A peanut gallery is an audience that heckles the performer. The term originated in the days of vaudeville as a nickname for the cheapest (and ostensibly rowdiest) seats in the theater; the cheapest snack served at the theater would often be peanuts, which the patrons would sometimes throw at the performers on stage to show their disapproval. The phrases "no comments from the peanut gallery" or "quiet in the peanut gallery" are extensions of the name.
In the late 1940s the Howdy Doody show adopted the name to represent their audience of 40 children.
Sunday, September 5, 2010
Cool Words: The Peanut Gallery
Posted by M. Christian