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Snoopy

From Academic Kids

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USPS stamp featuring Snoopy as the World War I Flying Ace
This article is about a comic strip character. You may also be looking for an American rapper named Snoop Dogg.

Snoopy is the name of Charlie Brown's pet beagle in the comic strip Peanuts, by Charles M. Schulz. Born on the Daisy Hill Puppy Farm, Snoopy started out as just a dog, but eventually evolved into perhaps the strip's most dynamic character.

Contents

Character

Snoopy first made his appearance on the strip on October 4, 1950, two days after the strip premiered. Schulz was originally going to call him Sniffy until he discovered that name was used in a different comic strip. As a character Snoopy never talks (because he is a dog) but thinks (the first occasion the reader is shown his thoughts was in the strip of October 19 1952); however, other characters have the uncanny knack of reading his thoughts.

Many of Peanuts' memorable moments come in Snoopy's daydream as a writer: his eternal opener on the typewriter "It was a dark and stormy night..." is taken from Edward George Bulwer-Lytton's 1830 novel Paul Clifford. The contrast between Snoopy's existence in a dream world and Charlie Brown's in the real world is central to the humour and philosophy of Peanuts (see e.g. Peanuts book title Life's a dream, Charlie Brown).

Schulz summed up Snoopy's character in a 1997 interview: "He has to retreat into his fanciful world in order to survive. Otherwise, he leads kind of a dull, miserable life. I don't envy dogs the lives they have to live."1

Developments

One of the first odd developments of Snoopy was his tendency to sleep on top of his doghouse, rather than inside it. Then, Snoopy started walking on two legs like a human. This soon became so commonplace as to be almost unnoticeable, as Snoopy developed a variety of alter egos, most notably the World War I flying ace. For this character he would don goggles and a scarf and fly his Sopwith Camel (actually his doghouse), battling the Red Baron (who appeared vicariously through the bulletholes he left riddled in the doghouse).

Snoopy also became "Joe Cool," as he put on sunglasses and leaned against the wall (in standard "cool" fashion) doing nothing. He has also been a famous writer (who was never published), an attorney (who once defended Peter Rabbit), a hockey player, an Olympic figure skater (who used to skate with Sonja Henie before he became "big time"), and even an astronaut. Outside of his fantasy life he is the shortstop for Charlie Brown's Little League team (and the best player), and even owned a Van Gogh (later replaced by an Andrew Wyeth after his first doghouse caught fire and burned down). He also acts as the Beagle Scout leader with his bird friends. Other than his owner Charlie Brown, Snoopy's best friend and confidante is the undersized yellow bird Woodstock, who only speaks in apostrophes. His arch-enemy (other than the Red Baron) is the cat next door named 'World War II' (and cats in general).

Snoopy hates coconut candy and gets weed claustrophobia.

Siblings

Snoopy has seven siblings: Andy, Belle, Marbles, Molly, Olaf, Rover, and Spike, most of whom rarely appear in the strip. Most often seen is Spike, who lives in the desert (near the real-life locale of Needles, California) and is friends with cacti. Spike is very thin, wears a fedora and has long whiskers. Andy looks like a disheveled version of Snoopy; Olaf is rotund in both body and face. Marbles has spots on his fur and wears shoes. Belle, who looks like Snoopy with long eyelashes, is most notable in that there was a Belle stuffed animal available for many years. Molly and Rover never appeared in the comic strip. Their only appearance was on the animated special Snoopy's Reunion.

Snoopy!!! The Musical

Snoopy!!! The Musical was a musical comedy based on the Peanuts comic strip, originally performed at Lamb's Theatre off-Broadway in 1982. In its 1983 run in London's West End, it won an Olivier Award. In 1988, it was adapted into an animated TV special. The New Players Theatre in London staged a revival in 2004 to honor its 21st anniversary, but some reviewers noted that its "feelgood" sentiments had not aged well.

Snoopy elsewhere in popular culture

References

Template:Wikiquotees:Snoopy it:Snoopy nl:Snoopy pt:Snoopy zh:史努比

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