15 Trivia Tidbits About Snoopy
Charlie Brown might be the most famous boy in Peanuts, but Snoopy holds the crown as the most famous dog in comic-strip history. (Eat it, Marmaduke.) The pup with the strangest doghouse and a string of alter egos went from being Charlie’s best friend to dominating Charles M. Schulz’s cartoon dailies — so much so that it irked a lot of the stupider strip readers who didn’t care for the dog and his many flights of fancy.
Thankfully, these folks were vastly outnumbered by fans of the beagle who once pretended to be a piranha, and the legend of Snoopy continues to this day. In honor of the very, very goodboi, here are some colorful facts about the cartoon canine who realized his dream of being shot into space...
Snoopy Was Originally on All Fours
Snoopy was introduced two days after the Peanuts dailies debuted in October 1950, with the little runt originally being depicted as running on all fours. Snoopy would first stand upright in 1956, and be walking on two legs the following year.
Is Snoopy a Beagle?
In Schulz’s book, Around the World in 45 Years: Charlie Brown’s Anniversary Celebration, the Peanuts mastermind said that Snoopy was based on one of his childhood dogs, Spike — “mainly in his appearance and marking.” Spike, who would later become Snoopy’s brother in the comic strip, wasn’t a beagle, and neither was Snoopy at first. “In fact,” Schulz wrote, “I think it took Snoopy almost the better part of 10 years before he was labeled a beagle, simply because I think the word beagle is a good word.”
Advertisers Wanted Snoopy to Talk
In the book Charles M. Schulz: Conversations, the late creator revealed that advertisers, at one point, wanted Snoopy to talk. “When we started doing the Ford commercials,” Schulz remembered, “the biggest problem was what we were going to do with Snoopy. Snoopy couldn’t think out loud anymore, and some of the advertising people wanted to give Snoopy a voice, which would have been a terrible mistake. They actually brought in some Hollywood character actors who tried to use funny voices for Snoopy’s thinking, but I just didn’t like that and said, ‘Well, we’ll lose a little something, but in animation and action, we’re doing something else.’”
The Voice Actor Who Did the Famous Snoopy Sounds Was a Prolific Animator
Before providing the sounds for Snoopy (and Woodstock) in the Peanuts specials, Bill Melendez started his career as an assistant animator for Disney, where he helped create Pinocchio, Fantasia, Dumbo and Bambi. He’d go on to work as a full animator for Warner Bros. Animation and be involved in the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series. His first work on Peanuts was for the Ford commercials, and he went on to direct most of the Peanuts TV specials and feature films.
Snoopy Is a Bridge Life Master
Snoopy and Woodstock were occasionally seen playing bridge since Schulz was a big fan of the card game. In 1997, the American Contract Bridge League decided to award both dog and bird the coveted rank of Life Master.
Snoopy Remembers D-Day
When Schulz graduated high school in 1943, he was almost immediately drafted into the military and would end up stationed in Normandy in 1945. Being part of the war taught him a lot about loneliness, with his experience later spilling into Peanuts strips. Snoopy, specifically, would become his military representative, celebrating Veterans Day and, on June 6, 1993, reminding readers about D-Day in a strip that saw Snoopy landing in Normandy.
“It took me almost two days to run through all the photographs I could find so that the drawing would have reasonable authenticity,” Schulz wrote. “I was quite pleased and surprised at the response that this page got from readers. People from all over the country wrote to me thanking me for being the only one who remembered that this day had been D-Day.”
In 1994, on D-Day’s 50th anniversary, Schulz did a daily strip for an entire week that saw Snoopy re-enact the events leading to the Allies overtaking the Nazis in Europe.
The Cartoon Dog With the Most Alter Egos
Snoopy’s imagination has seen him embrace numerous alter egos over the years. He’s been depicted as everything from a shark to Beethoven to the world’s most famous tennis player/attorney/truffle hound/football coach.
According to his Fandom Wiki page, Snoopy has played a whopping 151 characters throughout his comic reign. That is, of course, not counting his role as “The World Famous MetLife Representative” in those insurance commercials.
He Was Originally Named Sniffy
“I was walking around the Powers department store in Minneapolis, and there was a little magazine stand,” Schulz remembered. “I saw a comic with a dog named Sniffy and thought, ‘Oh, no, there goes my dog’s name.’ Then I remembered a long time ago when my mother said: ‘If we ever have another dog, we should name it Snoopy.’”
Schulz Regretted Giving Snoopy a Family
Not everyone jumped onto the newfound popularity of the wildly imaginative cartoon dog following his rise to prominence during the 1960s. Some critics claimed that Snoopy ruined the Peanuts cartoon with his supposed smug, self-involved attitude, and Schulz himself admitted that he probably shouldn’t have given Snoopy a bunch of new siblings. “It’s possible, I think, to make a mistake in the strip and, without realizing it, destroy it,” he once explained. “I realized it myself a couple of years ago when I began to introduce Snoopy’s brothers and sisters. It destroyed the relationship that Snoopy has with the kids, which is a very strange relationship.”
Tokyo Has a Snoopy Museum
The Snoopy Museum Tokyo is a satellite museum and features “multi-dimensional exhibitions,” a Peanuts Cafe, and obviously, all the Snoopy merch in the world.
Snoopy, The Astronaut
Snoopy became the official NASA mascot for safety following the historic Apollo 1 fire. Since then, the pup that’s always dreamed of taking to the cosmos has been used by the space agency for various purposes. In 2022, a zero-g indicator modeled after Snoopy traveled to the moon on NASA’s Artemis 1 mission.
Snoopy is also scheduled to accompany astronauts and return to the moon onboard NASA Orion in 2024.
Snoopy Has a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
In 2015, the pup got his own star on the famous Hollywood Walk of Fame, where he joined the ranks of cartoons like Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse and Shrek. His star is right next to Schulz’s and was unveiled just in time for the release of The Peanuts Movie.
How Snoopy Became Part of America’s Vietnam War Iconography
Snoopy’s Flying Ace character was Schulz’s way of expressing his ideas and views on warfare, and since the man was drafted in World War II, he clearly empathized with the troops who ended up in Vietnam. Many of his readers and Vietnam soldiers used the Flying Ace image to express their own sentiments, and a fighter squad even wrote to Schulz asking his permission to use the Red Baron hunter as their official mascot — a request the creator approved.
The Snoopy Sno-Cone Machine That Came with a Brass Rivet
Given the popularity of the Peanuts character, Snoopy has served as the frontman for an impressive catalog of merchandise and toys over the years. In 2013, however, one Snoopy product had to be recalled lest anyone wanted their snow cones to come in a brassy flavor. The Snoopy Sno-Cone machine was found to have loose brass rivets that could potentially fall into the ice shavings (a total of 64 cases were reported), and they were soon taken off the market.
The Reason Snoopy Is the Way He Is
While the often aloof pup has been called a narcissist, Schulz has said that Snoopy is a lot like Charlie Brown and the children in Peanuts, in the sense that they all live their own little secret lives that are largely unknown to each other as well as the adults.
“The more I talk with my own children now that they’ve become adults, and I find out that they were doing things around the house which I never dreamed about — I never knew they did some of those things,” Schulz explained. “Children, I suppose, are like animals. They have to survive. And they have to keep things from the parents that they do… And this is what Snoopy does. 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. They’re trapped living with families that they never knew anything about, and so Snoopy survives by living his extra life.”