With all the people FORGETTING the true meaning of Christmas these days, it is amazing to me how the Charlie Brown Christmas Special is the 2nd most watched and 2nd longest running special on US network TV.
Here are some interesting facts on the Charlie Brown Christmas special:
When they first saw the show, CBS executives were horrified at the idea of an animated Christmas special with such a blatant message. They also strongly objected to the fact that the show had no canned laughter.
When viewing the rough cut of the show, both Bill Melendez and Lee Mendelson were convinced that they had a flop on their hands. After it premiered, they were happily surprised and shocked at the high ratings and excellent reviews that the show received. Today, the show remains the second longest-running Christmas special on US network television (the 1964 “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” premiered one year earlier and is still broadcast every year on US network television).
Linus’s speech about the true meaning of Christmas is actually Luke 2:8-14 from the King James translation of the Bible.
During his famed speech, Linus, who is well known to be dependent on his security blanket, actually lets go of it when he recites these words: “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy,” which is from Luke 2:10
The special broke many of the rules prevalent for animated holiday specials during the 1960s: it didn’t make use of a laugh track; real children were used for the character voices instead of adult actors imitating children’s voices; and Biblical references were used to illustrate the true meaning of Christmas.
Bill Melendez tried to talk Charles M. Schulz out of using Biblical references (especially Linus’s speech) in this special. Schulz reportedly won him over by saying, “If we don’t do it, who will?” As it turned out, Linus’ recitation was hailed as one of the most powerful moments in the highly acclaimed special.
Just before her remarks about Christmas being a big commercial racket, Lucy refers to Charlie Brown simply as Charlie. This is the only time she does this in any of the TV specials: every other time it’s Charlie Brown.
Don’t FORGET the true meaning of Christmas this year- A SAVIOR IS BORN, CHRIST THE LORD…..GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST….AND ON EARTH….PEACE AND GOODWILL TOWARD ALL PEOPLE!
“That’s what Christmas is all about Charlie Brown”