Origina of phrase 'No comment from the peanut gallery'?

Anyone know where the phrase No comment from the peanut gallery originated? I’ve searched online and in dictionaries, quotation listings, and so on, and found no cites.

I believe, though I am not of the generation to which this refers, that it came from that venerable institution, the Howdy Doody Show. “Peanut Gallery” referred to the audience seats off to the side of the studio, and presumably “No comments from the Peanut Gallery” was used to quiet some of the more restive or overeager participants.

On the old Howdy Doody Show, the audience of children was known as the Peanut Gallery. In thows days, ‘peanut’ was a common slang term for ‘little kid’ (hence the name of Charles Shultz’ comic strip).

It wasn’t long before comics and others used the term ‘Peanut Gallery’ as a way to lightly insult their adult audiences. Thus, when a heckler would shout something, the reply was often, “No comments from the Peanut Gallery, please.”

I remember in the '76 (?) political conventions, they called the Carter supporters the Peanut Gallery. They also called Dole supporters the Pineapple Gallery.

it seemed that the phrase should be older, perhaps from the circus, so I went out looking for corroboration:

World Wide Words: Peanut Gallery

It was Dubose Heyward who coined the phrase.

You could always try the Archives: What’s the origin of the expression “peanut gallery”?

Thanks all – I didn’t find that archive article either, so I must be a search idiot…


Once again, overeager posters showed up by The Master himself. I should learn to use the archive search tool. sigh

Well… actually, that “peanut gallery” in the Archives is in the Mailbag section, so was written by Straight Dope Staff Ian… and not by Cecil.