When Charles Schulz told CBC he was 'mainly' Charlie Brown
Peanuts creator once talked with CBC-TV's Close-Up about his life and career
Was he in fact his most sad-sack creation? Charlie Brown, the depressive child who keeps trying — and failing — to kick the football that Lucy van Pelt pulls away from him?
When CBC's Close-Up talked to Schulz in 1961, the was-he-or-wasn't-he subject came up in a roundabout way.
Schulz soon admitted the similarities between himself and the most ill-fated member of the Peanuts gang.
'Most of us lose'
"You really think that?" Quintrell asked.
He elaborated a bit further.
"If you draw about people that win all of the time, you are drawing only about the minority. Most of us lose," said Schulz.
"You know, most of us have ambitions: We like to win golf trophies or tennis trophies and things like this, but most of us never win 'em."
He also revealed some of his thinking that informed the adventures of Charlie Brown and his friends (and apparent frenemies, like Lucy).
"All of the kids in the [Peanuts] strip represent the cruelty of children, one to another, and of course, Charlie Brown is the one who takes most of the beating," said Schulz.
Later in life, the cartoonist would say the Charlie Brown-versus-Charles Schulz question was something journalists wanted to probe and not himself.
As biographer David Michaelis described in Schulz and Peanuts: A Biography — quoting something the cartoonist said in 1972 — it was not the case that Charlie Brown was his alter ego "although it makes for a good story," as Schulz put it, to say that he is.
Schulz was born in Minneapolis, Minn., on Nov., 26, 1922. He spent his childhood in that state and did not move west until he was an adult. Once he settled in California in his mid-30s, Schulz lived there until the end of his life.
The Peanuts creator died on Feb. 12, 2000, at the age of 77.