Did anyone else watch “Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown!” on ABC on Tuesday night? I sat down to watch what has to be one of the greatest Christmas cartoons ever and couldn’t believe what I was seeing.
ABC cut the thing to shreds. What was missing, you ask?
Only … Sally's letter to Santa, which ends when she says she will settle for 10s and 20s.
Only … Shermy’s only line. He was complaining because he always had to play a shepherd in the Christmas pageant.
Only … Schroeder's multiple versions of "Jingle Bells" from his toy piano.
Only … the gang catching snowflakes on their tongues.
Only … Linus using his blanket as a slingshot to knock a can off the fence.
Why? Why would you castrate a holiday classic that’s been running on television since 1965? Simple. ABC had to make more room for Advertising.
It is possible to more completely miss the point of Charlie Brown’s Christmas? The irony of this is just amazing. I think ABC needs to watching the (uncut!) version of the cartoon again and get a refresher course on what “Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown” is trying to teach us about the commercialization of the season and how we obscure Christ in the process.
The highlight of the cartoon for me was always that moment when Linus walked to center stage and recited the Christmas story from the Gospel of Luke. Charlie Brown had asked, “Can’t anyone tell me what Christmas is really about?” Linus walks to center stage, asks for the lights and begins, “It came about in those days …” When he’s done, he turns to Charlie Brown and says, “That’s what Christmas is about Charlie Brown.”
Somebody needs to remind ABC.