|First appearance||July 20, 1971
October 11, 1971 (officially named)
|Last appearance||January 2, 2000 (comic strip)|
|Voiced by||Jimmy Ahrens (1973–1976, 1977)
Casey Carlson (1977–1980, 1981)
Shannon Cohn (1980–1982)
Michael Dockery (1983, 1985)
Keri Houlihan (1984–1986, 1988)
Jason Mendelson (1986)
Tani Taylor Powers (1988)
Marie Cole (1989)
Lindsay Benesh (1992)
Nicole Fisher (1994–1997)
Ashley Edner (2000)
Jessica D. Stone (2002)
Melissa Montoya (2003)
Jessica Gordon (2006)
Marcie is a bespectacled fictional character featured in Charles M. Schulz's comic strip Peanuts. She serves as comedic foil and best friend to tomboy Peppermint Patty, plays a supporting role in some of Snoopy's heroic fantasies, and displays a romantic interest in Charlie Brown.
Marcie is one of the few bespectacled characters in the strip. She has dark brown chin-length hair and she usually wears an orange t-shirt and shorts, like Peppermint Patty. She and Peppermint Patty were the only girls in the strip to wear a t-shirt and shorts (although the girls wore pants during the winter in the strip, and Eudora wore pants regularly).
Marcie made her first appearance in the daily strip from July 20, 1971, but her name wasn't mentioned until the strip from October 11. She first appeared on television in the 1973 special There's No Time for Love, Charlie Brown. A forerunner of Marcie's character, a girl named Clara, made an appearance in a sequence at a girl's camp in June 1968. As Marcie became a part of the regular cast, she appeared in the same class as Peppermint Patty, sitting in the desk behind her.
In the animated special You're In the Super Bowl, Charlie Brown, Marcie's surname is given as "Johnson", but Schulz never gave her a surname in the comic strip; therefore, Johnson is not considered to be her official name. In other sources, Marcie's last name is given as "Howe." In fact, in one strip, Marcie tells Charlie Brown that her grandfather plays left wing in the World Hockey Association;[original research?] Gordie, Marty and Mark Howe all played in that league (although only Gordie would have been old enough to be a grandfather at the time).
In the strip, Marcie was a soft-spoken voice of reason to Peppermint Patty, but in most of her earliest TV appearances she was usually portrayed as naïve and somewhat dim-witted. An example of the former showed in the 1973 Emmy Award winning special A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving; when Peppermint Patty throws a fit about the "dinner" Charlie Brown made for them, Marcie gently reminds her that he didn't invite her to dinner, but she invited herself. The latter showed through in It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown when Marcie showed complete ineptitude in the kitchen, making several unsuccessful attempts at preparing eggs to color for Easter, and then later biting into one without removing the shell first ("Tastes terrible, sir"), all to Peppermint Patty's great consternation.
Later, Marcie was portrayed as an overachiever (she once quipped that she had already chosen her college and enrolled her three children in preschool) and academically the brightest of the Peanuts cast. Even so, she is possibly the most credulous and naïve of the gang. She apparently is under a great deal of pressure from her parents to excel in school, and in a story in 1990 sought refuge from her demanding parents at Charlie Brown's house and fell asleep on his couch.
The first actor to do Marcie's voice in the TV specials was a boy, James Ahrens, from 1973 to 1977. Various others have played Marcie ever since. As with all of the Peanuts performers who were too young to read a script, director Bill Meléndez sometimes had to speak the children's lines to them. Melendez (who had a distinct Mexican accent) has noted with amusement that some of the performers for Marcie imitated his reading so closely, they repeated his accented "Charlce" instead of "Charles".
Marcie is close friends with Peppermint Patty, constantly addressing her as "sir" (she called her "sir" in her first line in the strip). Originally, Peppermint Patty kept telling Marcie to quit, but eventually grew accustomed to the name. Initially, Peppermint Patty addressed Marcie as "dorky" and, when talking to others, "my weird friend from camp".
Marcie is essentially the complete opposite of Peppermint Patty; where Peppermint Patty is more comfortable playing sports, the well-read Marcie prefers a quieter, more studious existence. Although Marcie repeatedly professes her dislike of sports, particularly baseball, she will occasionally take part in whatever sport Peppermint Patty is involved in at the time, though more often than not Marcie, upon showing her lack of athletic prowess and lack of knowledge of the game, usually only succeeds in frustrating Peppermint Patty.
Her ineptitude at sports was not consistently carried over in the prime time animated TV specials in which the Peanuts cast was featured. It the special You're the Greatest, Charlie Brown, she proved quite capable on the athletic field, even winning the decathlon for the school.
Like Peppermint Patty, Marcie also has an unrequited crush on Charlie Brown (whom she usually calls "Charles", or occasionally "Chuck", like Peppermint Patty does); she once confessed a fondness for Charlie Brown and would be willing to marry him if he asked her. While Peppermint Patty is more likely to flirt with Charlie Brown and play mind games with him, Marcie is more frank in her admissions of her feelings, and often asks Charlie Brown in plain language if he likes her. As he does with Peppermint Patty, Charlie Brown often responds to Marcie's inquiries by trying to evade the issue, though it seems as if Charlie has feelings for her, which more than once has made Marcie so angry that she kicked him in the shins in frustration. She has on more than one occasion kissed Charlie Brown on the cheek. The first time was in the 1973 special There's No Time for Love, Charlie Brown, but she only did it so Charlie Brown could pretend that it was a goodnight kiss from Peppermint Patty. She also kissed him in the specials Happy New Year, Charlie Brown! (1986) and He's a Bully, Charlie Brown (2006), and in "The Wright Brother's" episode of This Is America, Charlie Brown. She also kissed him in the strip in the "Lost Ballfield" story arc in 1982.
Marcie and Peppermint Patty also shared a crush on a boy named Pierre in the animated movie Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (And Don't Come Back!!). Although Marcie was the one in whom Pierre seemed to express interest, Peppermint Patty misread the signs and seemed convinced that Pierre liked her instead.
Though Marcie is usually slow to anger, she can occasionally lose her temper when provoked. Case in point, in a sequence from July-August 1973, when she reluctantly joins Peppermint Patty's baseball team, she becomes the target of a male teammate named Thibault (pronounced TEE-bo), who constantly follows Marcie around tormenting her with chauvinistic insults until she ultimately slaps him senseless. Ironically, Thibault completely ignored the fact that Peppermint Patty was also a girl.
Another example from the Spring of 1974 was when Peppermint Patty, in protest, refused to go to school, holding vigil on top of Snoopy's doghouse (which Patty still referred to as Chuck's guest cottage). Eventually Marcie's anger again got the better of her and, while pulling Peppermint Patty down, destroyed the doghouse. In so doing, Marcie also made Peppermint Patty face the reality that Snoopy was a beagle, and not the "funny-looking kid with the big nose" that Peppermint Patty often referred to him as.
Numerous voice actors have supplied Marcie's voice in animated versions of Peanuts:
- Jimmy Ahrens (1973–1976, 1977)
- Casey Carlson (1977–1980, 1981)
- Shannon Cohn (1980–1982)
- Michael Dockery (1983, 1985)
- Keri Houlihan (1984–1986, 1988)
- Jason Mendelson (1986)
- Andrea Libman (1987-1995)
- Tani Taylor Powers (1988)
- Marie Cole (1989)
- Lindsay Benesh (1992)
- Nicole Fisher (1994–1997)
- Ashley Edner (2000)
- Jessica D. Stone (2002)
- Melissa Montoya (2003)
- Jessica Gordon (2006)
Marcie also bears a strong resemblance to tennis star Billie Jean King, a fact reinforced when Peppermint Patty, in a moment of exasperation, refers to Marcie's "Billie Jean King glasses". Also, the sport of tennis was an occasional theme in the Peanuts strip and King was a close personal friend of Schulz.
Because of the close friendship between Marcie and Peppermint Patty, some have inferred a romantic relationship between them. However, the comic strip's content does not lend support to this conclusion. This usually is only referred to in pop-culture satirists like Family Guy, comedian Stephen Lynch, and Robot Chicken. For example, Marcie's only explicitly depicted romantic interests were (as noted above) male characters, especially Charlie Brown.
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