Friday, December 11, 2009

A Charlie Brown Christmas Gets Shorter

An Open Letter to ABC from my friend, Leon. | Dork Tower: "TO: ABC
FROM: Leon Lynn
RE: Desecration of “A Charlie Brown Christmas”

Dear ABC,

How could you?

For years and years I have awaited the network broadcast of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” as the true herald of the holiday season. I brought my kids up with the same tradition — one which has been made no less special for us by the fact that they happen to be Jewish.

Tonight we sat in horror and watched what you have done to the single greatest cartoon ever made.

How many minutes did you cut out of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” so you could run more commercials?

Gone was Sally’s materialistic letter to Santa, which finally sends Charlie screaming from the room when she says she will settle for 10s and 20s.

Gone was Schroeder’s miraculous multiple renditions of “Jingle Bells” from a toy piano, including the one that sounds distinctly like a church organ.

Gone was Linus using his blanket as an improvised slingshot to knock a can off the fence no one else can hit, complete with ricochet sound effect.

Gone were the kids catching snowflakes on their tongues and commenting on their flavor.

Gone even was poor Shermy’s only line. He thought he had it bad because he was always tasked to play a shepherd. He had no idea."


Kathleen A. Ryan said...

I was upset that I missed Charlie Brown recently, as I've watched it every year since my childhood, and now I'm even more upset to find out that ABC made all these edits! Ugh! How sad. I hope they put the edits back in for next year. Shame on ABC!

Scott D. Parker said...

I caught most of the omissions when my boy and I watched it live. I'm still old-school enough not to buy the DVD but, rather, make time for the broadcast. Thus, it becomes an event. I realize now that I missed some of the cuts.

My boy asked why ABC cut the show. I told him "So kids like you could watch things like this [pointing to the commercial on TV] and turn to parents like me and demand the toys." I second Kathleen's comment: shame on ABC.

Richard Robinson said...

Maybe they figured that those who really wanted to see it would buy the DVD (it is on DVD, right?). This editing is UNCONSCIONABLE !! More commercials and the content be da*ned, apparently. So sad.

Scott D. Parker said...

Makes me almost *need* to buy the DVD in order to have the unedited version...assuming the Powers That Be keep it unedited. Kinda smacks in the face of all the Schultz wrote about, huh?

Dan said...

Now maybe they can market the DVD as "the director's cut."

Stephen B. said...

Another reason why, after 1986, maybe 1988 - I stopped watching any TV at all (with exception of shows sitting with friends or watching The Simpson's first few seasons).


Scott D. Parker said...

One thing to note: when ABC re-aired the show last week, everything was back in. It was an hour long Peanuts show: the 1965 show and various shorts. Thus, the 1965 show ran until about 7:31pm and the shorts filled out the hour. All is not lost but woe to the folks who only watched the first broadcast.

Unknown said...

Thanks, Scott. Maybe they listened to the people who were upset.