|1947 - 1960
Set in the circus town of Doodyville, this
live-action children's series followed the daily
adventures of Howdy Doody, a blue-eyed,
red-haired, freckle-faced marionette dressed in a western style
outfit of jeans, plaid shirt, cowboy boots and bandanna.
With the assistance
of his human companion Buffalo Bob Smith, Howdy entertained a
studio audience of forty lucky youngsters (known as the Peanut
Gallery) with games, songs, lessons on social values and a host of
strange characters such as:
Clarabell the Clown
- Resident Indians Chief Thunderthud (founder of Doodyville)
- Princess Summerfall Winterspring
- Tim Tremble
- Mr. Huff
- Ugly Sam, a burly wrestler
- John J. Fazdoozle, America's Number One "Boing" private
Flubadub, a strange creatures of many animal parts
- Wendy Scuttlebutt, a ship captain
- Phineas T. Bluster, an old man who hated seeing anyone
- Dilly Dally, Bluster's nervous youthful assistant.
Other human characters on the show included Bill L'Cornick who
played Chief Thunderthud; Oilwell Willy and Dr. Singasong;
puppeteers Rhoda Mann who manipulated Howdy's strings; and
Rufus Rose who designed and operated other puppet characters.
Say kids, what time is
It’s Howdy Doody Time!
It’s Howdy Doody Time.
It’s Howdy Doody Time.
Bob Smith and Howdy Do say Howdy Do to you.
Let’s give a rousing cheer,
Cause Howdy Doody’s here,
It’s time to start the show,
so kids let’s go!
The concept for the Howdy Doody Show evolved from THE TRIPLE B
RANCH radio program that featured a nerdish character named Elmer
(a la Edgar Bergen's Mortimer Snerd) who hosted a game, quiz show
for children with Bob Smith who was the voice of Elmer. When Bob
Smith got the opportunity to do a similar program on television
called THE PUPPET PLAYHOUSE, he used the same scruffy-haired, a
nerdy-faced Elmer puppet dressed in a western costume.
The series ran for 2,343 programs until its final episode on
September 24, 1960. During the final moments of the show,
Clarabell the Clown (Lew Anderson) broke his silence and spoke for
the first time in thirteen years. He simply looked into the camera
and said "Good-Bye, Kids." This was followed by the cast singing
one last time "It's time to say goodbye, goodbye until some other
day when we may be with you again."
Buffalo Bob & Howdy
In 1976, a syndicated revival called THE NEW HOWDY DOODY SHOW
returned the familiar catchphrase "Say kids, what time is it?" to
the airwaves, but the special spark that made the original show
such a success was no longer there and the show was canceled. Paul
Ashley (of ROOTIE KAZOOTIE fame) created the new Howdy Doody
puppet used on the revival series.
Obituaries: Buffalo Bob Smith: 07/30/1998; Lew
Anderson: 05/14/2006; Judy Tyler: 07/04/1957; Bob
Keeshan: 01/23/2004; Dayton Allen: 11/11/2004; Ted
Back to Top