Essential Pittsburgh
6:29 pm
Wed December 4, 2013

Everlasting Holiday Television Classics with Joe Wos

The soundtrack of A Charlie Brown Christmas was a daring endeavor for CBS and Vince Guaraldi
Credit Guaraldi / Wikipedia

A Charlie Brown Christmas, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and How the Grinch Stole Christmas are holiday television staples.

They are aired every single year despite being filmed several decades ago. So why do they still endure?

According to Joe Wos, pop culture expert and director of the Toonseum, it's the universal story and characters that keep us coming back.

 

“Charlie Brown is who we all are and Snoopy is who we want to be. These movies have an underlying theme of being under-appreciated and being neglected. That’s a universal feeling and we all want to overcome that. They all have this theme of being laughed at and ridiculed like Rudolph and Charlie Brown, yet in the end, the same thing that made them flawed is actually what makes them special and empowered,” says Wos.

The music of these specials also adds to the sense of tradition. Wos says Charlie Brown's slow-paced, instrumental  soundtrack by Vince Guaraldi was especially unique for a cartoon.

"The [song] that's most iconic, Linus and Lucy, has no lyrics to it and it's still played to this day."