The Enduring Appeal of Schulz’s Peanuts — Pretty Much Pop: A Culture Podcast #116


Animator/musician David Heat­ley, come­di­an Daniel Lobell, and academic/3anuts author Daniel Leonard join your Pret­ty Much Pop host Mark Lin­sen­may­er to dis­cuss Char­lie Brown and his author Charles Schulz from Peanuts’ 1950 incep­tion through the clas­sic TV spe­cials through to the var­i­ous post-mortem prod­ucts still emerg­ing.

What’s the endur­ing appeal, and is it strict­ly for kids? We talk about the chal­lenges of the strip for­mat, the char­ac­ters as arche­types, Schulz as depressed exis­ten­tial­ist, reli­gion in Peanuts, and whether the strip is actu­al­ly sup­posed to be fun­ny.

Some arti­cles we used for the dis­cus­sion include:

Also, RIP Peter Rob­bins (the day before we record­ed this). Here’s the 1982 Rerun com­ic Daniel Leonard reads us near the begin­ning. The biog­ra­phy that we keep refer­ring to is David Michaelis’ Schulz and Peanuts: A Biog­ra­phy. Yes, Don­di was a real (bad) com­ic strip.

Check out David’s new album and oth­er projects at Fol­low him @heatleycomics on Twit­ter and @davidheatley on Inst­gram.

Get Daniel Lobel­l’s Fair Enough com­ic at and read about the rest of his activ­i­ties at Fol­low him @DanielLobell on Twit­ter and @daniellobell on Insta­gram.

Read Daniel Leonard’s 3anuts, and buy Peanuts and Phi­los­o­phy, which con­tains one of his essays. Fol­low on Twit­ter @3anuts.

Here’s a 3eanuts exam­ple. Leav­ing off the last pan­el leaves us in despair!

This episode includes bonus dis­cus­sion you can access by sup­port­ing the pod­cast at or by choos­ing a paid sub­scrip­tion through Apple Pod­casts. This pod­cast is part of the Par­tial­ly Exam­ined Life pod­cast net­work.

Pret­ty Much Pop: A Cul­ture Pod­cast is the first pod­cast curat­ed by Open Cul­ture. Browse all Pret­ty Much Pop posts.

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