Day 46, No. 46. Charlie Brown

PeanutsHAIRCUT 100: Day 46, No. 46. Charlie Brown: Great American archetype, ‘lovable loser,’ notional owner of Snoopy, and ‘round-headed kid.’ The character and his dog first appeared in a comic strip by Charles M. Schulz called Li’l Folks in 1948, which ran weekly in his hometown newspaper, the St. Paul Pioneer Press. This was picked up by United Feature Syndicate in 1950, and retitled Peanuts (a name Schultz always detested) to avoid confusion with Li’l Abner. Peanuts ran for the next fifty years, with the first TV special, A Charlie Brown Christmas, broadcast on CBS in 1965. The strip concluded with the passing of its creator in February, 2000. Despite a wide cast of characters, Charlie Brown quickly emerged as the central protagonist of Peanuts. He is one of life’s pessimists, and as an anxious, under-confident kid I always found him very easy to identify with, as I think do many of us if we’re honest about childhood – it’s a scary place. But while negotiating a hostile and Manichean universe, Charlie Brown is not alone. He has his mates and his dog, and although invariably doomed to failure he will still get up and give it the old college try, rather like the German 6th army at Stalingrad. ‘Sometimes I lie awake at night, and I ask, “Where have I gone wrong?” Then a voice says to me, “This is going to take more than one night.”’

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