Peanuts is a syndicated daily and Sunday American comic strip written and illustrated by Charles M. Schulz, which ran from October 2, 1950, to February 13, 2000, continuing in reruns afterward. The strip is the most popular and influential in the history of the comic strip, with 17,897 strips published in all, making it "arguably the longest story ever told by one human being", according to Professor Robert Thompson of Syracuse University. At its peak, Peanuts ran in over 2,600 newspapers, with a readership of 355 million in 75 countries, and was translated into 21 languages. It helped to cement the four-panel gag strip as the standard in the United States, and together with its merchandise earned Schulz more than $1 billion. Reprints of the strip are still syndicated and run in almost every U.S. newspaper.
Peanuts achieved extreme success for its television specials, several of which, including A Charlie Brown Christmas and It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown won or were nominated for Emmy Awards. The holiday specials remain quite popular and are currently broadcast on ABC in the United States during the corresponding season. The property is also a landmark in theatre with the stage musical You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown being an extremely successful and often-performed production.
It has been described as "the most shining example of the American success story in the comic strip field," ironically based on the theme of "the great American unsuccess story," since the main character, Charlie Brown, is meek, nervous and lacks self-confidence, being unable to fly a kite, win a baseball game or kick a football.