The First-Ever ‘Peanuts’ Strip Was Published On This Day in 1950 with an Early Charlie Brown

by Taylor Cunningham

Hey Outsiders, did you know that the Charlie Brown comic series is 71-years-old today? Good Grief, time sure does fly.

On October 2nd, 1950, Charles Schultz debuted his iconic Peanuts comic featuring a stoic boy and his imaginative beagle. Seven newspapers featured the strip that day. And Charlie and the gang would go on to be some of the more famous characters in world history.

In the drawing, we see Charlie walking by Shermy and Patty. “Well! Here comes ol’ Charlie Brown!” Shermy says. “Good ol’ Charlie Brown… Yes, sir! Good ol’ Charlie Brown…” he trails off. And as Charlie walks out of view, his backstabbing friend grunts, “How I hate him!”

In the comic, Schultz drew his humor around one universal truth—that life isn’t always great. And Baby Boomers grew up on that philosophy. But thanks to a squiggly-haired boy, the generation was able to make light of that Fact.

“Most of us will lose more often than we win. That’s the joke of Peanuts,” James Poniewozik wrote in 1999. “Schulz made it funny with characters who faced a Sisyphean suburban world of kite-eating trees and yanked-away footballs with resilience and curiosity.”

Schultz went on to draw nearly 18k strips. And in them, Charlie Brown never had a good day. However, many fans were rooting for him. And they wondered why Schultz never cut the kid a break. In a 1980 book called Charlie Brown, Snoopy and Me, Schultz explained why.

“You can’t create humor out of happiness,” Schultz wrote. “I’m astonished at the number of people who write to me saying, ‘Why can’t you create happy stories for us? Why does Charlie Brown always have to lose? Why can’t you let him kick the football?’ Well, there is nothing funny about the person who gets to kick the football.”

Apple Pulled Charlie Brown Holiday Movies From Local TV Last Year and People Were Furious

Maybe Charlie Brown’s animated friends don’t appreciate him as they should. But his real-life friends sure do. And they proved that last year when they found out they could no longer watch Peanuts holiday movies on local networks.

In 2020, Apple’s streaming service, Apple TV, bought the rights to the beloved Peanuts holiday specials It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie BrownA Charlie Brown Christmas, and A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. And because of that, people couldn’t continue with their movie viewing traditions without paying for a monthly subscription.

When Apple TV made the announcement last October, Charlie’s fans had his back. And they quickly got on to petition the crazy decision.

“For over 50 years, we have celebrated the holidays with the airings of the Peanuts holiday specials on TV – first on CBS, then on ABC,” wrote the petition founder. “To our shock and dismay, last night it was announced that Apple had swiped the football from us and claimed the specials for their Apple TV platform, leaving us devoted fans who have grown up with Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang in the dark, unable to watch.”

Ultimately, Apple kept its rights to the iconic characters. But PBS was able to air the flicks for free.