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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.
Snoopy first made his appearance on the strip on October 4, 1950, two days after the strip premiered. As a character Snoopy never talks (because he is a dog) but thinks. 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 eg Peanuts book title Life's a dream, Charlie Brown).
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 "I"s. His arch-enemy (other than the Red Baron) is the cat next door named 'World War II' (and cats in general).
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 looks like Snoopy with long eyelashes. 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
- The Royal Guardsmen's debut album was in 1966. Among other popular songs, they recorded the song "Snoopy vs. the Red Baron," which made it to number 2 on request charts. The Royal Guardsmen recorded a few other songs featuring Snoopy and the Red Baron.
- Apollo 10's lunar module was named "Snoopy," while its command module was named "Charlie Brown."
- A series of postage stamps featuring Snoopy as a World War I flying ace was released on May 17, 2001 in Santa Rosa, California.
- Snoopy has appeared on amusement park logos owned by Cedar Fair, which operates Camp Snoopy at the Mall of America and Cedar Point
- For many years, Snoopy, along with other characters from the Peanuts gang, have appeared in the advertising campaigns for Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (MetLife), stating their corporate slogan, "Get Met, it pays!" In recent years, Snoopy has been their mascot. The current MetLife blimp is called the "Snoopy II."
- Snoopy is the U.S. Air Force Technical Control mascot. He can be seen on the Tech Control emblem holding an old analog patch cord above his head as he walks on water.
- In New Town Plaza , Sha Tin, Hong Kong, there is a mini theme park delicated to Snoopy.