Here's how Bill Melendez became the voice of Snoopy
Melendez never intended to voice the dog.
Sometimes the best things in life happen almost by accident.
Take, for example, your favorite beagle, Snoopy. While he rarely ever makes any verbal noise, he certainly is able to communicate enough that he's easily one of our favorite Peanuts characters. Typically, when we hear Snoopy make a noise, he's laughing it up at someone else's expense. But do you know who the man is behind the dog?
An article in the Chicago Tribune stated that Bill Melendez, who provided the voice for Snoopy, only began doing so after Charles M. Schulz, the creator of Peanuts, insisted that Snoopy would not be able to talk. The article stated, "Mr. Melendez experimented with making sounds that suggested a voice and speeding them up on tape." Apparently, Melendez did so under the assumption that his sounds were only a placeholder and that a real voice actor would step in and use Melendez's vocals as a sort of framework for Snoopy's actual voice.
However, the article stated that "Time ran short, and Mr. Melendez served as Snoopy's voice in sixty-three half-hour specials, five one-hour specials, the Saturday morning TV show, and four feature films."
In an interview with The Pittsburgh Press, Melendez spoke about the experience. He explained, "I just made some sounds to show the actors who were auditioning for the part I had in mind. The sounds are then altered — either speeded up or slowed down, depending on what we want."
While Melendez admitted he never intended to voice Snoopy himself, his coworkers changed his mind. He said, "All my associates said, 'Bill, these are just really sound effects and so we really don't need a high-priced actor.' They convinced me that I should continue to supply the Snoopy sounds. I've been doing it ever since."