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Encyclopedia > Howdy Doody
Howdy Doody
Starring Bob Smith
Country of origin Flag of the United States United States
Production
Running time 60 minutes (1947-1948), 30 Minutes (1948-1960)
Broadcast
Original channel NBC
Picture format Black & White, Color
Original run 19471960

Howdy Doody was a children's television program (with a decidedly frontier/western theme, although other themes also colored the show) that aired on NBC in the United States from 1947 until 1960. It was a pioneer in children's programming and set the pattern for many similar shows. It was also a pioneer in early color production as NBC used the show in part to sell color television sets in the 1950s. Bob Smith (born November 27, 1917 in Buffalo, New York; died July 30, 1998 in Hendersonville, North Carolina), was the host of the childrens show Howdy Doody. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... This article is about the television network. ... A black-and-white photo of a breadfruit c. ... See TV (disambiguation) for other uses and Television (band) for the rock band European networks National In much of Europe television broadcasting has historically been state dominated, rather than commercially organised, although commercial stations have grown in number recently. ... Year 1947 (MCMXLVII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display full 1947 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1960 (MCMLX) was a leap year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the television network. ... Year 1947 (MCMXLVII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display full 1947 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1960 (MCMLX) was a leap year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... A male Caucasian toddler child A child (plural: children) is a young human. ...

Contents

Characters

Howdy Doody himself was a freckle-faced boy marionette, and was originally voiced by Buffalo Bob Smith[1]. The Howdy Doody marionettes were created and built by puppeteer Velma Wayne Dawson throughout the show's run.[2] The marionette on the original show was operated with 11 strings: two head, one mouth, one eyes, two shoulders, one back, two hands and two knees. Three strings were added when the show returned—two elbows and one nose. Other puppet characters included Heidi Doody (Howdy's sister), Mayor Phineas T. Bluster, Dilly Dally, Princess Summerfall Winterspring, and the curious Flub-a-Dub (a combination of eight animals—a duck's bill, a cat's whiskers, a spaniel's ears, a giraffe's neck, a dachshund's body, a seal's flippers, a pig's tail,and an elephant's memory). A marionette is a type of puppet with strings controlled by a puppeteer from above. ... Bob Smith (born November 27, 1917 in Buffalo, New York; died July 30, 1998 in Hendersonville, North Carolina), was the host of the childrens show Howdy Doody. ... A puppeteer is a person who manipulates an inanimate object — a puppet— in real time to create the illusion of life. ... Velma Wayne Dawson (May 30, 1912 – September 26, 2007) was an American puppet maker and puppeteer. ... A puppet is a representational object, usually but not always depicting a human character, used in play or a presentation. ... Princess Summerfall Winterspring is a fictional character from the television show Howdy Doody. ...


The show's host was Bob Smith (born November 27, 1917 and died July 30, 1998), who was dubbed "Buffalo Bob" early in the show's run. Smith wore cowboy garb, and the name of the puppet "star" was derived from the western U.S. expression "howdy do," a familiar form of the greeting "How Do You Do?" (The straightforward use of that expression was also in the theme song's lyrics.) Bob Smith (born November 27, 1917 in Buffalo, New York; died July 30, 1998 in Hendersonville, North Carolina), was the host of the childrens show Howdy Doody. ... is the 331st day of the year (332nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1917 (MCMXVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar (see link for calendar) or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 13-day slower Julian calendar (see: 1917 Julian calendar). ... is the 211th day of the year (212th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1998 (MCMXCVIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display full 1998 Gregorian calendar). ... Buffalo Bob Smith (born Robert Emil Schmidt November 27, 1917 in Buffalo, New York; died July 30, 1998 in Hendersonville, North Carolina), was the host of the popular childrens show Howdy Doody. ... For other uses, see Cowboy (disambiguation). ...


There also were several human characters, most notably the mute Clarabell the Clown, who communicated by honking horns on his belt and squirting seltzer, and Chief Thunderthud, head of the Ooragnak tribe of Native Americans (kangaroo spelled backward, possibly from Keeshan), who originated the cry "Kowabonga!" Princess Summerfall Winterspring, originally a puppet, was later played by the actress Judy Tyler. The characters inhabited the fictional town of "Doodyville." Clarabell the Clown was the mute sidekick of Howdy Doody. ... Bubbles in carbonated water float to the surface. ... Cowabunga is a slang word in 1960s surfer culture, used as an expression of exhilaration when riding the waves. ... Judy Tyler (October 9, 1933–July 4, 1957) was an American actress. ...


Clarabell was first played by Bob Keeshan, who continued in that role until 1952. Keeshan later became Captain Kangaroo. At the end of the final episode, aired September 24, 1960, Clarabell (then played by Lew Anderson) broke his series-long silence to say the final words of the final broadcast: "Goodbye, kids." Lew Anderson followed Bobby Nicholson, who also played Doodyville's J. Cornelius Cobb. Robert James Keeshan (June 27, 1927 – January 23, 2004) was an actor who was the original Clarabell the Clown on the Howdy Doody television program, but who is most famous as the star and title character of the childrens show Captain Kangaroo. ... Year 1952 (MCMLII) was a leap year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Captain Kangaroo was a childrens television series which aired weekday mornings on the American television network CBS from 1955 until 1984, then moved to the American Program Service (now American Public Television, Boston) to air syndicated reruns of past episodes in 1992. ... Lewis Burr Anderson (May 7, 1922—May 14, 2006) was an American actor and musician, most famous for being the third and final actor to portray Clarabell the Clown on Howdy Doody between 1954 and 1960. ...


Popularity and airtime

The show was extremely popular and is a fond memory for many baby boomers. Originally an hour on Saturdays, the show moved to Monday through Friday, 5:30-6:00 pm EST in 1948. In 1956, it returned to Saturday, in a morning timeslot. For the video game, see Baby Boomer (video game). ... The 12-hour clock is a timekeeping convention in which the 24 hours of the day are divided into two periods called ante meridiem (AM, Latin for before noon) and post meridiem (PM, Latin for after noon). Each period consists of 12 hours numbered 12, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5... The Eastern Standard Time Zone is a geographic region that keeps time by subtracting five hours from Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). ... Year 1948 (MCMXLVIII) was a leap year starting on Thursday (link will display the 1948 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1956 (MCMLVI) was a leap year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA) is a technology for shared medium (usually radio) networks. ...


Beginning in 1954, the NBC test pattern featured a picture of Howdy. Year 1954 (MCMLIV) was a common year (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Test pattern A test card, also known as a test pattern in North America, is a television test signal, typically broadcast at times when the transmitter is active but no programme is being broadcast (often at startup and closedown). ...


Live audience participation

A distinctive feature was the peanut gallery, on-stage bleachers seating about 40 kids. Each show began with buffalo Bob asking, "Say kids, what time is it?" and the kids yelling in unison, "It's Howdy Doody Time!" Then the kids all sang the show's theme song (set to the tune of "Ta-ra-ra Boom-de-ay"). It was thus one of the first television shows to make audience participation a major part. Look up peanut gallery in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


Smith's absence

In 1954, Bob Smith suffered a heart attack and was ordered to recover at home. NBC managed to keep the show going with guest hosts, including Gabby Hayes and Ted Brown as "Bison Bill," explaining that Smith was vacationing at "Pioneer Village." [1] While kids generally were satisfied with the explanation, show sponsors insisted that they wanted Smith himself to hawk their products. In response, NBC set up a special studio at Smith's home so that he could appear live "from Pioneer Village" to do commercials. During Smith's absence from the show, Howdy was voiced by the well known voice actor Allen Swift, the "Man of a Thousand Voices." Swift continued to voice the character for a short time even after Smith's return to the show. For a few years following Smith's death in 1998, Howdy did some final promotional appearances and television interviews, with his voice provided by actor Alan Semok. George Francis Gabby Hayes (May 7, 1885–February 9, 1969) was an American actor. ...


Show changes in later years

In 1954, Canadian and Cuban spin-off shows were licensed using local casts and duplicate puppets.


A then unknown Canadian actor named William Shatner (who would later play Captain Kirk in Star Trek) appeared occasionally as a fill-in host on the Canadian show as "Ranger Bill." Coincidentally, another future Star Trek actor would join the Canadian Howdy Doody cast. The Canadian show starred James Doohan and later Peter Mews as forest ranger Timber Tom who corresponded to Buffalo Bob in the U.S. version. That Robert Goulet played this part is an error that sometimes appears (it is listed among his credits on the official Robert Goulet website in his TV-Ography- #31-1957, and was also mentioned by Buffalo Bob Smith at one of his concerts). However, Goulet may also have been an occasional fill-in host. The Canadian show appeared much more low-budget than the U.S. counterpart and seemed watered-down, with less raucous plots and less villainous villains. Yet some of the stories were evocative nonetheless, almost stepping into high fantasy, often with Dilly Dally as an everyman hero who muddled through and did the right thing. William Alan Shatner (born on March 22, 1931) is a Canadian actor who gained fame for playing James Tiberius Kirk of the USS Enterprise in the television show Star Trek from 1966 to 1969 and in seven of the subsequent movies. ... Captain James T. Kirk James Tiberius Kirk, a fictional character in the Star Trek television series, was the captain of the starship Enterprise (NCC-1701 and NCC-1701-A). ... The current Star Trek franchise logo Star Trek is an American science fiction entertainment series and media franchise. ... The current Star Trek franchise logo Star Trek is an American science fiction entertainment series and media franchise. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Robert Goulet Robert Gerard Goulet (born November 26, 1933 in Lawrence, Massachusetts) is an American entertainer. ...


The American program was prerecorded on color videotape in the final years, one of the earliest programs to use that technology.

Clarabell: "Goodbye, kids!"
Clarabell: "Goodbye, kids!"

The final episode aired on September 24, 1960, entitled "Clarabell's Big Surprise". The episode was mostly a fond look back at all the highlights of the show's past. Meanwhile, in the midst of it all, Clarabell has what he calls "a big surprise." The rest of the cast attempts to find out the surprise throughout the entire show, with only Mayor Phineas T. Bluster succeeding, and promising to keep it a secret. ("But," he says upon leaving, "it won't be very easy to keep something like this a secret for long!!") Finally, in the closing moments, the surprise was disclosed through pantomime to Buffalo Bob and Howdy Doody. "You mean...you can talk??" said Bob. "Why, golly...I don't believe it!" Howdy Doody exclaimed. "You can talk?!" Bob asked again. Clarabell nodded. "Well, Clarabell", Bob continued, gently shaking the clown's shoulders, "this is your last chance! If you really can talk, prove it...let's hear you say something!" A drumroll began as Clarabell faced the camera as it came in for an extreme closeup. His lips quivered as the drumroll continued. When it stopped, Clarabell simply said softly, "Goodbye, kids" and the picture faded to black. Lew Anderson's (Clarabell's) genuine tears upon delivering the only line Clarabell ever spoke in 13 years made this one of the most poignant moments in television history. The recently discovered and restored color videotape of the final broadcast is now available commercially. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Clarabell the Clown was the mute sidekick of Howdy Doody. ... A series finale is the very last installment of a television series, usually a sitcom or drama. ... is the 267th day of the year (268th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1960 (MCMLX) was a leap year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Christmas Pantomime colour lithograph bookcover, 1890 Pantomime (informally, panto) refers to a theatrical genre, traditionally found in Great Britain, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand and Ireland, which is usually performed around the Christmas and New Year holiday season. ...


The New Howdy Doody Show, an attempt by Buffalo Bob and most of the old cast to recreate their past fame, aired from August 1976 to January 1977 in syndication. For this incarnation, which lasted for 130 episodes, the Howdy Doody marionette had actual hair in a contemporary 1970s style. Cast members included Bill LeCornec as fictional producer Nicholson Muir (named for the production team of Bob Nicholson and Roger Muir); Nicholson himself as Corny Cobb (now working as a "prop man" rather than a shopkeeper), bandleader Jackie Davis, and Marilyn Patch as Happy Harmony (filling in for the Princess Summerfall Winterspring role). Lew Anderson returned as Clarabell. Year 1976 Pick up sticks(MCMLXXVI) was a leap year starting on Thursday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Also: 1977 (album) by Ash. ... In the television industry (as in radio), syndication is the sale of the right to broadcast programs to multiple stations, without going through a broadcast network. ...


A decade later, the show celebrated its 40th anniversary with a two-hour syndicated TV special, It's Howdy Doody Time: A 40-Year Celebration, featuring Smith, Anderson and LeCornec, who reprised his former role of Chief Thunderthud for the special.


Pop references

In the "Future's End, part 2" episode of Star Trek Voyager Rain Robinson (the astronomer girl) calls Tom Paris "sexy in a Howdy Doody kind of way". Futures End is a two-part episode from the third season of Star Trek: Voyager. ... The starship Voyager (NCC-74656), an Intrepid-class starship. ... Thomas Eugene Paris, played by Robert Duncan McNeill, is a fictional character in the Star Trek television series Star Trek: Voyager. ...


The Andy Kaufman television special Andy's Funhouse, which was taped in 1977 but did not air until August 1979, on ABC, featured a special appearance by Howdy Doody in the "Has-been Corner" segment. Andrew Geoffrey Kaufman (January 17, 1949 – May 16, 1984) was an American entertainer, actor, and performance artist. ...


During the second season of Happy Days. episode 33, Buffalo Bob and Clarabell have to persuade Richie to destroy a photo of Clarabell without his makeup on. [3] For other uses, see Happy Days (disambiguation). ...


In an episode of the television show The Nanny, entitled "Lamb chops on the menu" Fran makes the joke "If Lamb Chop had Married Howdy Doody her name would be Lamb Doody" The Nanny was a 1965 British suspense film starring Bette Davis as a psychotic governess suspected of killing one of her charges. ...


In the film Up In Smoke, an interplay between Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong makes reference to the character. Cheech's character hands Chong a marijuana cigarette. Chong asks "Will this get me high?". Cheech replies, "Does Howdy Doody have wooden balls, man?" Up in Smoke, directed by Lou Adler, is Cheech and Chongs first feature-length film, released in 1978 by Paramount. ... “Richard Marin” redirects here. ... Thomas Tommy B. Kin Chong (born May 24, 1938) is a Canadian-born actor and musician who is well-known for his stereotypical portrayals of hippie-era stoners. ...


Woody from Toy Story is to some extent based on Howdy Doody. Toy Story is an Academy-award-winning CGI animated feature film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures and Buena Vista Distribution in the United States on November 22, 1995, and Australia on December 7, 1995, as well as in the United Kingdom on 22 March...


In the first season of South Park, in the "Pink Eye" episode. When Stan comes dressed as Raggedy Andy, Cartman asks: "Who are you supposed to be? Howdy Doody?" This article is about the TV series. ...


The TV show Howdy Doody wakes up Doc in Back to the Future Part III. For the video game based on this film, see Back to the Future Part III (video game). ...


On the early '80s late-night comedy series Fridays, there was a running gag in which Howdy Doody was so famous that he could cut in line in front of absolutely anyone, no matter how famous they also were. Former Fridays cast member Michael Richards once used the catchphrase for these sketches—"Right this way, Mr. Doody"—on The Glasses episode of Seinfeld. This said in response to Jerry's description of the moment when him, his girlfriend and her suspected lover, cousin Jeffery, meet: "And then when Jeffrey opens the door, it's Howdy Doody time!" Fridays was the name of ABCs weekly late-night live comedy show, which aired on Friday nights from 1980 to 1982. ... For other persons named Michael Richards, see Michael Richards (disambiguation). ... The Glasses is the sixty-seventh episode of the hit sitcom Seinfeld. ... Seinfeld is an Emmy Award-winning, American sitcom that originally aired on NBC from July 5, 1989, to May 14, 1998, running a total of 9 seasons. ...


In one episode of The Simpsons, Abe Simpson tries to implicate several of his friends as being members of a Communist party, one of which is Howdy Doody, at the Joe McCarthy communist witch-hunt of the 1950s. Of course, this is a mixed reference referring to the Hollywood investigation which involved the House of Representatives, of which Senator McCarthy had no part. Simpsons redirects here. ... Abraham J. Simpson (Grampa or Abe) is a fictional character featured in the animated cartoon television series The Simpsons. ... Communism is an ideology that seeks to establish a classless, stateless social organization based on common ownership of the means of production. ...


In the film King of New York, Laurence Fishburne's character Jimmy Jump says, "Why don't you bring Howdy Doody and the Chocolate Wonder?", a sarcastic reference to Dennis Gilley's (David Caruso) bright red hair. King of New York is a 1990 film, starring Christopher Walken, Laurence Larry Fishburne, David Caruso, Wesley Snipes, Victor Argo, Steve Buscemi and Giancarlo Esposito. ... Laurence John Fishburne III[1] (born July 30, 1961) is an American Academy Award-nominated, Emmy- and Tony Award-winning actor of screen and stage, as well as playwright, director, and producer. ... David Stephen Caruso (born January 7, 1956 in Forest Hills, Queens, New York) is an American film and television actor. ...


Mentioned in the song "Somewhere That's Green" from the musical version of Little Shop of Horrors. Little Shop of Horrors is a title that can mean: The Little Shop of Horrors, the 1960 Roger Corman cult classic. ...


In the 1983 film WarGames, Barry Corbin's character General Beringer says "We've had men in these silos since before any of you were watching Howdy Doody!". This article is about the 1983 US movie. ... Leonard Barrie Barry Corbin (born October 16, 1940) is an American character actor with over 100 credits in film and television and several in computer games. ...


Ernie Kovacs had a clever spoof of Howdy Doody, called Howdy Deedy, with Kovacs himself as Buffalo Bob, or, in this case, Buffalo Miklaos, and the Howdy Doody puppet had thick glasses and a mustache added to its face. This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


In Stephen King's novel It, Georgie Denbrough compared the clown monster as a cross between character's Bozo and Clarabell. Many others throughout the novel have made this comparison. Stephen Edwin King (born September 21, 1947) is an American author of over 200 stories including over 50 bestselling horror novels. ... Look up It in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


The 1975 song "Old Days" by the band Chicago mentions Howdy Doody. Old Days is a song written by James Pankow for the group Chicago and recorded for their album Chicago VIII (1975), with lead vocals by Peter Cetera. ... This article is about the American pop-rock-jazz band. ...


References

  1. ^ Rautiolla-Williams, Suzanne. The Howdy Doody Show. Retrieved on 2007-07-15.
  2. ^ "Howdy Doody puppet creator dies", The Desert Sun, 2007-09-26. Retrieved on 2007-10-02. 
  3. ^ http://www.sitcomsonline.com/season2.html

  Results from FactBites:
 
Howdy Doody Show, The (1182 words)
The Howdy Doody Show was one of the first and easily the most popular children's television show in the 1950s and a reflection of the wonder, technical fascination, and business realities associated with early television.
The new Howdy, who premiered in March 1948 was an all-American boy with red hair, forty-eight freckles (one for each state in the Union), and a permanent smile.
Howdy's face symbolized the youthful energy of the new medium and appeared on the NBC color test pattern beginning in 1954.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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