Question: I've loved A Charlie Brown Christmas since I was a kid, but it wasn't until I grew up that I appreciated it for its quirkiness, especially given when it was made. How did Hollywood people ever come up with something that different on mainstream TV? Thanks for your thoughts, and I love the column.
Answer: The short answer: They didn't. But you know you'll never get away with that short an answer from me, and the people who write in to yell at me for being verbose wouldn't have anything to get worked up about if I ended it there, now would they?
Lee Mendelson, the young man (he was just 30) who convinced Charles Schulz to work with him after the "Peanuts" creator had turned down many an industry type, was from Burlingame, Calif., near San Francisco. So when Mendelson called Schulz on his Sebastopol ranch in 1963 to propose doing a do