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"Dirty Trick", a moment of truth in Americana Comic Strips by Steve Payne

Author says: what if Charlie Brown finally got to kick that football? Please note that the opinions expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of the author(s).

February 12th: on this day in the year 2000, American cartoonist Charles Monroe Schulz died in Santa Rosa, California; he was best known worldwide for his "Peanuts" comic strip which he had run for five decades without interruption, appearing in more than 2,600 newspapers in 75 countries.

It was originally planned that the strip would outlive him, but due to a stroke the previous December he had been unable to continue producing it.

Nevertheless, the day after he died a final edition was published in which Charlie Brown finally got to kick that football after so many decades. "Good shot, Charlie Brown!" says Franklin in the final frame.

"I felt like Franklin from The Charlie Brown Show. You've seen Franklin for 25 years and not one line! Nothing. Twenty five years!" ~ Chris Rock

Schultz original response to the suggestion had been dismissive "Oh, no! Definitely not! I couldn't have Charlie Brown kick that football; that would be a terrible disservice to him after nearly half a century". Yet, in a December 1999 interview, holding back tears, he recounted the moment when he signed the panel of his final strip, saying, "All of a sudden I thought, You know, that poor, poor kid, he never even got to kick the football. What a dirty trick - he never had a chance to kick the football".

Author says, in a 1992 sketch, the comedian Chris Rock stated inaccurately that the African-American character of Franklin had not spoken once in twenty-five years. Nevertheless, the twist in this story, is that the real dirty trick is his prolonged silence in the strip. Please note that significant amounts of original content has been repurposed from the Wikipedia article.

Steve Payne

Editor of Today in Alternate History, a Daily Updating Blog of Important Events In History That Never Occurred Today. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items explore that possibility. Possibilities such as America becoming a Marxist superpower, aliens influencing human history in the 18th century and Teddy Roosevelt winning his 3rd term as president abound in this interesting fictional blog.


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