Back when the Watercooler was but a wee sippy cup, It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown was the fall classic (no offense, baseball fans). Usually brought to us by Hostess and never on too late, we'd put on our Snoopy costume, sit in front of the TV and geek-out over the World War I Flying Ace's dogfight fantasia against the Red Baron, Lucy's totally appropriate witch mask and the hilarity of there actually being people who would give rocks to a blockhead in a Swiss-cheese ghost sheet. The jazzy score, we'd come to appreciate later on.
Now, 45 years after Linus' first pumpkin-patch snafu, the old gem still shines. Last night, ABC re-ran the perennial crowd-pleaser, and while it may not boast the animated sophistication of today's CGI-saturated holiday specials, there remains an innocence and charm that something like Shrek the Halls could only hope for. Is it the reminder that there was a time when grade-schoolers could go trick-or-treating without parental chaperones or fear ending up on a milk carton? The hope of spending an entire evening under the stars with one's Sweet Baboo? Or is it that Charles Schulz's simple, un-ironic and loving salute to All Hallow's Eve speaks directly to our inner child? Because honestly, after hanging with the Peanuts gang last night, we were as happy as a kid with a pillow case full of candy.
So tell us, do you think Great Pumpkin is the best Halloween special? Or is there another one out there that — sorry, Charlie — rocks?
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