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The CW series Riverdale takes characters from the beloved Archie Comics and inserts them into a world of high school angst, murder and musical numbers. On Tuesday’s episode of The Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon gave the Riverdale treatment to another beloved comic franchise: Peanuts.
“Our town presents itself like so many other small towns. Safe, decent, innocent. Get closer, though, you start to see the shadows underneath,” begins Charlie Brown (Fallon) in a voiceover, similar to the opening narrations of Cole Sprouse’s Jughead Jones.
After Charlie falls to the ground when attempting to kick a football, Marcie and Peppermint Patty reveal that they found Linus van Pelt dead in the Great Pumpkin Patch. The discovery parallels the murder of Jason Blossom (Trevor Stines) in the first season of the CW show.
While Lucy is initially in disbelief that her brother is dead, Charlie attempts to come to the rescue and plays his friends a new original song with the lyrics, “Linus is dead and we’re all really sad.” A piano scarf-clad Schroeder asks, “You’re not gonna perform it at the fall formal, are you?”
“What up, buttholes?!,” screams Pig-Pen (Steve Higgins) as he approaches the group. The infamously dirty character informs Charlie that Miss Othmar is looking for him. This leads to the revelation that the student and teacher have a romantic past, much like the short-lived romance between Archie (K.J. Apa) and Miss Grundy (Sarah Habel).
Lucy walks in on Charlie’s and Miss Othmar’s conversation about being at the pumpkin patch the same night as Linus’ murder, and she yells at Charlie and runs away. Charlie waddles after her and the two talk closely in hushed tones. He breaks the dramatic moment to ask, “I’m sorry. Can you just back up a foot?”
As Lucy tries to convince Charlie to come forward with what he knows about the murder, she says, “You need to stop acting like such a blockhead and tell everyone the truth. We’re not little kids anymore, Charlie Brown. We’re 16-years-old.” Charlie then breaks the fourth wall and says, “Yeah. We’re both 16-years-old.”
Franklin (Questlove) later asks Charlie Brown why he is so upset. “My best friend’s dead, his sister hates my guts and I’m having an affair with my teacher,” says Charlie. Franklin responds, “Look, Charlie Brown. Moping around about Linus won’t bring him back. You gotta keep living your life, man.” After finding the motivation he needs to go to the fall formal, Charlie leaves. Franklin then asks, “Why am I the only black person in this town?”
In what would be the climax of a full-length episode of Riverdale, Charlie gets up on stage at the school dance to lift the spirits of his classmates during the difficult time. “I know it’s been a rough eight hours,” begins Charlie. “We won’t stop until we find out who did it. As long as we’ve got each other, and my music, I think we’re gonna be OK. Now let’s turn things up a notch.”
Schroeder begins to play the Peanuts theme song as the friends dance without a care in the world. “They danced all through the night trying their best to regain the innocence they had lost,” Charlie says in a voiceover. “But little did they know things would never be the same because under the surface this town was nuts.”
The parody concludes as Riverdale stars Apa, Sprouse, Lili Reinhart, Madelaine Petsch and Camila Mendes walk by the school dance as their respective characters. While the group notes Charlie and his friends weird dance moves, Archie states, “So crazy. I actually just wrote a song about it. Do you guys want to hear it?” Unsurprisingly, the Riverdale gang groans, “No.”
Watch the full sketch below.
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