What is the origin of the phrase snakes alive?
Is it not from Little Orphan Annie?
Fake snakes made of rubber were never alive in the first place. There is a kind of snake called a "rubber boa", and while there certainly are dead ones, there are also some who are alive; the species is not extinct. Rubber boas are interesting in that they're extremely docile and have never been known to bite a human, but they are alive. At least the ones who are alive are alive.