Rerun van Pelt
|Rerun van Pelt|
Rerun on the back of his mother's bicycle
|First appearance||March 26, 1973|
|Voiced by||Vinnie Dow (1976)
Jason Mendelson (1983-1986) (as Jason Muller)
Tim Deters (2002) (as Timmy Deters)
Jimmy Bennett (2003, 2006) (as James Bennett)
|Family||Linus (older brother)
Lucy (older sister)
||This article possibly contains original research. (March 2012)|
Rerun started as a minor character in the Peanuts universe, only becoming a main character in the last decade of the comic strip. Rerun was first mentioned in the strip on May 23, 1972, during a storyline in which Lucy threw Linus out of the house only to learn that yet another little brother had just been born. Upon learning the news, Lucy exclaimed "A new baby brother?!! But I just got rid of the old one!!!" With that, she let Linus back in, uttering in misery, "You can't shovel water with a pitchfork."
The irony of the situation wasn't lost on Linus, who laughed himself silly over his sister's scheme being defeated, thus causing her to lose her temper and tie his blanket over his mouth.
Lucy, who always wanted to be an only child (or to have a younger sister), is less than thrilled at the prospect of having a second younger brother, and comments that getting one was like watching reruns on television; thus, Linus comes up with the idea of calling the family's new addition "Rerun." "Rerun van Pelt! Good Grief!" mutters Lucy with a less-than-thrilled look on her face.
Rerun's first appearance was on March 26, 1973, depicted as a nearly identical but smaller version of Linus. Over time, Lucy warmed up to Rerun and became something of a mentor to him, more kind with him than she had ever been with Linus. Linus also took Rerun under his wing in later years, unsuccessfully attempting to "convert" Rerun to his belief in "The Great Pumpkin," and taking his skeptical and embarrassed little brother along on door-to-door "missions" to spread the word of the Great Pumpkin.
The first storyline in which Rerun is featured involves a still pre-verbal Rerun becoming a player on Charlie Brown's baseball team and being involved in a gambling scandal (he bet a nickel with Snoopy that Charlie Brown's team would win) that ends in the team having to forfeit one of their rare victories.
Rerun was rarely used in the 1980s; by that time, Schulz had run out of ideas about how to use him. However, in the early 1990s, he resurfaces, having grown to where he is almost equal in height to his siblings and the other kids. To distinguish him from his almost identical brother, Linus, Schulz added overalls and a flattened hair style.
Re-introduced through a number of appearances in 1993 and 1994, Rerun is shown being taught how to tie his shoes by Lucy, being introduced to basketball by Linus, and playing cards with Snoopy. Beginning in 1994, Rerun is regularly shown on Charlie Brown's doorstep, asking to borrow Snoopy.
Schulz made Rerun into a main character in the strip's final years, and much of the focus during this time is from Rerun's perspective; Schulz admitted in a 1997 interview with Gary Groth that the character virtually "took over" the comic. In the 2009 documentary, "Sibling Rivalry: Growing Up Van Pelt," included on the I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown DVD, Schulz's widow, Jean Schulz, speculated that Rerun's expanded presence in the comic strip may have resulted from the presence of grandchildren in Schulz's life. Most of his story lines involve his anxieties and struggles with being a "little kid" among big kids, and his desire to play with Snoopy and have a dog of his own.
As the other Peanuts kids were older than Rerun, he was usually excluded from their squabbles and rivalries, and several of them were shown as protective or mentoring towards him. On different occasions, Charlie Brown was shown teaching Rerun how to deliver newspapers, and winning back Rerun's marbles from the bully, Joe Agate. Even Sally Brown, herself younger than the other children, was shown giving Rerun a tour of the bus stop and school just weeks before he started kindergarten.
After having his age advanced to five years old in 1996, a running gag in the strip has Rerun hiding under his bed in an attempt to get out of going to school, a ploy that usually does not work. Though intelligent, Rerun displays a rebellious streak in school, always drawing "underground comics" (usually referring to them as "basement comics") instead of painting flowers, as his teacher instructs, and suggesting that the teacher read such books as Anna Karenina instead of childrens' books. Rerun is also often shown flirting with an unnamed pigtailed girl in his kindergarten class. On one occasion he jokes about taking her away to Paris, and is suspended from school for harassment.
Rerun's animated debut is in the animated television special It's Arbor Day, Charlie Brown, and his first major appearance in the strip was adapted in the first produced episode of The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show. Rerun only made one other appearance in a television special before 2000, Happy New Year, Charlie Brown! from 1986; where his attempts to blow up balloons for the New Year's party ended in failure (he blew them up as cubes rather than spheres). Rerun was mentioned, but not seen, in the 1985 special, "Snoopy's Getting Married, Charlie Brown" when Charlie Brown informed Snoopy that he could not back out of his wedding because Rerun had been already been chosen as ring-bearer. Rerun briefly appeared in Charlie Brown's Christmas Tales, and the 2003 animated television special I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown. This episode uses Rerun as its primary character. Rerun's most recent television appearance is in the 2006 television special He's a Bully, Charlie Brown.
Neither of the Broadway productions of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown and Snoopy! The Musical (aside from a cameo in the animated adaptaion) featured Rerun, but various local and regional productions have included Rerun as a character.
- Charles M. Schulz promoting It's Flashbeagle, Charlie Brown (1984). People are Talking (SWF) (Television production) (in English). San Francisco: YouTube. Event occurs at 3:35. Retrieved 2009-08-12. "Rerun is still around. He rides on the back of his mom's bicycle now and then, and we're going to use him on some of the Saturday morning television shows but I just ... run out of ideas on certain subjects, and lately I haven't been able to think of anything where he is on the back of his mom's bicycle. But he's still around."
- Rerun Van Pelt (Character) from Internet Movie Database
- You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown from the Internet Broadway Database
- You're A Good Man Charlie Brown, All About Theatre
- Charlie Brown Cast
- You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown by San Diego Junior Theatre
- Community Theater Takes Center Stage, West Chicago Community News