“It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” has been airing every year around Halloween since 1966. But while Charlie Brown gets top billing, the real star of the show isn’t pumpkin-headed Charlie. It’s his blanket toting buddy, Linus Van Pelt.
Linus first mentioned the Great Pumpkin in 1959, which inspired the 1966 animated television special. No one else believes in the mythical gourd, except for Linus. Every year (for almost 60 years) , he sits in a pumpkin patch on Halloween waiting for the Great Pumpkin to arrive, which never happens. Linus is defeated, but determined, vowing to wait for him again the following Halloween. What else would you expect from a Middle Child? That’s right, Linus is a Middle Child!
|Rerun VanPelt (Licensed under|
Fair Use via Wikipedia.)
Everyone knows Linus' older sister, Lucy. But baby bro Rerun was first mentioned on May 23, 1972: Lucy throws Linus out of the house and then finds out another little brother had just been born. Lucy declares "A new baby brother? But I just got rid of the old one!" She comments that having a second younger brother is like watching reruns on television, and Linus suggests naming him just that.
Rerun actually appears in the strip for the first time almost a year later, on March 26, 1973 -- an identical but smaller version of Linus. In later years, Linus attempts to make Rerun a Great Pumpkin believer, taking his wary and embarrassed little brother door-to-door to spread the word. But even Rerun could not be converted. So this Halloween, let’s pay tribute to Halloween’s most famous forgotten Middle Child and share some Great Pumpkin love. Don’t do it for me. Do it for Linus!