|First known in Charles M. Schulz's syndicated comic strip Peanuts, the characters of The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show have had an enduring presence since the early 1950’s. The philosophical group of schoolchildren gained even more exposure from their many nighttime specials on CBS. The very first one, A Charlie Brown Christmas, aired in 1965 and has been repeated annually since. In 1983, the gang finally got their own series, The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show.
The cartoon series stayed true to the characters Schulz had created: Charlie Brown maintained his ability to be a constant loser and the butt of Lucy’s tricks. Lucy Van Pelt hated Charlie's dog Snoopy, but she loved Schroeder. Schroeder, the angst ridden pianist, did not return her affections. Tomboy Peppermint Patty had a certain affection for the depressed Charlie Brown, whom she referred to as “Chuck.” Extrovert Patty had an introverted sidekick in Marcie, the bespectacled girl who would always refer to her as, “Sir.” Linus, the thumb-sucking, blanket-toting tot was Charlie’s best friend and Lucy’s little brother. Even younger brother Rerun, another Val Pelt sibling, also appeared on the show, as did African American boy Franklin. Adults were never seen, and when they spoke off-camera, they talked like a muffled trumpet.
Considering the worldwide popularity of the Peanuts comic strip, it's surprising that the characters didn't get their own television show until 1983. Due to Schulz’s fear of cheapening the Peanuts gang, the cartoon was kept off of television until this time. Schultz co-produced the series with Bill Melendez and Lee Mendelson, who also worked on the nighttime specials and the four Charlie Brown animated features that had been produced since 1969.
Mendelson also supplied the sounds for Snoopy, but all other voices were provided by actual children, necessitating a cast turnover every time pre-pubescent voices began changing. The series ran for three years, and the occasional new TV special joined the annual favorites throughout the rest of the 80's and 90's. Schulz continued to work on the Peanuts comic strip until shortly before his death in February 2000.