Fine Arts

A Charlie Brown Christmas

First aired on Dec. 9, 1965, “A Charlie Brown Christmas” the second longest Christmas special of all time was almost never aired. The reason – Network Executives did not think their audience wanted to be reminded about religion. Let me explain.

One of the most iconic moments in “A Charlie Brown Christmas” is when Linus literally takes center stage and tells a distraught Charlie Brown the true meaning of Christmas by reciting from the Gospel of Luke. The scene features no music, no action, and no comedy, just a child quoting from the Bible. And naturally, this caused network executives to lose their collective minds. They argued no one wanted to be reminded of religion during the holidays, people would feel uncomfortable by the message, and everyone would be confused when the speech didn’t end with an anvil falling on Linus’s head like in all good cartoons. But “Peanuts” creator Charles Schulz argued that in a story about a character wanting to know the true meaning of Christmas, not only was some explanation of the holiday needed but also the worst the speech could impart to viewers was the notion not to be fearful or sad. The studio stood their ground…and Schulz walked out of the meeting, with only three months to go before broadcast. And so CBS changed their mind and now every year we get to hear Linus say, “Lights, please.”

Jakob Hall – Charlie Brown
Caleb Jackson – Linus Van Pelt
Dustin Wagner – Pigpen
Elijah O’Dell – Shermy
Kaylee Ellie – Schroder
Snoopy – Garrett Wright
Amelia Walters – Lucy Van Pelt
Sarah Stephenson – Frieda
Hannah Elliott – Violet
Isabel Houston – Sally Brown
Leigha Fishburn – Peppermint Patty