There’s nothing laugh-out-loud-funny happening in It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. In fact, except for a couple of wry comments geared toward an adult’s sense of humor (Lucy reneges on her promise not to pull the football away from Charlie Brown by noting that the contract she has signed hasn’t been notarized), there are no jokes in it at all. So when my son laughed while he was watching it, I looked up from my laptop to see what was funny. Charlie Brown and the gang were trick-or-treating in their neighborhood.
I went back to my work and when my son laughed again, louder this time, I asked him, “What’s funny?”
Owen looked up at me, a big grin on his face. “I got a rock!” he said.
“Oh,” I said.
I’ve seen It’s The Great Pumpkin probably twenty times in my life, and I always enjoy it. Many people possess a vague, hazy memory of this holiday cartoon as some sort of heartwarming, uplifting family entertainment. But I’ve seen it enough to know it’s nothing of the kind.