Shermy

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Shermy
Peanuts character
First appearance October 2, 1950 (Comic Strip)
Last appearance June 15, 1969 (comic strip)
Happiness Is A Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown (television special)
Voiced by Chris Doran (1963, 1965)
Gabrielle DeFaria Ritter (1966-1968) (as Gail De Faria)
Glenn Mendelson (1966)
David Carey (1969)
Ronald Hendrix (1977)
Michael Dockery (1983)
Carl Steven (1985)
Jake Miner (2003)
Jake D. Smith (2008) (as Jake Smith)
Andy Pessoa (2011)
Information
Gender male
Family unknown

Shermy was a character in the comic strip Peanuts, by Charles Schulz. Schulz named him after a friend from high school.[1] When Peanuts made its debut on October 2, 1950, Shermy had the first line of dialogue in the series. As Peanuts matured, however, Shermy became an extraneous character who was used less and less frequently, until his final appearance in 1969. In a television interview, Schulz said that in the 1950 debut of the strip, it was solely Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and a few minor characters, then showed the first strip, in which the "minor characters" he spoke of were clearly Patty and Shermy. Shermy's name was first mentioned on December 18, 1950, making him the last of the original characters to have the name revealed. In Schulz's Peanuts-precursor strip Li'l Folks, a character resembling Shermy went by the name "Charlie Brown".

Personality and characteristics[edit]

Shermy was often portrayed as Charlie Brown's superior at the things that mattered to Charlie Brown, especially athletics. Though he spoke the only lines of dialogue in the first strip and was one of the strip's primary figures in its first few years, he was mainly utilized as a "straight man" for Charlie Brown and soon began to be eclipsed by newer characters who were more developed, such as Linus and Lucy. It was unlikely that Charlie Brown knew of Shermy's first sentence, as the two would spend time together; or it could have been more likely that Shermy did not actually hate Charlie Brown and was annoyed with him the first day of the strip. His disappearance from the strip was even faster and more complete than those of the other early characters, Patty and Violet; as early as late 1952 his appearances were becoming noticeably rare because of the success of newly introduced characters Lucy and Linus. Shermy's major physical characteristic was his short, dark hair, which he had styled in a crew cut on April 18, 1953, and kept that way permanently thereafter. Shermy would sometimes make reference to the fact he seemed doomed to have that look; he complained to Charlie Brown he got a new hairstyle one weekend only to shortly come down with an illness that kept him from attending school. By the time the illness subsided, Shermy's hair had returned to its normal look, to which Shermy exclaims "I wasted a good haircut!" in not getting to model it at school. Apparently Schulz himself was not a big fan of this look, even though he never changed it, as he once commented that he "disliked" the way he drew Shermy's hair.[2] Shermy was sometimes said to play the position of first base on Charlie Brown's baseball team.

Movies and television specials[edit]

Shermy appears in many of the animated Peanuts TV specials, beginning with A Charlie Brown Christmas in 1965, where he has one line of dialogue. Upon being cast as a shepherd in the gang's Christmas pageant, he laments, "Every Christmas it's the same: I always end up playing a shepherd." His appearances also include (sometimes with dialogue and sometimes without) Charlie Brown's All-Stars, It Was a Short Summer, Charlie Brown, You're Not Elected, Charlie Brown, Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown, Is This Goodbye, Charlie Brown?, It's Spring Training, Charlie Brown, and It Was My Best Birthday Ever, Charlie Brown, with the latter five being produced several years after he had already disappeared from the comic strip. Shermy is mentioned briefly in the musical You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, in the song "The Doctor Is In," but does not appear or have a speaking part; and he also makes a cameo appearance in the feature film Snoopy Come Home. Shermy is also seen and mentioned by name in Episode 13 of The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show from television (as seen on the "Go Snoopy Go!" DVD).

Shermy returns to the animated movies in the 2011 Direct-to-DVD Happiness Is A Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown, which includes a scene based on the very first Peanuts strip, where Shermy notes how much he hates Charlie Brown.

Last appearance[edit]

Shermy's last actual appearance in a Peanuts strip came on June 15, 1969.[3] Schulz expressed no regrets at dropping Shermy from the cast, remarking many years later that it had gotten to the point by then where he only used Shermy in situations where he "needed a character with very little personality."[4] Shermy was referred to by name once more after 1969, in the March 13, 1977 strip where Charlie Brown and Lucy are discussing players on their baseball team; he is mentioned as the team's designated hitter. An unnamed character who looked like Shermy appeared in the November 9, 1975 strip.

Issue #117 of Mad Magazine (1968) has a piece called Will Success Spoil Charlie Brown?. Shermy returns to his old neighbourhood to find out his former friends have become insufferable egomaniacs swelled with their success.

In his 2009 treasury Pearls Blows Up, 2000s cartoonist Stephan Pastis of Pearls Before Swine, who cites Schulz as one of his many influences, suggested in relation to a series of strips paying homage to Peanuts with baseball, that Shermy as well as Violet may have died in some way after a game, commenting that "I'm fairly certain the games in Peanuts weren't played to the death... [but] Shermy and Violet did seem to disappear at some point."

References[edit]

  1. ^ Peanuts Jubilee: My Life and Art With Charlie Brown and Others, (c)1975 by Ballantine Books
  2. ^ Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and Me: And All the Other Peanuts Characters, (c)1980 by Doubleday & Co., Inc.
  3. ^ The Peanuts FAQ, section 4.2
  4. ^ Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and Me: And All the Other Peanuts Characters, (c)1980 by Doubleday & Co., Inc.