You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown

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You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown is a musical comedy with music and lyrics by Clark Gesner, based on the characters created by cartoonist Charles M. Schulz in his comic strip Peanuts.

Gesner wrote most of the book, although the rest was credited to John Gordon, a "collective pseudonym" that covers Gesner, the cast members and the production staff, all of whom worked together to assemble the script.

In 1985, CBS aired a prime-time animated TV special based on the musical, also called You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown. This version was the first animated depiction of Snoopy with comprehensible dialogue.

  • But I AM five. I'm MORE than five.
  • [musical version:] Some days I wake up early and watch the sun rise. And I think how beautiful it is. (And) how my (whole) life lies before me. And I get very positive feeling about things . . . Like this morning for instance, the sky is so clear and the sun is so bright. . . How can anything go wrong on a day like this? (alarm clock rings) I'm late!! [TV version:] Somedays, I like to wake up early. So that I can see the sunrise. And I think how beautiful it is. And how my life lies before me. And I get a very positive feeling about things. Like this morning for instance. The sky's so clear, and the sun's so bright, how could anything go wrong in a day like this.
  • I think lunchtime is about the worst time of the day for me. Always having to sit here alone. Of course, sometimes mornings aren't so pleasant, either - waking up and wondering if anyone would really miss me if I never got out of bed. Then there's the night, too - lying there and thinking about all the stupid things I've done during the day. And all those hours in between - when I do all those stupid things. Well, lunchtime is among the worst times of the day for me. Well, I guess I'd better see what I've got. Peanut butter. Some psychiatrists say that people who eat peanut butter sandwiches are lonely. I guess they're right. And when you're really lonely, the peanut butter sticks to the roof of your mouth. There's that cute little red-headed girl eating her lunch over there! I wonder what she would do if I went over and asked her if I could sit and have lunch with her?...She'd probably laugh right in my's hard on a face when it gets laughed in. There's an empty place next to her on the bench. There's no reason why I couldn't just go over and sit there. I could do that right now. All I have to do is stand up...I'm standing up!...I'm sitting down. I'm a coward. I'm so much of a coward, she wouldn't even think of looking at me. She hardly ever does look at me. In fact, I can't remember her ever looking at me. Why shouldn't she look at me? Is there any reason in the world why she shouldn't look at me? Is she so great, and I'm so small, that she can't spare one little moment?... [gasps] SHE'S LOOKING AT ME!! SHE'S LOOKING AT ME!! (he puts his lunchbag over his head.) ...Lunchtime IS among the worst times of the day for me. If that little red-headed girl is looking at me with this stupid bag over my head she must think I'm the biggest fool alive. But, if she isn't looking at me, then maybe I could take it off quickly and she'd never notice it. On the other hand...I can't tell if she's looking, until I take it off! Then again, if I never take it off I'll never have to know if she was looking or not. On the other's very hard to breathe in here. (he removes his lunchbag) Whew! She's not looking at me! I wonder why she never looks at me? Oh well, another lunch hour over with...only 2,829 (or 2,863) to go.
  • [singing] OH! What a beautiful sight! And I'm not such a clumsy guy! If I really try, I can really fly a ki---- (The kite is eaten by a tree)
  • Well, I guess I'd better see what I've got. Peanut Butter. Some psychiatrists say that people who eat peanut butter sandwiches are lonely. I guess they're right!
  • Well, I've always wanted to be called Flash. I hate the name Charlie. I'd like to be real athletic so that everybody would call me Flash. I like to be so good at everything that all around school I'd be known as Flash.
  • This is for you Lucy, Happy Valentine's Day. That doesn't sound right. Here, Lucy, this is for you, Happy Valentine's Day. You can do it if you just don't get nervous. This is for you, Lucy, Happy Valentine's Day. (Lucy enters.) Okay, take it easy, you can do it. This is for you Lucy...(He hands her the card) Merry Christmas. (He screams in the musical version. In the TV version, he moans.)
  • [after Snoopy dances with his meal and Charlie silences him] Why can't you eat your meal quietly and calmly like any other normal dog, (Snoopy)?
  • [singing] If I start writing now when I'm not really rested it could upset my thinking which is no good at all. I'll get a fresh start tomorrow and its not due till Wednesday so I'll have all of Tuesday unless something should happen. Why does this always happen? I should be outside playing, getting fresh air and sunshine! I work best under pressure and there'll be lots of pressure if I wait till tomorrow. I should start writing now. But if I start writing now when I'm not really rested it could upset my thinking which is no good at all.
  • [singing] How do they expect us to write a book report of any quality in just two days? How can they conspire to make life so miserable and so effectively in so many ways?
  • I haven't even started yet!
  • Pizza with sausage.
  • What's an en-?
    • To nobody
  • [musical version:] My stomach clock just went off. It's suppertime, and Charlie Brown has forgotten to feed me. Here I lie, a withering hollow shell of a dog and there sits my supper dish ... EMPTY! But that's all right. He'll remember. When no furry friend comes to greet him after school, then he'll remember! And he'll rush out here to the doghouse but it'll be too late. There will be nothing left but the dried carcass of his former friend who used to love to run and play so happily with him. Nothing left but the bleached puppy bones of... [TV version:] [gasps] My stomach clock just went off! It's suppertime! And Charlie Brown has forgotten to feed me. [sighs] Here I lie, a withering hollow shell of a dog... and there's sits my supper dish... empty. Well, that's alright. It's okay. He'll remember. Tomorrow after school, when no furry friend comes to greet him. Then he'll remember. And he'll rush out here to the doghouse but... it'll be too late. There will be nothing left but the dried carcass of the former friend who used to run and play so happily with him. Nothing left but the bleached bones... [Charlie Brown arrives with his dinner] of the one's happy little puppy...
  • Bring on the doctor!
  • No one has ever called me... "Sugar Lips".
  • Why is it I always have my supper in the red dish and my drinking water in the yellow dish? One of these days I'm going to have my supper in the yellow dish and my drinking water in the red dish. Life's just TOO short not to live it up a little.
  • A "C"... a "C"... I got a "C" on my coat hanger sculpture. How could anyone get a "C" in coat hanger sculpture? May I ask a question? Was I being judged on the piece of sculpture itself? If so, is it not true that time alone can judge a work of art? Or was I being judged on my talent? If so, is it right that I be judged on a part of life over which I have no control? If I was judged on my effort then I was judged unfairly for I tried as hard as I could. Was I being judged on what I have learned about this project? If so, were then not you, my teacher, also being judged on your ability to transmit your knowledge to me? Are you willing to share my "C"? Well, perhaps I was being judged on the quality of the coat hanger itself, out of which my creation was made. Now is that not also unfair? Am I to be judged by the quality of the coat hangers that are used by our dry cleaning establishment to return our garments? Is this not the responsibility of my parents? Should they not share my "C"?
  • The only thing wrong with my big brother Charlie Brown is his lack of confidence. His inferiority, and his lack of confidence. His clumsiness, his inferiority, and his lack of confidence. His stupidity, his clumsiness, his inferiority, and his lack of confidence... ±
  • This is my report on the past: "The past has always interested people. I must admit, however, that I don't know much about it. I wasn't here when it happened."
  • [singing] If you don't tell me what you told Lucy, I'm just going to SCREAM!
  • Alright, everybody out for rabbit chasing.
  • What did you say about me, Linus?
  • We had spaghetti at our house three times this week.
  • Thank you Miss Othmar.The squeaky wheel gets the grease.
  • Why are you telling me? My new philosophy. The teacher gave a 'D' on last week's homework. She said, "Miss Sally Brown," "Your grades are going down." I could have told her.
  • [after her friends praise Charlie Brown] If only you weren't so wishy-washy.
  • After snow comes up, the wind blows it around so it looks like it's coming down but actually it comes up out of the ground- like grass. It comes up, Charlie Brown, snow comes up!
  • Linus, do you know what I intend? I intend to be a queen. When I grow up I'm going to be the biggest queen there ever was. And I'll live in a big palace with a big front lawn and have lots of beautiful dresses to wear. And, when I go out in my coach all the people... All the people will wave, and I will SHOUT at them and... And in the summer time, I will go to my summer palace and I will wear my crown in swimming and everything. And all the people will cheer and I will SHOUT at them. (And I'll...) What do you mean "I can't be queen?"
  • My Aunt Marion was right. Never try to discuss marriage with a musician!
  • [singing] Peter Rabbit is a stupid book about this stupid rabbit who steals vegetables from other people's gardens! [speaking] 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17. Hmmm. 83 to go!
  • [singing] The other people's name was McGregor! [speaking] 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23. Oh! (or Hmmm.)
  • [singing] The name of the rabbit was Peter! [speaking] 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30. Yes! (or Ha!)
  • 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40!
  • [singing] And they were very, very, very, very, very, very happy to be home!
  • [singing] 94, 95. The very very very end!
  • Give me my pencil, you blockhead!
  • Gimme back my ball you blockhead!
  • Lucy, I believe Queen is an inherited title. Yes, I'm quite sure. A person can only become a queen by being born into a royal family of the correct lineage so that she can assume the throne after the death of the reigning monarch. I can't think of any possible way you can become Queen. I'm sorry, Lucy, but it's true.
    • After Lucy talks of her dream of becoming a queen.
  • In examining a work such as Peter Rabbit, it is important that the superficial characteristics of its deceptively simple plot should not be allowed to blind the reader to the more substantial fabric of its deeper motivations. In this report I plan to discuss the sociological implications of family pressures so great as to drive an otherwise moral rabbit to perform acts of thievery which he consciously knew were against the law. I also hope to explore the personality of Mr. MacGregor in his conflicting roles as farmer and humanitarian...
  • ...What drove an otherwise moral rabbit to perform acts of thievery? Thievery! Sociological implications! Family pressure!
  • In some parts of the world tomorrow is already today, and today is yesterday. If tomorrow is already today Charlie Brown, there's no way that tomorrow could be a better day.
  • I really don't think you have anything to worry about, Charlie Brown. After all, science has shown that a person's character isn't really established until he's at least five years old.
  • Happiness is a fleeting thing, Sally, but I think that a man can come closer to it by directing the forces of his life to a single goal that he believes in. And I think that a man's personal search for happiness is not really a selfish thing, either, because by achieving happiness himself, he can help others to find it. Does that make sense to you?
  • Money? Who cares about money? This is art you blockhead! This is great music I'm playing and playing great music is an art! Do you hear me? An [banging on piano] ART! ART! ART! ART!
  • I'm sorry to have to say it right to your face, Lucy, but it's true. You're a very crabby person. I know your crabbiness has probably become so natural to you that you're not even aware when you're being crabby, but it's true just the same. You're a very crabby person and you're crabby to just about everyone you meet. Now I hope you don't mind my saying this, Lucy, and I hope you'll take it in the spirit that it's intended. I think we should all be open to any opportunity to learn more about ourselves. I think Socrates was very right when he said that one of the first rules for anyone in life is "Know thyself." Well, I guess I've said about enough. I hope I haven't offended you or anything.
  • Now. Remember, this is a mood piece. We must paint a picture with music and words- ...and concentrate! Remember, adagio con brio.
  • Did you know that Charlie Brown has never pitched a winning baseball game, never been able to keep a kite in the air, never won a game of checkers, and never successfully punted a football? Sometimes I marvel at his consistency.
  • Well, why are you telling me? (to Sally)
  • You are kind. (to Charlie Brown)
  • That other team was trash talkin' us Charlie Brown.I got even with them though. I said you think your so great? Mozart was writing symphonies when he was your age. That really shut 'em up.

Theatre casts

Character Voice Range Original Off-Broadway Revival 1999 Broadway
Charlie Brown tenor Gary Burghoff Anthony Rapp
Lucy van Pelt mezzo-soprano Reva Rose lana Levine
Linus van Pelt baritone/tenor Bob Balaban B. D. Wong
Schroeder tenor Skip Hinnant Stanley Wayne Mathis
Sally Brown soprano Kristin Chenoweth
Patty soprano Karen Johnson
Snoopy multiple ranges Bill Hinnant Roger Bart


  • Published script of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown
  • 1985 Animated special "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown"

± A similar version of this line was used by the character Patty in the original production.