Charles Schulz had it in his contract that nobody would take over Peanuts — and it was his children's idea

One article compared it to ''asking who would paint Picassos after Picasso passed.''

Some media goes on for years and years and maintains the same great quality. Others, audiences will argue, lose what makes them special as time goes on. Sometimes people will point to one big "jump the shark" moment where the media took a downward turn. Other times, it just gradually loses steam until it just isn't the same thing.

One of the biggest reasons fans frequently bring up when they feel a franchise stops having that special something is when the creator — or part of the original team — steps away from the project.

Charles Schulz, creator of Peanuts, apparently felt the same way. "When I retire," Schulz said in a 1989 interview with the Quad-City Times, "that's the end of the strip. It's in my contract."

The source of the stipulation comes from a surprising source: Schulz's five children. "[It] was mainly my children's idea," he said. "They didn't want anyone but dad drawing it."

A Detroit Free Press article from 1995 elaborated, "The television specials can go forward — he trusts those people — and there can be a rerunning of classic strips, but nothing new will issue forth from a pen pretending to be his. That someone else would pen Pigpen is as odd a notion to his children — and him — as asking who would paint Picassos after Picasso passed into the next life."

When Schulz announced his retirement in 1999 due to a cancer diagnosis, audiences across the world mourned the loss of new Peanuts adventures... but many agreed with the creator.

"I can't do it," Mike Suchcicki, a cartoonist, wrote in the Pensacola News Journal. "I mean, I can't draw these characters to the point where you wouldn't think anyone but Charles Schulz had drawn them. I've seen dozens of comic strip and editorial cartoonists try, as well, usually having some of the 'Peanuts' characters make 'cameo' appearances in their cartoons 'with apologies to Charles Schulz,' but they can't seem to get it right either."

"What's usually missing in these renditions, however faithful and reverent, is not the Charles Schulz style but the Charles Schulz personality," he continued. "Only Charles Schulz is able to add life to Lucy and style to Snoopy. Charles Schulz IS Charlie Brown, and he IS Snoopy and Linus and Lucy and Schroeder and Rerun and Franklin and all the others."

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KawiVulc 6 months ago
It's a fact, the Peanuts characters are virtually impossible to draw for anyone but the late, great Schulz. Very, very few cameo appearances even come close.
Runeshaper 6 months ago
Good for Schulz! Also, good for listening to his kids on this 1.
top_cat_james_1 6 months ago
Like "Krazy Kat", "Peanuts" is just too idiosyncratic and personal to be taken over by a hired hand.
Snickers 6 months ago
Could not agree more, Charles Schulz is Charlie Brown and the rest of the peanuts gang.
RichLorn 18 months ago
Indulge me for an off-topic post, but this subject brought to mind that every panel of the Prince Valiant comic strip was drawn like an original work of art.
MrsPhilHarris RichLorn 6 months ago
I can remember it in the newspaper my grandparents had delivered. Don’t recall ever actually reading it.
RkBke 18 months ago
incredible listening to references to scripture verses on these shows.....
timothys71 RkBke 18 months ago
I believe "A Charlie Brown Christmas" was groundbreaking in that it was one of the first network TV shows to quote directly from the Holy Bible.
LalaLucy 18 months ago
Really glad he listened to his children. Too many great creations lose steam by going on and on without the original creator. It's bittersweet, but we have to learn to let it be okay to let something end when the artist deems it right.
craigcp 18 months ago
Maybe MeTV can get the rights to the holiday specials from Apple +. They should be shown on network TV not streaming.
Dayna craigcp 18 months ago
I prefer the dvds. No commercials.
timothys71 craigcp 18 months ago
It would be cool if MeTV could get their hands on some classic holiday specials (including Peanuts) that are no longer regularly shown on over-the-air TV and do a Sunday block party of them. Maybe "Frosty's Winter Wonderland" (which IMHO is superior to the "Frosty Returns" special that now airs on CBS after the original), "Little Rascals Christmas Special," and (I know this is a different holiday, but) "Halloween Is Grinch Night," to name a few examples.
ChristopherSmigliano 18 months ago
There almost came a time when someone else WOULD have replaced Schulz on Peanuts. At one point in his career, Schulz had a contract dispute with his syndicate over control of both the writing of his strip and the quality of the merchandise. Schulz wanted full control, and United Feature Syndicate, who OWNED the strip though Schulz CREATED it, didn't like Schulz getting uppity, even though PEANUTS was the syndicate moneymaker. Technically, they could have simply FIRED Schulz, but as a scare tactic-and a precaution- had comic book artist Al Plastino write and draw several weeks worth of faux "Peanuts" strips" as a way to hopefully bring Schulz to heel or have something to publish in case Schulz DID get fired. Luckily, is was the SYNDICATE that caved in to Schulz's demands as losing their top talent was deemed too risky in the end. The "Faux" Peanuts strips might still be floating around on the internet somewhere.
Or maybe they got stored in a box somewhere after that incident. Hopefully, someone with a lick of common sense took those strips and destroyed them. There was only one "Peanuts" artist - Charles Schulz. No one else!
Nope--They're available to view if you Google. And, yes, they are horrible.
GeneralHogan 18 months ago
I'm excited about watching this
justjeff 18 months ago
Usually, a strip is continued when a "understudy" or assistant has the creator's blessing to do so. For example: Sidney Smith's "Andy Gump" was taken over by Gus Edson. Elzie Crisler Segar's "Popeye" was taken over by Bud Sagendorf.

Other strips continued on after their creators retired or passed on. Dik Brown's "Hagar the Horrible" was continued by his son, Chris Brown. Selby Daley took over Walt Kelly's Pogo [Daley was Kelly's WIdow]... Morris Weiss was Lank Leonard's assistant for years, and when Leonard passed, he assumed the duties for the "Mickey Finn" comic strip... Fred Lasswell took over from the late Billy DeBeck to continue "Barney Google and Snuffy Smith"...

Dean Young took over from his late father (Chic) to continue "Blondie"... There are others, but you get the drift...
Safka 18 months ago
So happy to see the Gang again. Thank you Metv for being the ONLY good tv to watch...
Barry22 18 months ago
I remember his last Peanuts strip, it was sad. Classic, probably the best newspaper comic strip ever. But look at how many other strips keep going with other people, Blondie, BC, Wizard of ID, Beetle Bailey etc. It might have worked. (OK, 10 points, who is Beetle Bailey's older sister?)
justjeff Barry22 18 months ago
Lois of "Hi and Lois"...
Barry22 justjeff 18 months ago
Winner Winner, Turkey Dinner!
Runeshaper 18 months ago
Smart man. I'm glad he listened to his children (-:
MrsPhilHarris 18 months ago
I didn’t realize it had stopped. 🤭
KawiVulc 18 months ago
Not that anyone could. Once in a while a cartoonist will come close in a tribute strip but it's rare & probably by luck more than anything else.
Michael KawiVulc 18 months ago
There was one day, maybe when he died, where a bunch of ofher strips did tributes to him. That was pretty neat.
SheriHeffner 18 months ago
I don't appreciate the way Apple+ took over all the Peanut specials on ABC. Yes, PBS showed It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and A Charlie Brown Christmas; but I miss watching Happy New Year Charlie Brown, She's A Good Skate Charlie Brown, It's The Easter Beagle Charlie Brown and the specials after the Thanksgiving and Christmas specials.
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LoveMETV22 Bricat2001 18 months ago
Oohh I'm sorry it seems to show some Weigel owned stations and some independent channels too. Still sorry to hear it's not in your area anymore.
Bricat2001 LoveMETV22 18 months ago
It ussd to be on my fox station, then it moved to an independent one, and now its replaced by truereal :P
ma2lyssa SheriHeffner 18 months ago
I'm with you on that
timothys71 SheriHeffner 18 months ago
I was grateful to be able to see the "Big 3" Peanuts holiday specials--unedited and uninterrupted--on PBS the last 2 years, and was disappointed that PBS didn't get to air them this year. I agree, I miss the other specials that ABC would show as double-features with the "biggies."
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