Shermy

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Shermy
Peanuts character
Shermy from Peanuts.jpg
First appearance October 2, 1950 (comic strip)
Last appearance
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 (2008-2009) (as Jake Smith)
  • Andy Pessoa (2011)
  • William Alexander Wunsch (2015)
Information
Gender male
Family unnamed sister

Shermy is a fictional character from 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 lines of dialogue in the series, ending with "Good ol' Charlie Brown . . . How I hate him!"

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. It is likely that his major role in the strip was also as Charlie Brown's closest friend until Linus matured (although Shermy's first line in the strip was commenting to Patty "good ol' Charlie Brown... how I hate him!"). The relationship between Shermy and Charlie Brown became more neutral as the strip progressed and Shermy's role declined in prominence. 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, as he once commented that he "disliked" the way he drew Shermy's hair, a possible reason for the character being removed.[2] Shermy was sometimes said to play the position of first base on Charlie Brown's baseball team.

Shermy's disappearance from the strip was even faster and more complete than those of Patty and Violet, who were also mostly gone from the series by the late 1960s; as early as late 1952 his appearances were becoming noticeably rare because of the success of newly introduced characters Lucy and Linus.

Movies and television specials[edit]

Shermy appears in multiple animated Peanuts TV specials (although he becomes more of a minor character after the 1960s), 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's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, You're in Love, Charlie Brown, It Was a Short Summer, Charlie Brown, You're Not Elected, Charlie Brown, Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown, It's Your First Kiss, Charlie Brown, Is This Goodbye, Charlie Brown?, Why, Charlie Brown, Why?, It's Spring Training, Charlie Brown, It Was My Best Birthday Ever, Charlie Brown, and I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown with many of the latter 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 appearances in three feature films including A Boy Named Charlie Brown, as well as a cameo appearance in Snoopy Come Home. Shermy is also seen several times in The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show and is even mentioned by name in Episode 13 from television (as seen on the "Go Snoopy Go!" DVD).

Shermy returned to the animated specials 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. He also plays a supporting role in the 2015 computer-animated film The Peanuts Movie, where he seems to have the least dialogue out of the other supporting characters. It is also shown in the same movie that he has a younger sister, though this is not considered canonical.

Voiced by[edit]

  • 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 (2008-2009) (as Jake Smith)
  • Andy Pessoa (2011)
  • William Wunsch (2015) (as William "Alex" Wunsch)

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.