It’s an annual tradition to watch Charlie Brown receive rocks in his trick-or-treat bag and Linus mangle Halloween lore in the 1966 TV special It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. Now in it’s 50th year, you probably know the script by heart. But you might not know how much was riding on the success of the Halloween special, or other behind the scenes facts. Here’s your chance to find out.
2. THE VOICE OF VIOLET PUKED AFTER EVERY RECORDING SESSION.
It’s standard practice these days to use adult actors to mimic juvenile cartoon characters: adults are (presumably) better able to take direction and deliver a performance in line with the director’s wishes. But for many Peanuts specials, children were used to voice Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus, and the rest. Anne Altieri, who portrayed both Violet and Frieda, was so nervous to be part of the show that she threw up every time she was done with a recording session.
5. THE MUSIC COMPOSER WAS FOUND NAKED BY COPS.
The jazzy scores of the early Peanuts specials were the work of composer Vince Guaraldi. When he was busy putting together “The Great Pumpkin Waltz” for the show, he decided to break for a shower. When he came out, he thought he heard noises outside and went to investigate, naked, and locked himself out in the process. Keyless, Guaraldi tried climbing a ladder to a second-floor window when cops spotted him. “Don’t shoot,” he said. “I’m the Great Pumpkin.” Police, who were many months away from getting the joke, let him back inside.
There’s more where that came from, in a trivia list about It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown at mental_floss. The show will air on ABC tonight and again on October 29th. Check your local listings for time and channel.