Saturday, February 19, 2011

Sunday, October 25, 1953: A caper like this needs a good cart-man


Schulz is still learning to write effectively. Panels six and seven are kind of drawn out, with the characters merely intensifying how much they need Charlie Brown. This is a good strip though. My favorite part is the first panel, which is almost like a model sheet for Charlie Brown. His first expression there, by the way, is the only time I can remember the kid looking that happy. I'm pretty sure I've never seen him with exactly that kind of smile anywhere else.


  1. Does anybody know when the "Trick or treats, money or eats" saying went out of fashion, and was shortened to just "Trick or treat", if it was even used at all? I was well into my trick-or-treating years in the early 80s when the whole "people are sticking needles into their candy!" scare went around, my first year probably being 80 or 81, and even by then, I had never heard the phrase used thus.

    (There was of course, the longer "Trick or treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat" joke that was always joked about but rarely ever actually used when making the rounds (to reduce the risk of someone being offended and thereby maximize one's candy haul, of course).)

    IIRC, I don't think they used it in "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" filmed in 1966, either.

  2. I'm intrigued by CB's complete lack of a costume. I suppose as cart manager, the gang is less likely to get a bag of rocks.

  3. @infi: Peanuts is the only place I've ever seen the phrase "Trick or treats, money or eats," and I think it's only in the older strips. I don't recall hearing it growing up in the '70s. It's possible it was going out of style even in 1953...

    On another note, this strip is interesting because everyone seems so friendly and upbeat. They even welcome Charlie Brown enthusiastically! Are there any other strips (aside from the Christmas ones) that feature so much universal good cheer?

  4. @njguy54: Yeah, if it was going out of style by the early 50s, I think even my parents wouldn't remember, being the boomers they are.

    I did find some other references to it in hunting around (it apparently being a replacement for "souling" or "guising" in England and Scotland); and someone on another blog said their parents made them stop saying the whole phrase because it sounded too much like begging door-to-door, as had actually apparently happened during the Depression.

    Nothing authoritative on the above, but I think these anecdotes satisfy my curiosity enough. :-)

  5. Schroeder gets in a nice little dig at Patty's expense in Panel 5. :)