This Ford's for You, Charlie Brown!


Tonight, apparently, the franchise-launching holiday classic and Vince Guaraldi vehicle A Charlie Brown Christmas will air on network television, whatever that is. If you don't happen to have a two-year-old girl whose entire incentive structure is anchored on behaving well enough in school to merit watching Peanuts DVDs at night, it's possible that you've forgotten the special's major if soft-pedaled subtheme: That commercialization is distorting and obscuring "what Christmas is all about."

Cue the kids at 10 Zen Monkeys, who exclusively reveal that Charlie Brown's first foray into animation "followed a six-year period where the whole gang was recording commercials for Ford Motor Vehicles." You know you want to watch:

Not only that, the commercialism-dinging Charlie Brown Christmas was heavily sponsored by Old Coke:

[O]riginally the special ended with the Christmas carol — "Hark, the Herald Angels Sing" — being interrupted by the following voice-over: "Brought to you by the people in your town who bottle Coca Cola."

You know what's coming next: classic footage from the 1965 Libertarian Party convention. As Internet hero recon007jf teaches us, "Pay special attention to the girl in the pink dress she seems so free and happy. I'd like to feel that way."

Reason on Charlie Brown here. Thanks to El Destiny for the tip.

NEXT: Olbermann, Assange, and the Holocaust Denier

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  1. 1965?

    Are you retconning libertarianism?

  2. The interesting thing about the Charlie Brown Christmas special is that it ends with Linus reading the naivety story directly from the King James bible.

    Such overt religion would be considered scandalous if not obscene now. Regardless of what you think of religion or Christianity, having a point of view tends to make for better entertainment. One could only imagine how awful such a special would be if it were made today. Instead of the King James bible we would get some horrible Lion King “Circle of Life” everyone love everything else vomit inducing garbage. And the brilliant Vince Giardi soundtrack? Forget it. It wouldn’t have tested well enough with the soccer mom focus groups. Jazz is just too sophisticated and old fashioned for children today.

    1. And in the Thanksgiving one he gives a pious, go-America speech about it being the first time a country gave official thanks for loving freedom and justice, etc.

      1. Just how old are you?

    2. The Circle of Life song is tedious but I’d rather watch Lion King over the Charlie Brown Christmas any day.

    3. Naivety? Legit, but I prefer naivete.

    4. Some idiot decided to remaster the Vince Guaraldi soundtrack to make it seem like it was being performed in a toilet bowl full of styrofoam. If you want to buy a copy make sure you don’t get hosed.

  3. Also airing with Charlie Brown is the latest “Prep and Landing” short (5min) from Disney that my GF worked on. Sorry for the shameless plug.

  4. “Not only that, the commercialism-dinging Charlie Brown Christmas was heavily sponsored by Old Coke”

    I’ve seen the horrors you’ve seen.

    1. Matt Welch, the opposite of cafine.

      1. that’s cafeine of course

        1. No, dipshit. It isn’t.

          1. Give him a break, he can’t even spell a name that’s right in front of him.

  5. Capitalism has always been able to sell anything, including anti-capitalism! I should think that is one of its strengths or faults…

  6. Don’t forget the Peanuts gang’s long association with Dolly Madison products.

  7. Wait — where is the pink dress girl you promised? I want to see her freedoms.

    1. Only TSA agents get to see those.

      1. Only TSA agents get to see those.

        +1, but we have to put you on the offender registry after you get out of the supermax.

    2. She’s apparently got a twin sister, who dances like a reflection in the mirror.

  8. To the camps with Charles Shultz!

  9. So a syndicated (commercial) cartoonist sells his product to a commercial broadcast station that pays for it via ad revenues from Ford Motor Company (a commercial enterprise) and Coca Cola (a commercial enterprise) and to Matt Welch this is a bad thing because the cartoon is about Christmas? Is that about it?

    1. Sure, except for the part about how this entire commercial enterprise is carried by a script decrying commercialization.

      You know, irony.

    2. Sometimes I feel like I live on a different planet.

      1. Only sometimes? Like when reading the comments?

      2. Sorry, Matt, but the correct answer was “Good grief.”

        The judges would have also accepted “Sigh.”

      3. On the contrary, The Gobbler is very representative of what walks (and crawls) on this planet. I’m sure he is, or would be, a good politician or MSM journalist.

  10. Charles Schultz stated in numerous interviews that it was meant as a joke. He didn’t think Christmas was over-commercialized.

  11. Why is your two-year-old daughter in school already?

    1. By “school” he means coal mine.

    2. That Nobel Prize in Physics doesn’t just award itself, you know. Also, I use “school” as a synonym for “pre-school.”

    3. At the rates he must be paying for a D.C. preschool, he gets to call it whatever he wants.

    4. My wife calls day care for our one-year-old “school”. Incidentally, I sometimes refer to the public education system as “day care”.

      1. Excellent!

    5. It’s fashionable to abuse your children this way.

  12. We decorate a rather skimpy and ill-looking wee pine tree in our yard each year at this time – it has been designated “The Charlie Brown Tree”.

    And my sister and I do the weird, hoppy/shuffly Peanuts dance every Christmas. Cause we think it’s hilARious. Usually after we’ve been into the Jager…

    THIS IS A GREAT SHOW! Way better than Lion King.

    1. I saw the premiere, I watch it every year and I’ll watch it again tonight.

      1. Bless your kindred spirit, Punctuation!

  13. Why is your two-year-old daughter in school already?

  14. What a beauty that Fairlane is. Did that have standard transmission, or had automatic already begun wrapping drivers in its suffocating web?

    1. C’mon, Timmeh! The ’63 Fairlanes were the first good looking ones (with the fastback rear window). 390 and an auto was the way to go….:)

      1. Al, you’re thinking of the ’63 Galaxy. ’63 Fairlanes were ugly runts. ’60 Fairlane was the best-looking car of that year.

  15. I fucking hate Vince Guaraldi after being forced to listen to that soundtrack every hour of every workday for two months out of the year when I was young and worked in a bookstore at the mall.

  16. That chick in the pink dress became a deadhead and the guy that that bobbed back and forth (Sherman?) was an early punk.

  17. If you don’t happen to have a two-year-old girl whose entire incentive structure is anchored on behaving well enough in school to merit watching Peanuts DVDs at night…

    Well, it was a three-year-old and he’s a boy, but that’s exactly the DVD that drove his incentive structure yesterday.

  18. Matt, you blockhead. You can’t knock Charlie Brown!

  19. I saw three girls in pink dresses. Which was the free one?

  20. I watched A Charlie Brown Christmas for maybe the first time in twenty years last year, and I could not believe what a dick all the other kids were to Charlie Brown. It was like he fucked all their mothers or something. The real message, it seems, is “children are assholes.”

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