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Peanuts is a popular, multiple award-winning comic strip by Charles Schulz, which originally ran from October 2, 1950, to February 13, 2000. The strip features a modest and unassuming boy named Charlie Brown, for whom nothing ever goes right. Charlie Brown and his pet dog Snoopy have become icons of American popular culture. During its lifetime the strip has been adapted to television as holiday specials, usually following a "It's _____, Charlie Brown" with the blank being filled by the subject of the special.

The strip has grown to include a large cast of supporting characters:

  • Linus van Pelt -- Charlie Brown’s security blanket-carrying best friend),
  • Lucy -- Linus' fussbudget sister
  • Rerun -- Linus and Lucy's little brother
  • Schroeder -- a young piano-playing virtuoso adored by Lucy
  • Sally -- Charlie Brown’s younger sister, who has a crush on Linus),
  • Pig Pen -- (a boy habitually covered in a cloud of dust and grime),
  • Peppermint Patty -- a tomboy
  • Marcie -- Peppermint Patty's timid sidekick
  • Franklin the strip’s first African-American
  • The Little Red-Haired Girl (Heather) -- an unseen character (in the comic strip continuity) who is Charlie Brown’s longtime unrequited love

Additional non-human characters include Snoopy's friend Woodstock, a little bird who is inept at flying but skilled at other things including typing and shorthand, and a “stupid cat” who is never seen.

One of Peanuts’s distinguishing features, especially in its early years, and perhaps a reason for its popularity is its social commentary, a technique often employed by writers, but pioneered in comic strips by Charles Schulz.

Many television specials and several movies have featured the "Peanuts gang". At Christmastime, many families gather together to watch A Charlie Brown Christmas; this half hour broadcast was the first in a long line of Peanuts animations, and is widely accepted as an icon of American culture. A Boy Named Charlie Brown was the strip's first feature-length film, and is still popular today, as it can now be bought on DVD and VHS tapes.

During a long and heartbreaking battle with colorectal cancer, Charles Schulz officially retired on December 14, 1999, and requested that the Peanuts cartoon not be continued. The last strip was printed on February 13th, 2000, the day after Schulz's death.

Peanuts is the longest lasting strip in the history of comics, with an archive of almost 18,000 strips. Copyright is owned by United Features Syndicate.

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