Thursday, March 3, 2011

Review: Baby Snooks

If there were 1,000 Baby Snooks audio clips out there, I would have them all and I might spend my time listening to nothing but them.

Baby Snooks was a character on shows with various titles in the late 1930's and all through the 1940's.  Snooks was no baby or anything close to a child but a very mature actress named Fanny Brice.  Brice was the subject of Barabra Streisand's motion picture in the late 1960's, Funny Girl.

Brice had been doing the Snooks character for years on stage.  But when she came to radio, her sponsors did not want her to do the character.  She did it anyway - and was a huge hit.

It's very hard to explain Snooks to someone that's never heard her.  She is a terror but in a very funny way.  She likes to create havoc, loves to torture her little baby brother and best of all, is the most-curious youngster in all of Radioland.

It is often I hear Snooks and howl out loud with laughter.  It is amazing to me how Fanny Brice could have been so funny. 

I knew nothing about Snooks until about 3 years ago.  I had seen the name in OTR circles and probably had even heard my parents talk about her when I was younger.  But I ignored the show, probably thinking it was for kids.

While I suppose kids loved the show, I frankly cannot think of a worse show for kids!  Snooks is a terrible child and not at all innocent.  But is she hilarious!  Fibber McGee, Walter Tetley, Arnold Stang - no one holds a candle to Snooks when taken as a whole.

Her daddy, Hanley Stafford, is perfect for the role.  He tries to educate her, gives her the patience she needs - then blows his top!  But we all know there is no way to make Snooks straighten up and fly right... that's impossible.

As far as I can decree, there are no weak spots if you bypass the music on the surviving clips.

I give the various Baby Snooks clips 5 stars.

©Jimbo 2010/2011


  1. I enjoy Baby Snooks as well. Some of the audio is not so good, that is one problem. But, the character is strong. Some of 'Daddy's' dealing with her would be out of the question for todays way of disciplining her. But, back then, not so extreme. I remember Baby Snooks because my sister told me our dad called her 'Snooks.' I do not think she behaved like Baby Snooks though. But the skits are very funny and entertaining.

  2. Haha Daddy is very extreme with Snooks but very placid sometimes - he definitely has a stopping point and she always crosses it.

    Snooks is more violent than Daddy however and the things she does to her little brother - it's far worse than anything you'd hear on any tv program - even done in fun. (haha - just thinking about Snooks makes me laugh.)

  3. When Fanny Brice died in 1951, my parents told my older sister not to tell me. I probably wondered why the program wasn't on any more, but never gave any serious thought to it. I didn't realize Baby Snooks was a grown woman. We didn't have television and I didn't read the fan magazines. It's hard for me today to listen to Fanny Brice because I always sympathized with her when she got in trouble. She didn't mean to...she was just a kid. Daddy and Mommy should never have been allowed to have a child as they were both too neurotic and too quick to spank. Snooks' cries really did a number of me. I used to have the 45 rpm records of Snooks talking about manners. They were in a sense minature radio sketches. All of the TV kids, particularly Dennis the Menace never appealed to me the way Snooks did...but then, we were the same age.


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