December 10, 2007

That Kid Named 5 From Peanuts

The "If 4 is the new 3, can 5 be the new 4?" baby naming discussion reminded me of a character in Peanuts, 5.

I always thought it was just 5, according to his Wikipedia page, his full name is 555 95472 [accent on the 4]. The numbers come from the phone number of everyone on TV, and the zip code of Charles Schultz's home in Sepastopol, CA. He has twin sisters, 3 and 4, which presumably makes his parents 1 and 2:

As 5 once explained to Charlie Brown, his father, morose and hysterical over the preponderance of numbers in people's lives, had changed all of the family's names to numbers. Asked by Lucy van Pelt if it was Mr. 95472's way of protesting, 5 replied that this was actually his father's way of "giving in."
charlie_brown_christmas_5.jpg

What I did not realize was that 5 is the kid doing that dance center stage in A Charlie Brown Christmas [you know the one], and that his sisters are the identical go-go girls on either side of him.

For some reason, Peanuts feels like it's off the cultural radar; is it just "they don't make'em like they used to" crankiness, or is Charlie Brown vastly superior to whatever child-friendly character dominates the brainwaves these days? I suddenly want to watch A Charlie Brown Christmas with the kid, but ABC already broadcast it. I guess I'll buy the 2000 edition of the DVD. Oh wait, it's on YouTube, too.

555 95472 [wikipedia]
image: "Quiet on the Set" a limited edition lithograph from Sopwith Productions. Bill Melendez animated the Peanuts TV shows. [sopwithproductions.com]

6 Comments

GREAT POST! I had heard about 5, a while back, but it's been a long time. Thanks for the reminder!

As for Peanuts being "off the cultural radar" - I'd have to agree - it's a bit surprising. I'm a long time, hard-core peanuts fan, and am surprised about the lack of excitement over the Fantagraphics release of the Complete Peanuts, and this show at their Seattle store:
http://www.fantagraphics.com/bookstore.html#unseen
Which I RUSHED to, to get one of the limited edition posters (1oo released for sale) only to find out that there were 80 left. It's a great poster, even if it's not scarce and in-demand like I thought it would be....

With the recently book on Schultz out now, there seems to be a but more interest in the strip, but still - it's as if Peanuts were soooo big that they're not getting the '2nd look' that they deserve.

Talk about gleeful crankiness, how about that debut comic from 1950 (Good old Charlie Brown... How I hate him!)? Love it.

5 was awesome, but my favorite obscure Peanuts character remains little "Tapioca Pudding" whose father was going to help her get famous enough to have her face on lunchboxes.

[that's better than Prairie Dawn. the kid and I watched ACBC this morning on the YouTube. It's amazingly unslick, like "get out of my Nickelodeon office before I call security" unpolished. Also, half of Lucy's lines are about "stupid" blankets and slugging people, but the kid still loved it. -ed.]

I grudgingly watched ACBC with my almost-3 year old daughter (grudgingly because of the too-early air date, not because it doesn't rock!) and I loved the crudeness... it's less polished than a lot of stuff these days that looks hacked-together, like South Park or Robot Chicken.

I still can't get over Charlie Brown lamenting the commercialism invading Christmas... 40 years ago! His depression would turn to suicidal thoughts if he wandered through a mall in December 2007... :)

Once a year, we get to let our old VCR do some of the work when we put on our old copy of A Charlie Brown Christmas. We had it on this weekend while we decorated the tree. At the part where Charlie laments "I know nobody likes me, why do we have to have a holiday to emphasize it" my wife cracked "he sounds like you." So I sulked about it while moody piano music followed me around.

I love old school cartoons... Peanuts, Bugs Bunny, whatever.. they certainly got away with a lot more. Plus, they're funnier than hell. I YouTube old cartoons for my kids. BTW... do you remember this particular cartoon was set to the song "Hey Ya"? I loved this rendition, but it's hard to find. PS... best wishes for a safe, speedy delivery.

[it's one of the main YouTube results for ACBC, actually, along with the voiceover from the cast of Scrubs, which, since I don't watch the show, is dead to me -ed.]

Peanuts is still on the subcultural radar. For at least three years, Urban Outfitters has been selling a replica of the Charlie Brown tree from the special, and more recently introduced a Linus-blanket tree skirt.

[good point. -ed.]

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