppose you spent all night in the Pumpkin Patch. And the Great Pumpkin never showed up?
Charlie Brown: Well, don’t take it too hard, Linus. I’ve done a lot of stupid things in my life too.
Linus: STUPID? What do you mean “stupid”? Just wait ’til next year, Charlie Brown. You’ll see! Next year at this same time, I’ll find a pumpkin patch that is real sincere! And I’ll sit in that pumpkin patch until the Great Pumpkin appears. He’ll rise out of that pumpkin patch and he’ll fly through the air with his bag of toys. The Great Pumpkin will appear! And I’ll be waiting for him! I’ll be there! I’ll be sitting there in that pumpkin patch..and I’ll see the Great Pumpkin. Just wait and see, Charlie Brown. I’ll see that Great Pumpkin. I’ll SEE the Great Pumpkin! Just you wait, Charlie Brown. The Great Pumpkin will appear and I’ll be waiting for him…
Now, you never see the Great Pumpkin so whether he exists or not is left ambiguous. I don’t have a picture, but I do have this:
It may not be the Great Pumpkin, but it is a pretty damned awesome one!
*Or you might see film caps of Kevin Bacon’s penis