An abiding childhood memory is the recitation from Luke’s Gospel by the character Linus in the animated television special A Charlie Brown Christmas.
It almost never happened.
This article reveals how Charlie Brown’s creator, Charles Schulz was opposed at virtually every step of the process of creating the special by television executives, who, even in the mid-1960s demonstrated how out of touch they were with popular tastes.
Few headlines about network television make me giddy. Fewer still make me hopeful that all is good in the world. But back in August of 2010, I read the following headline from the media pages with great excitement: “Charlie Brown Is Here to Stay: ABC Picks Up ‘Peanuts’ Specials Through 2015.” The first of these to be made, the famous Christmas special, was an instant classic when it was created by Charles Schulz on a shoestring budget back in 1965, and thanks to some smart television executives, it will be around for at least another five years for all of us to see and enjoy.
What people don’t know is that the Christmas special almost didn’t happen, because some not-so-smart television executives almost didn’t let it air. You see, Charles Schulz had some ideas that challenged the way of thinking of those executives 46 years ago, and one of them had to do with the inclusion in his Christmas cartoon of a reading from the King James Bible’s version of the Gospel of Luke.
The more things change, the more things stay the same.
Read the rest of the article at National Review online.
Here’s an even better version of Linus’ monologue that I posted last year.