The instrument behind the adults on the Peanuts


Ever wonder what instrument was used to make that funny sound of the adults talking on the Peanuts cartoons? It's a trombone with the rubber end of a toilet plunger over the instrument's bell. By opening and closing the plunger with the hand, thereby allowing more or less air out of the trombone's bell, the trombonist is able to get a wah-wah effect, which the directors were able to use to mimic the rise and fall of our voice patterns, exaggerated, of course.

Here's a demonstration by Wycliffe Gordon:

My favorite adult on the Peanuts was always Linus van Pelt's schoolteacher/crush, Miss Othmar.

Check out the below clip (about 1:30 into it) for some classic Miss Othmar trombone.

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