The Baby Snooks Show

snooks lg.jpgThe 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.[1] 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."[2]
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.

Danny Thomas as Jerry Dingle, 1945.
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 son Robespierre (born 1946) after listening to Ledoux's child voice.

Episode Title Aired Datesort descending
The Kangaroo
To Bee or Not To Bee
Daniel and the Lion Thursday, December 30, 1937
Teaching Baby Snooks how to tell time Thursday, February 17, 1938
Rehearsing A Speech Thursday, March 24, 1938
At the Circus Thursday, March 31, 1938
Why Because - Judy Garland Wednesday, April 6, 1938
Vitamins And Hiccups Thursday, May 5, 1938
Beach House Thursday, May 19, 1938
At The Doctor's Office Thursday, June 9, 1938
Recovering from a hangover Thursday, June 16, 1938
Aunt Sophie and her new baby Thursday, September 22, 1938
Santa Claus Thursday, December 22, 1938
Daddy's an Elk (excerpt from unknown show) Sunday, January 22, 1939
House Breaking Tuesday, April 4, 1939
No Sleep Tuesday, April 11, 1939
Daddy tries to get Baby Snooks to go to bed Thursday, May 11, 1939
Golf Tea Thursday, May 18, 1939
Daddy's Boss in Hospital Thursday, May 25, 1939
Gone Fishing Thursday, June 1, 1939
Violet Ray Thursday, June 8, 1939
Living By Dying Thursday, June 15, 1939
Living By Dying Thursday, June 15, 1939
New Baby Thursday, June 22, 1939
Jealousy Thursday, June 29, 1939
Baby Brother Saturday, July 29, 1939
Pulling Teeth Thursday, September 7, 1939
At the Dentist Thursday, September 14, 1939
Heat Wave Friday, September 22, 1939
Airport Meeting Thursday, September 28, 1939
Mudneck Thursday, October 5, 1939
Abe Lincoln Thursday, October 26, 1939
Cake Writing Thursday, October 26, 1939
Rich Uncle Thursday, November 16, 1939
Court Case Thursday, November 23, 1939
Insurance Exam Thursday, November 30, 1939
Psychoanalyzed Thursday, December 14, 1939
Baby Snooks and Daddy talk about Christmas presents (1) Thursday, December 21, 1939
Listening to Police Calls - Bungling Burglars Thursday, January 4, 1940
Male Secretary Thursday, January 11, 1940
Chemical Catastrophe Thursday, January 18, 1940
Shetland Pony Thursday, January 25, 1940
Family Tree Thursday, February 1, 1940
Anatomy of a Robot Thursday, February 8, 1940
Tax Returns Thursday, February 15, 1940
Missing Dollar Thursday, February 22, 1940
Wedding Cake Thursday, February 29, 1940
Baby Snooks Has Amnesia Thursday, March 7, 1940
Tom Thumb Thursday, March 14, 1940