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The Howdy Doody Show

Howdy Doody was a groundbreaking children's TV show

A generation of children grew up with Howdy Doody as a regular visitor in their homes. Uploaded by

“Hey kids, what time is it?” Everyone who was a kid during the 1950s knows the answer to that question: “It’s Howdy Doody time!” The Howdy Doody Show was a children’s TV program that ran from the very earliest days of the medium (1947) until 1960.

Howdy Doody and Buffalo Bob Smith

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The show mixed two rather disparate themes – the West and the circus. Howdy was created by Roger Muir (who went on to create game shows such as Concentration and The Newlywed Game) and voiced by Buffalo Bob Smith. Howdy Doody had other marionette friends, including Princess Summerfall Winterspring and Mayor Phineas T. Bluster. The show had other  adult characters as well, including Clarabell, a silent clown initially played by Bob Keeshan (later Captain Kangaroo) and Princess Summerfall Winterspring (a human and a marionette – don’t ask). Howdy Doody had a live audience, known as the Peanut Gallery, which sang the show’s theme song and became involved in the show’s plot.

In the show’s final episode, Clarabell made it known that he could speak. Everyone was flabbergasted by this development, Buffalo Bob saying, “You can talk? If you really can talk, prove it! Let’s hear you say something!” Clarabell then quietly spoke the final words in the series’ history: “Goodbye, kids.”

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