At right you’ll see an unassuming little newspaper strip that appeared on October 2, 1950. This strip appeared in only nine newspapers (The Allentown Call-Chronicle, The Bethlehem Globe-Times, The Boston Globe, The Chicago Tribune, The Denver Post, The Minneapolis Tribune, The New York World-Telegram & Sun, The Seattle Times, and The Washington Post.), but over the next half-century Charles Schultz’s Peanuts would become one of the most influential comic strips to ever hit the funny pages. Looking back on the first Peanuts strip its amazing how different the early days of the strip are from the version most Peanuts fans are familiar with.
Sure, the classic Peanuts theme of children with adult behaviors is there in the inaugural strip, but the look and cast of the strip is very different. For one thing, Charlie Brown’s head is shaped more like the footballs he often failed to kick than the more familiar perfect circle. More interesting however is the cast of characters. Of course, Good Ol’ Charlie Brown is there, but the other two characters that appear in the strip, Shermie and Patty, faded into the comic’s background as the years went by. Charlie Brown’s dog, Snoopy, wouldn’t appear until the third strip on October 4, and most of the Peanuts characters we now consider members of the main cast didn’t appear until the comic’s second year or later: Lucy and Linus in 1952, Pig Pen in 1954, Sally Brown in 1959, “Peppermint” Patty in 1966, (the bird that would later be named) Woodstock in 1967, Franklin in 1968 and Marcie in 1971.
Peanuts’ original run lasted from 1950 to 2000, with the last new Peanuts published on February 13, 2000, literally one day after Schultz’s death. In an interview with the New York Times upon the twin events of the strip’s ending and Schultz’s death, Syracuse Unversity Professor of Television and Popular Culture Robert Thompson described Schultz’ nearly 50 years writing and drawing 17,897 individual Peanuts comics as “arguably the longest story ever told by one human being.”
Now, I couldn’t find a good peanut based cocktail (plus that might have been a little too on the nose), so instead, how about a drink that shares its name with a member of the Peanuts gang? The Peppermint Patty is a fun cocktail that’s perfect for drinkers with a sweet tooth, and unsurprisingly it tastes just like the cookie of the same name.
- 1 ounce White Crème de Cacao
- 1 ounce White Crème de Menthe
- 2 ounces cream (optional)
Pour the liquors into an ice-filled old fashioned glass and stir, but if you’re including the cream do the following: Shake the liquors and cream together in a cocktail shaker and then pour into the old fashioned glass.
Tomorrow: What? Me, worry?