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THE BABY SNOOKS SHOW

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 OLD TIME RADIO - CD-ROM - 163 mp3

The Baby Snooks Show was an American radio program starring comedienne and Ziegfeld Follies alumna Fanny Brice as a mischievous young girl who was 40 years younger than the actress who played her when she first went on the air. The series began on CBS September 17, 1944, airing on Sunday evenings at 6:30pm as Post Toasties Time (for sponsor General Foods). The title soon changed to The Baby Snooks Show, and the series was sometimes called Baby Snooks and Daddy.
In 1904, George McManus began his comic strip, The Newlyweds, about a couple and their child, Baby Snookums. Brice began doing her Baby Snooks character in vaudeville, as she recalled many years later: "I first did Snooks in 1912 when I was in vaudeville. At the time there was a juvenile actress named Baby Peggy and she was very popular. Her hair was all curled and bleached and she was always in pink or blue. She looked like a strawberry ice cream soda. When I started to do Baby Snooks, I really was a baby, because when I think about Baby Snooks it's really the way I was when I was a kid. On stage, I made Snooks a caricature of Baby Peggy."

Early on, Brice's character was sometimes called "Babykins." By 1934 she was wearing her baby costume while appearing on Broadway in the Follies show. On February 29, 1936, Brice was scheduled to appear on the Ziegfeld Follies of the Air, written and directed by Philip Rapp in 1935-37. Rapp and his writing partner David Freedman searched the closest bookcase, opened a public domain collection of sketches by Robert Jones Burdette, Chimes From a Jester’s Bells (1897) and adapted a humorous piece about a kid and his uncle, changing the boy to a girl named Snooks. Rapp continued to write the radio sketches when Brice played Snooks on the Good News Show the following year. In 1940, she became a regular character on Maxwell House Coffee Time, sharing the spotlight with actor Frank Morgan, who sometimes did a crossover into the Snooks sketches.

In 1944, the character was given her own show, and during the 1940s, it became one of the nation's favorite radio situation comedies, with a variety of sponsors (Post Cereals, Sanka, Spic-n-Span, Jell-O) being touted by a half-dozen announcers—John Conte, Tobe Reed, Harlow Willcox, Dick Joy, Don Wilson and Ken Wilson.

Hanley Stafford was best known for his portrayal of Snooks' long-suffering, often-cranky father, Lancelot “Daddy” Higgins, a role played earlier by Alan Reed on the 1936 Follies broadcasts. Lalive Brownell was Vera “Mommy” Higgins, also portrayed by Lois Corbet (mid-1940s) and Arlene Harris (after 1945). Beginning in 1945, child impersonator Leone Ledoux was first heard as Snook’s younger brother Robespierre, and Snooks returned full circle to the comics when comic book illustrator Graham Ingels and his wife Gertrude named their child Robby (born 1946) after listening to Ledoux's Robespierre baby voices.

Danny Thomas was "daydreaming postman" Jerry Dingle (1944-45) who imagined himself in other occupations, such as a circus owner or railroad conductor. Others in the cast were Ben Alexander, Elvia Allman, Sara Berner, Charlie Cantor, Ken Christy, Earl Lee, Frank Nelson, Lillian Randolph, Alan Reed (as Mr. Weemish, Daddy's boss) and Irene Tedrow.

The scripts by Bill Danch, Sid Dorfman, Robert Fisher, Everett Freeman, Jess Oppenheimer (later the producer and head writer of I Love Lucy), Philip Rapp (who often revised his scripts three times before airing) and Arthur Stander were produced and directed by Mann Holiner (early 1940s), Al Kaye (1944), Ted Bliss, Walter Bunker and Arthur Stander. Clark Casey and David Light handled the sound effects with music by Meredith Willson (1937-44), Carmen Dragon and vocalist Bob Graham.
In 1945, when illness caused Brice to miss several episodes, her absence was incorporated into the show as a plot device in which top stars (including Robert Benchley, Sydney Greenstreet, Kay Kyser and Peter Lorre) took part in a prolonged search for Snooks. In the fall of 1946, the show moved to Friday nights at 8pm, continuing on CBS until May 28, 1948. On November 9, 1949, the series moved to NBC where it was heard Tuesdays at 8:30pm. Sponsored by Tums, The Baby Snooks Show continued on NBC until May 22, 1951. Two days later, Fanny Brice had a cerebral hemorrhage, and the show ended with her death at age 59.

One of the last shows in the series, "Report Card Blues" (May 1, 1951), is included in the CD set, The 60 Greatest Old-time Radio Shows of the 20th Century (1999), introduced by Walter Cronkite.

Radio historian Arthur Frank Wertheim wrote this description of the devilish imp's pranks: "...planting a bees' nest at her mother's club meeting, cutting her father's fishing line into little pieces, ripping the fur off her mother's coat, inserting marbles into her father's piano and smearing glue on her baby brother."

Yet she was not a mean child. "The character may have seemed a noisy one-joke idea based on Snooks driving Daddy to a screaming fit," wrote Gerald Nachman in Raised on Radio. "Yet Brice was wonderfully adept at giving voice to her irritating moppet without making Snooks obnoxious." Nachman quoted Variety critic Hobe Morrison: "Snooks was not nasty or mean, spiteful or sadistic. She was at heart a nice kid. Similarly, Daddy was harried and desperate and occasionally was driven to spanking his impish daughter. But Daddy wasn't ill-tempered or unkind with the kid. He wasn't a crab."

Brice herself was so meticulous and fanatical about the character that, according to Nachman, "she dressed in a baby-doll dress for the studio audience," and she also appeared in the costume at parades and personal appearances. She also insisted on her script being printed in extremely large type so she could avoid having to use reading glasses when on the air live. She was self-conscious about wearing glasses in front of an audience and didn't believe they fit the Snooks image. By her own admission, Brice was a lackadaisical rehearser: "I can't do a show until it's on the air, kid," she was quoted as telling her writer/producer Everett Freeman. Yet she locked in tight when the show did go on---right down to Snooks-like "squirming, squinting, mugging, jumping up and down," as comedian George Burns remembered.

Snooks proved so universally appealing that Brice and Stafford were invited to perform in character on the second installment of The Big Show, NBC's big-budget, last-ditch bid to keep classic radio variety programming alive amidst the television onslaught. Snooks tapped on hostess Tallulah Bankhead's door to ask about a career in acting, despite Daddy's telling her she already didn't have what it took. Later in the show, Snooks and Daddy appeared with fellow guest star Groucho Marx in a spoof of Marx's popular quiz-and-comedy show, You Bet Your Life.

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SHOWS LIST

Baby Snooks 37-06-17 Unknown skit - Royal Gelatin Hour
Baby Snooks 37-12-23 New Hat for Christmas - begin Good News Of 1938
Baby Snooks 37-12-30 Daniel in the Lions Den
Baby Snooks 38-06-09 At The Doctors Office
Baby Snooks 39-01-00 Daddys-Boss-Comes-to-Dinner
Baby Snooks 39-01-22 Daddy is An Elk
Baby Snooks 39-04-04 House-Breaking
Baby Snooks 39-04-11 No-Sleep
Baby Snooks 39-05-05 Life Insurance
Baby Snooks 39-05-11 Barking Rabbit
Baby Snooks 39-05-18 Golf Tea
Baby Snooks 39-05-25 Hugh What
Baby Snooks 39-06-01 Gonefishing
Baby Snooks 39-06-08 Violet Ray
Baby Snooks 39-06-15 Living By Dyeing
Baby Snooks 39-06-22 New Baby
Baby Snooks 39-06-29 Jealousy
Baby Snooks 39-07-29 Good News Of 1939
Baby Snooks 39-07-29 Wizard of Oz
Baby Snooks 39-09-07 Pulling-Teeth
Baby Snooks 39-09-21 Heat-Wave
Baby Snooks 39-09-28 Airport-Meeting
Baby Snooks 39-10-05 Mudneck
Baby Snooks 39-10-19 Cake-Writing
Baby Snooks 39-10-26 Abe-Lincoln
Baby Snooks 39-11-09 Rich-Uncle
Baby Snooks 39-11-16 Slapsie-Maxie
Baby Snooks 39-11-23 Court-Case
Baby Snooks 39-11-30 Insurance-Exam
Baby Snooks 39-12-14 Psychoanalyzed
Baby Snooks 39-12-21 Goodnews of 1940 pt1
Baby Snooks 39-12-21 Goodnews of 1940 pt2
Baby Snooks 39-12-21 Sneaky-Snooks
Baby Snooks 39-12-28 Hunting-Trip
Baby Snooks 40-01-04 Bungling Burglars
Baby Snooks 40-01-11 Male Secretary
Baby Snooks 40-01-18 Chemical-Catastrophe
Baby Snooks 40-01-25 Shetland-Pony
Baby Snooks 40-02-01 Family-Tree
Baby Snooks 40-02-08 Anatomy Of A Robot
Baby Snooks 40-02-15 Tax Returns
Baby Snooks 40-02-22 Missing Dollar
Baby Snooks 40-02-29 Wedding Cake
Baby Snooks 40-03-07 Baby Snooks Has Amnesia
Baby Snooks 40-03-14 Tom Thumb
Baby Snooks 40-03-21 Snooks-Wants-a-Rabbit
Baby Snooks 40-03-28 Baby Brother
Baby Snooks 40-04-04 April Fools
Baby Snooks 40-04-11 Baby-Fish-Story
Baby Snooks 40-04-18 Magic
Baby Snooks 40-04-25 The-Motel-Stop
Baby Snooks 40-05-02 Auntie-Septic
Baby Snooks 40-05-09 Lies
Baby Snooks 40-05-16 Jokes-For-Jack
Baby Snooks 40-05-28 Robespierre Gets First Tooth
Baby Snooks 40-06-22 Tonsils Operation
Baby Snooks 40-07-11 At The Beach
Baby Snooks 40-07-18 Library Visit
Baby Snooks 40-07-25 Port Hole Safe
Baby Snooks 40-09-05 Magazine Scam
Baby Snooks 40-09-12 New Car
Baby Snooks 40-09-19 Playing Hooky
Baby Snooks 40-09-26 Wheres The Medicine
Baby Snooks 40-10-10 Football Game
Baby Snooks 40-10-17 Wheres My Change
Baby Snooks 40-10-24 Raising A Loan
Baby Snooks 40-10-31 Ruined Suit
Baby Snooks 40-11-01 Male Secretary
Baby Snooks 40-11-07 Oil-Discovered
Baby Snooks 40-11-14 Measles
Baby Snooks 40-11-21 Baby Baby Snooks William P
Baby Snooks 40-11-28 Stolen Turkey
Baby Snooks 40-12-12 Haunted House
Baby Snooks 40-12-19 Christmas-Skates
Baby Snooks 40-12-26 Returning-Presents
Baby Snooks 41-01-02 Sneaking-Out
Baby Snooks 41-01-09 Art-Museum
Baby Snooks 41-01-23 Flat-Tire
Baby Snooks 41-01-30 Jury-Duty
Baby Snooks 41-02-06 Flower-Gardens
Baby Snooks 41-02-13 Taxes-Again
Baby Snooks 41-02-27 All-The-Races
Baby Snooks 41-03-20 Photographer
Baby Snooks 41-03-27 Buying-Shoes
Baby Snooks 41-04-03 Visit To Zoo
Baby Snooks 41-04-10 Trout-Fishing
Baby Snooks 41-04-17 Baseball-Game
Baby Snooks 41-04-24 Fixing-Supper
Baby Snooks 41-05-08 Riding-Academy
Baby Snooks 41-05-22 Insomnia
Baby Snooks 41-05-29 Antique-Auction
Baby Snooks 41-06-05 Calisthenics
Baby Snooks 41-06-12 X-Ray-Machine
Baby Snooks 41-06-19 Dollar-Day
Baby Snooks 41-06-26 Artist-Daddy
Baby Snooks 41-07-10 Going-To-Camp
Baby Snooks 41-10-02 Snooks-Returns
Baby Snooks 41-10-09 New-School
Baby Snooks 41-10-23 Duck-Hunt
Baby Snooks 41-10-30 Halloween
Baby Snooks 41-11-06 Defense-Stamps
Baby Snooks 41-11-13 Mixed-Nuts
Baby Snooks 41-11-27 The Opera
Baby Snooks 41-12-18 Air-Raid-Warden
Baby Snooks 42-01-01 Hangover
Baby Snooks 42-01-08 Victory-Garden
Baby Snooks 42-01-15 House Guest
Baby Snooks 42-01-22 Hiccups
Baby Snooks 42-01-29 Report Card
Baby Snooks 42-02-05 Knitting-Lessons
Baby Snooks 42-02-12 Camping-In
Baby Snooks 42-02-22 Missingdollar
Baby Snooks 42-02-26 Stealing-Chickens
Baby Snooks 42-03-19 Fake-Measels
Baby Snooks 42-03-26 Red-Cross-Exaime
Baby Snooks 42-04-02 Easter-Suit
Baby Snooks 42-04-09 Daddys-Birthday
Baby Snooks 42-04-11 Baby Fish Story
Baby Snooks 42-04-16 Poultice
Baby Snooks 42-04-23 50-Raise
Baby Snooks 42-04-30 Quiz-Kids
Baby Snooks 42-05-07 The-New-Fishing-Rod
Baby Snooks 42-05-19 Family Tree
Baby Snooks 42-05-21 Sugar-From-Lemons
Baby Snooks 42-05-28 Abnormal Psychology
Baby Snooks 42-05-28 Daddy-the-Shrink
Baby Snooks 42-06-04 10th-Wedding-Anniversary
Baby Snooks 42-06-11 The-Twins
Baby Snooks 42-06-18 The-Trade
Baby Snooks 42-07-02 Baby-Buggy
Baby Snooks 42-09-03 Camp-Report
Baby Snooks 42-09-12 Newcar
Baby Snooks 42-09-24 To-The-Movies
Baby Snooks 42-10-01 Gozinta
Baby Snooks 42-10-08 Charlie
Baby Snooks 42-10-31 Ruinedsuit
Baby Snooks 42-12-03 Getting-Gas
Baby Snooks 42-12-18 Cinderella
Baby Snooks 43-01-14 Stolen-Medal
Baby Snooks 43-11-04 Gotocourt
Baby Snooks 44-05-18 Teaching-Snooks-The-Piano
Baby Snooks 44-06-01 Snooks-Screen-Test
Baby Snooks 44-06-14 The Worlds Most Patient Father
Baby Snooks 44-06-20 Stranded-In-Cactus-Bend
Baby Snooks 44-10-08 Baby Baby Snooks Visits the Bumsteads
Baby Snooks 44-12-03 Fanny Brice Show
Baby Snooks 44-xx-xx The-Kangaroo
Baby Snooks 45-05-13 Live Show At The Bijou
Baby Snooks 45-09-16 Guest Star Eddie Cantor
Baby Snooks 45-12-16 Baby snooks is lost
Baby Snooks 46-04-28 Going On Vacation
Baby Snooks 46-06-19 The Cat - Man's Revenge
Baby Snooks 46-09-06 A-Substitute-For-Snooks
Baby Snooks 46-09-29 At-The-Movie-House
Baby Snooks 46-11-01 Halloween
Baby Snooks 47-10-17 Charity-Auction
Baby Snooks 47-10-17 Henriettas-Party
Baby Snooks 47-10-24 Snooks Is Unpopular
Baby Snooks 49-09-26 Where is the Medicine
Baby Snooks 50-11-12 Snooks And Tallulah
Baby Snooks 51-03-20 Easter Bonnet
Baby Snooks 51-05-01 Reportcard Blues
Baby Snooks 51-05-08 Daddys Old Flame


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  • Model: OTR-1CD-BabySnooks
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This product was added to our catalog on Wednesday 04 May, 2011.

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