A Charlie Brown Christmas (unreleased "laugh track cut" of Christmas special; 1965)

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A Charlie Brown Christmas.jpg

Title card for the special.

Status: Lost

A Charlie Brown Christmas is a Christmas special in the Peanuts franchise that made its debut on CBS on December 9, 1965. The special became well-known for its unorthodox methods of production for the time and the comic's creator Charles Schulz' disputes with the network over such elements, such as the use of child voice actors and the use of Biblical quotes.

At the time of production, it was common for live-action sitcoms on television, as well as animated shows like The Flintstones and The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, to use a laugh track. When Schulz refused to let CBS use a laugh track on the special, they feared that audiences would not be able to connect with it and the special would completely fail. A version with a laugh track was produced, likely as a backup for future years if the special didn't perform well in the ratings.

However, both CBS and the producers were pleasantly surprised to find that A Charlie Brown Christmas was a hit in terms of both critical acclaim and ratings as it was, perhaps for being so unique from everything else at the time. As such, CBS never released the version of the special that was made with the laugh track.

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