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Charles Schulz

Charles Schultz

Charles Schulz

It's all in the spelling

Was the creator of the Charlie Brown cartoons called Charles Schulz or Charles Schultz? There appears to be a Mass Memory Discrepancy Effect at work here, because many people are remembering it as "Schultz" whereas searches today on the internet mostly turn up "Schulz", and claim it always has been this way.

With these spelling related issues it is always important to think about how people say the words too, since it would be easy to conflate the pronunciation with a particular spelling irrespective of whether it is correct or incorrect. Charles' surname would always appear awkward to his main audience of Americans and so it could well be just a simple case of people remembering a version of how it was pronounced as being that of how it was spelled too.

Or as Charlie Brown would say: "Good Grief!".


Charles was nicknamed "Sparky" and has been described as "The Cartoonists Cartoonist". He was of German and Norwegian heritage and born in Minneapolis in the US. A keen comic fan from an early age, he earned the nickname "Sparky" from the horse Spark Plug in Barney Google and Snuffy Smith. The story is true that his high school rejected his drawings for their yearbook, yet had a 5 foot Snoopy statue erected in his honor there 60 years later.

He'd already been drawing several cartoon strips for a few years before making it to the big time with Peanuts. The character Charlie Brown was used in his earlier Li'l Folks, and a dog looking exactly like Snoopy was seen too. Peanuts went on to become one of the most popular comic strips of all time, being published in 2,600 newspapers and translated into 21 languages.

Charles and Peanuts were such a huge part of so many people's childhood's that it's almost a sacrilege to cast doubt on any part of his story, especially the spelling of his name which they literally saw right in front of them with every strip he signed. The spelling of a name such as Shultz would always be problematic to Western ears unfamiliar with the nuances of the spelling. On hearing it, it's easy to see how the layman would add the "t" at the end assuming it must be spelt the same way as some other names ending in "ultz". A few though did pay attention, and are sure it has been changed - those are experiencing this as a Mandela Effect.