July 31st was the 50th anniversary of “Peanuts” character Franklin. So on Thursday’s “The Daily Show,” Trevor Noah and Roy Wood Jr. looked at how Charlie Brown’s first African American friend was both groundbreaking, and often super awkward.
“‘Peanuts’ in the 60s had the same kind of cultural dominance as ‘Friends’ in the ’90s,” said Noah, who noted that the strip had 100 million readers. Noah then joked that “Friends,” “unlike ‘Peanuts’ never managed to add a full-time black friend.”
Noah then brought out “Daily Show” correspondent Wood to talk about what a trailblazer Franklin was — and how sometimes he very-embarrassingly wasn’t.
“Franklin was a straight-up G,” Wood said first. “Integrated the sh– out of ‘Peanuts.'” But, Wood continued, various animated versions of “Peanuts” were a different story. Examples included:
*A clip of the white “Peanuts” kids doing the Hokey Pokey, followed by Franklin arrived, he brought a boombox and started break dancing and rapping.
*Franklin portrayed doing things like slapping skin instead of shaking hands, to which wood said that “all the other ‘Peanuts’ kids are just kids, but Franklin’s running around, being like a baby ‘Shaft.”
*A Thanksgiving episode where all the white “Peanuts” kids sat on one side of the table, while Franklin sat alone on the other.
“If you’re gonna make him rap, do it right!” said Wood. He then played the clip of Franklin break dancing again, but this time with Franklin rapping Childish Gambino’s “This is America.” Watch the whole thing above.
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