Sunday, December 9, 2007
The Debut of a Christmas Classic
On December 9, 1965, A Charlie Brown Christmas debuted on CBS. Sponsored by “the friendly people in your town who bottle Coca-Cola,” the special was a smash hit and has been broadcast every Christmas season since (for over 30 years on CBS, now on ABC), making it the second-longest consecutive run ever for an animated Christmas special (the record holder is the Rankin-Bass stop-motion animation version of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, which made its debut in 1964). The book shown here was published concurrently with the premiere of A Charlie Brown Christmas on TV. Peanuts cartoonist and creator Charles M. Schulz drew the delightful cover, but the interior illustrations were loosely based on art from the animated special. You can see the original A Charlie Brown Christmas TV special just as it aired on December 9, 1965 (minus the onscreen references to the show being sponsored by Coca-Cola) on DVD, available here.