Tonight at 8pm ET/PT, ABC airs the Halloween TV special to end all specials, It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. Of course I'm extremely excited, being a lifelong Peanuts fanatic, but I do wish ABC showed the unedited version. The edited version has awkward cuts and left-out jokes. Fortunately, I have the unedited special on DVD, but I like the communal aspect of watching it live. No matter, The Great Pumpkin is a Halloween must regardless of how you watch it.
Today, I offer you a way to read it, specifically from the comic strip that spawned the special.
Very few if any of the TV specials are comprised of original material; they are almost always adaptations of storylines taken directly from the newspaper comic strip, with just some threadbare wraparound material keeping the story together. This is in no way a criticism, just a statement of how the specials are written.
Here I present some of the comic strips that inspired the TV special. I recommend listening to the beautiful "Great Pumpkin Waltz" by the Vince Guaraldi Trio while you read them to help convey the warmth of the special. Click on the individual strips for greater clarity. Enjoy!
The first ever Great Pumpkin strip! It's not a part of the special, but I had to include it.
This last one isn't part of the special either, but I needed some closure to the story.
Before you go: in other Great Pumpkin-related news, McDonald's is now offering Great Pumpkin Happy Pails in honor of the special's 50th anniversary! Get yours as soon as you can--I know I will!