E: How did Peanuts actually end? Did they finally let him kick that fucking football?
D: “They?” You mean Lucy?
E: Lucy. What a bitch.
D: No, I think Charlie Brown is the bitch. I mean how many times are you going to fall for that, Charlie? Here is a man who has fallen into the trap of history repeating itself.
E: But he allows it to keep happening. That, or Charles Schulz ran out of ideas.
Two Cocitos later we circled around back to this topic once the Gettysb playlist was exhausted. Spotify then gave us a Thanksgiving playlist, which was really only just Christmas music wrapped in another name. The revisit was prompted by this song:
E: Seriously, did Peanuts fans ever get that closure of witnessing Charlie kick the ball? Ever? That would have been great closure.
D: What if Peanuts had ended with Charlie winning the Big Game? He kicks the winning goal — like some skill that no one ever knew he had. And it soars through the field goal and his team wins! That would have been chévere*.
E: With the crowd going wild! But would the crowd have been all kids? Or would the adults have been cheering en masse? Or honking? Tromboning?
D: (Imitates the Adults from Peanuts)
E: Then all the kids put [Charlie] on their shoulders–
D: You’re stealing from Rudy.
E: Well, in any case, that would have been the perfect end for the final comic. It implies that things are looking up for Charlie. He finally stops being a loser and sees the silver lining. And Lucy dies alone.
D: And Peppermint Patty and Marcie ride off into the sunset.
E: And Pigpen finally cleans up.
The conversation switched gears then, but I vowed to follow up and check to see how Peanuts actually ended:
Sure, a letter is a nice way to reach your fans, but between the constant bickering of the Lockhorns and Billy running around the entire goddamn house you’d think that for a final comic Schulz would want to step out of the comfort zone and break the mold just a little bit…
Then I read this from the Peanuts Wikipedia:
Schulz had been asked if, for his final Peanuts strip, Charlie Brown would finally get to kick that football after so many decades. His response: “Oh, no! Definitely not! I couldn’t have Charlie Brown kick that football; that would be a terrible disservice to him after nearly half a century.”
“Definitely not?” “Disservice?”
I call bullshit.
Why would you be so cruel to your main character? It is bad enough that he is balding at such a young age, but Charlie is constantly the butt of the joke whether he’s fighting with a kite, a tree, a crush, or life in general.
Schulz, you had one chance to wrap things up for Charlie. A perfect bow out. And you blew it.
This year, hopefully as you watch(ed) the Thanksgiving Day Parade you’ll see this guy floating around, still trying to kick that damn football.
When he floats by you, know that he never had a proper ending.
At least not until Peanuts is rebooted within the next five years. I don’t know how excited you are, but I cannot wait to see Charlie Brown wearing sunglasses, riding around on a skateboard and dancing to hip hop.
*Yes, Danny, you said chévere.