Snoopy, Sparky, and Mr. Manners: The Quirky World of Peanuts Puns and Phrases

I recently had the opportunity to catch up on two weeks of our local paper.

I enjoy reading them for bits of information that otherwise would pass me by.

And, of course, I catch up with the comics.

I wrote once before, for a group at the Museum, about how much Sparky enjoyed puns – it tickled his funny bone, and Snoopy is the character in the strip who can get away with these corny jokes.

I suggest two recent daily strips based on Sparky’s puns:

This Peanuts comic strip was first published on August 14, 1976.


This Peanuts comic strip was first published on August 18, 1981.

Another thing that Museum visitors frequently ask me is, ‘did I ever give Sparky ideas for strips?’

The answer is, ‘no.’

On the other hand, if Sparky heard a phrase that caught his fancy, it would often end up in the strip.

In August 1976, Sparky used a phrase I had explained that came from my grandmother as a cautionary note about manners when dining at someone’s home.

(Now, remember, this comes from Victorian times.)

My grandmother said when dining at someone’s home, one should leave a little food on the plate, lest the hostess, seeing a completely cleaned plate, may fear that she has not provided a sufficient meal.

That was ‘leaving something for Mr. Manners.’

I don’t have any idea how long this phrase may have stewed in Sparky’s mind, but eventually, he found a way to use it in the strip.

It amuses me every time I see it because I wonder how many readers will recognize the phrase.

This Peanuts comic strip was first published on August 23, 1976.

—Jean Schulz


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