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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