When October hits so does a major childhood memory. Back when we didn’t have cable TV or streaming devices, we had to wait an entire year for our favorite TV specials to air. One of those specials was It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown. In this episode of Trivia Rewind we’re talking about this classic Halloween television tradition. There’s just something special about the anticipation of watching it live on TV.
The show was created in 1966 and aired on the CBS network. In 2001 ABC picked up the rights and continued the annual tradition. All our trivia questions this week will revolve around the Great Pumpkin TV special. In our Fun Facts, find out why kids nationwide were sympathetic towards Charlie Brown and what they mailed to the studio. Find out which US president said he identified with Charlie Brown. Plus find out which of the voice actors spent time in jail and what he said about Charlie Brown fans.
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SPOILER ALERT! Trivia Rewind – It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown Trivia
Debi Jenkins 0:04
Hello trivia rewind listeners. I’m Debi Jenkins your host. Well, it’s that time of year when we wait for the Halloween television classic It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown. In this episode of Trivia Rewind, we are talking about this classic TV tradition. If you’ve been around a few decades, you know that every October It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown airs on network television. There’s just something special about the anticipation of watching it live on TV. The show was created in 1966 and aired on the CBS network. In 2001 ABC picked up the rights and continued the annual tradition. All of our trivia questions this week will revolve around the Great Pumpkin TV special. There will be some interesting fun facts. Find out why kids nationwide were sympathetic towards Charlie Brown and what they mailed to the television studio. You’ll even find out which US President said he identified with Charlie Brown.
Debi Jenkins 1:16
But before we get to the questions, here’s a quick review of how Trivia Rewind works. First, I’ll ask you 10 questions. Then I’ll go back and review the questions and give you the answers plus some fun facts about the show. Are you ready to play Trivia Rewind?
Debi Jenkins 1:34
Here’s question one. Which Peanuts character was the only one to believe in the Great Pumpkin?
Debi Jenkins 1:44
Question two. When Lucy bobbed for apples at Violet’s Halloween party, who did she accidentally touch lips with?
Debi Jenkins 1:55
Question three. While several of the kids dressed up as ghosts for Halloween, what did Lucy dress up as?
Debi Jenkins 2:04
Question four. What does Snoopy dress up as for Halloween?
Debi Jenkins 2:11
Question five. While the other kids got handfuls of candy, what did Charlie Brown keep getting in his bag while trick-or-treating?
Debi Jenkins 2:22
Question six. When the character Schroeder plays the piano, which character leaves Violet’s party crying?
Debi Jenkins 2:32
Question seven. Which character skips out on the trick-or-treating and the other Halloween festivities to wait with Linus at the pumpkin patch?
Debi Jenkins 2:44
Question eight. When Linus sees a shadowy figure at the pumpkin patch he thinks it’s the Great Pumpkin. Who was it really?
Debi Jenkins 2:54
Question nine. What item does Lucy yank away from Charlie Brown? Something that becomes one of her signature moves.
Debi Jenkins 3:05
And question 10. During the Halloween party, some of the girls asked Charlie Brown to model for them. He feels flattered until he finds out that they want him to model what?
Debi Jenkins 3:19
Well, those are the 10 questions. Let’s go back and I’ll give you the answers and the fun facts.
Debi Jenkins 3:27
Question one. Which Peanuts character was the only one to believe in the Great Pumpkin? That was Linus. Linus believed that every year the Great Pumpkin would bring toys to believing children…Kind of like a spin-off from Santa Claus. In the television special Linus is seen writing a letter to the Great Pumpkin. Do you remember how he was able to get the mailbox open so he could drop his letter in? He used his blanket like a lasso to pull down the mailbox handle. This was the second holiday themed Peanuts special. It was 25 minutes long. The first Peanuts holiday special was A Charlie Brown Christmas. The Christmas special ended up being so popular that 45% of homes were watching it when it debuted. TV executives were hoping to have another blockbuster with It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown and they did. One of the producers and the director of the special was Bill Melendez. Peanuts creator Charles Schulz only trusted Melendez to direct the specials. Melendez worked on every single Peanuts special.
Debi Jenkins 4:42
Question two. When Lucy bobbed for apples at Violet’s Halloween party, who did she accidentally touch lips with? That with Snoopy. Lucy yells out “Yuck, my lips touched dog lips.” Somehow Snoopy had snuck into the apple bobbing tank. In the show Charlie Brown was very excited to get an invitation to Violet’s party. He said this was the first time he was ever invited to a party. Lucy had to go and ruin it by telling him he must have been on the wrong list…the list of who not to invite to the party. She was such a bully. The actor that provided the voice for Charlie Brown was named Peter Robbins. As an adult, he spent some time in jail for making criminal threats against people. In an article with a Fox TV station, he revealed that he suffered from bipolar disorder and urged people who have that disorder to seek help. He is quoted as saying Charlie Brown fans are the greatest fans in the world.
Debi Jenkins 5:45
Question three. While several of the kids dressed up as ghosts for Halloween, what did Lucy dress up as? Lucy dressed up as a witch? Well, how fitting was that? Charlie Brown went a little overboard with the scissors on his ghost costume. It’s easy to pick him out of the crowd. Here’s a fun fact. There is a continuity mistake regarding Charlie Brown’s costume. In the scene when the group is about to go trick-or-treating, there’s one point when Charlie Brown shows his costume full of holes and admits he had a little trouble with the scissors. Then he is seen holding the door for Snoopy and his costume only has two holes. Then once outside his costume is back to having multiple holes. Next time you watch see if you can find the mistake.
Debi Jenkins 6:36
Question four. What does Snoopy dress up as for Halloween? Snoopy dresses up as a World War I flying ace. This was the first time on TV that Snoopy was seen as the flying ace. In a Washington Post article, Executive Producer Lee Mendelson says this animated scene was one of the most memorable ever. NASA really got on board with this side of Snoopy. The crew of the Apollo 10 mission took a painting of Snoopy as the flying ace into space with them as a good luck charm. They actually used the picture to calibrate their cameras. Those cameras recorded the first color TV feeds that were sent from space back down to Earth. The 1969 Apollo 10 astronauts actually named their lunar module Snoopy and the Apollo Command Module was named Charlie Brown.
Debi Jenkins 7:36
Question five. While the other kids got handfuls of candy, what did Charlie Brown keep getting in his bag while trick-or-treating? Well, he got rocks. Have you ever wondered why he got rocks? Not only are his friends mean to him, the adults in his neighborhood are too. Poor kid. Lee Mendelson, one of the producers said that he didn’t really like the idea of the rocks but Charles Schulz and Bill Melendez really wanted to do it. He said Schulz saw it as a lesson for kids in showing that you’ll survive if you don’t get what you want. A lot of kids felt sorry for Charlie Brown because he was given rocks in his trick-or -treat bag. Kids from around the United States actually mailed candy to the TV studio addressed to Charlie Brown. I’m still trying to figure out how they’d give that candy to a cartoon character but it’s the thought that counts. If anything, maybe all the meanness towards Charlie Brown taught kids to be empathetic.
Debi Jenkins 8:38
Question six. When the character Schroeder plays the piano, which character leaves Violet’s party crying? That would be Snoopy. Schroeder was playing World War I songs and they got the best of Snoopy. It was too much for him and he had to leave. A drawing of Charles Schulz’s dog was the first item that Schulz ever had published. He was 15 years old. That dog was Charles Schulz’s his inspiration for the character Snoopy. Snoopy even has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, right next to Charles Schulz’s star.
Debi Jenkins 9:18
Question seven. Which character skips out on the trick-or-treating and the other Halloween festivities to wait with Linus at the pumpkin patch? The answer is Sally. Sally had quite the crush on Linus so of course she would stay back with him. However, later she was bitter that she missed out on the fun and Linus got quite the earful. Kathy Steinberg, the little girl that did the voice of Sally, she had a close call during the making of this movie. Her tooth became loose and her mom panicked. If the tooth were to fall out, she would have a lisp. Her mother phoned the studio and they rushed her in to finish her lines. Guess when her tooth fell out? During her very last line.
Debi Jenkins 10:06
Question eight. When Linus sees a shadowy figure at the pumpkin patch, he thinks it’s the Great Pumpkin. Who was it really? Well, it was Snoopy. Charles Schulz, the creator of the Peanuts comic strip, almost named the dog Sniffy had it not been for another comic strip already using that name. When he was a child Schulz had a dog named Spike who was the inspiration for his Snoopy character. While Snoopy doesn’t talk he does make noises. The director Bill Melendez provided those sounds for Snoopy in the television special.
Debi Jenkins 10:47
Question nine. What item does Lucy yank away from Charlie Brown, something that becomes one of her signature moves? Well, she yanks away a football. Poor Charlie Brown. Every time he attempted to kick that football, Lucy yanked it away from him. While the football yank was seen in the comic strip, the first time this antic was animated was on the It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown special. In a Southern Living article, it was noted that President Ronald Reagan once told Charles Schulz that he identified with the Charlie Brown character. Who would have thought that a leader of the free world would identify with a character like Charlie Brown.
Debi Jenkins 11:35
And question 10. During the Halloween party some of the girls asked Charlie Brown to model for them. He feels flattered until he finds out that they want him to model what? Well, they wanted him to model the back of his head. They use the back of his bald head as their model for drawing out how they want their jack-o-lantern to look. Of course this infuriates Charlie Brown, who as usual, is the butt of someone’s joke. It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown was one of 45 specials that aired on TV. In 1967, It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Children’s Program. An NBC show titled, Jack in the Beanstalk took the Emmy home instead.
Debi Jenkins 12:28
Well, that’s it for this week’s episode all about It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown. Come share your favorite memory of this TV special by posting on the Trivia Rewind website at triviarewind.com. Please subscribe and leave a positive review wherever you listen to podcasts, and visit us on Twitter and Instagram. All the links can be found at triviarewind.com. Thanks for listening, and I’ll be back next time for another episode of Trivia Rewind.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai