HOWDY DOODY

Rease and Rachel

Main Characters

  • Buffalo Bob Smith, Bob Smith
  • Clarabelle Hornblow, Bob Keeshan
  • Story Princess, Arlene Dalton
  • Chief Thunderthud, Bill Lecornec
  • Tim Tremble, Don Knotts
  • Princess Summerfall Winterspring, Judy Tyler


Air Dates and Network

  • December 27, 1947- September 24, 1960
  • NBC Non-Primetime

Significant Episodes

Clarabell’s Big Surprise

  • One of the most Significant Episodes was the final episode, “Clarabell’s Big Surprise”. In this hour long episode (episode airing after 1949 were 30 minutes) there were many happy looks back at all of the highlights of the show’s past. The thing that made this episode so special is in the final moments, Clarabell, who throughout the show only communicated through pantomime, said her first and last words. “Goodbye, kids.” Was all that she said before the picture faded to black. Audience could see a tear in her eye as the show was ending for the last time.

Howdy Doody - Clarabell's Big Surprise

April 1, 1952 Episode

  • The second significant episode was on April 1, 1952 An artistic masterpiece from the early 1950's, this episode of "Howdy Doody". As such, the episode starts with a practical joke which probably annoyed many people. This episode also contains lots of advertising for the sponsors, including Colgate Dental Cream and Kellogg's cereal. Like many TV broadcasts from this period, this episode features some talk about elections, though in a safe and light-hearted manner suited to the program's young audience.

April Fools Day on the Howdy Doody Show (April 1, 1952)

Show Awards

Awards and Honors

  • Primetime Emmy for Best Children’s Series: Nominated 1956
  • Primetime Emmy for Best Children’s Program: Nominated 1953
  • Peabody Award for National Broadcasting Company: Won 1949


Hall of Fame

  • Howdy Doody should be in the hall of fame because it was one of the first shows that were featured in color. The show featured many diverse American icons. Some of the words that were said in the show became popular like Kawabonga, which they got its name from Kangaroo spelled backwards. Bob Smith(creator of Howdy Doody) wanted the show to be about kids and wanted to focus on two things, fantasy and slapsticks(clumsy falling). One of the references from the show “Buffalo Bob” was inspired by Buffalo Bill and because Bob Smith’s hometown in Buffalo, New York. Howdy Doody also involved politics when the makers of the puppets took Buffalo Bob, the star of the show, away. With 4 hours until show time they came up with the idea that Buffalo Bob was campaigning for the elections. On the show they showed maps of where Buffalo Bob was at and where he had been. Howdy Doody was a kid friendly show in which the whole show was based on the idea to make kids laugh. Bob Smith even stated that the idea of the show was to focus on fantasy and slapstick. Howdy Doody is a true American favorite.


Other Infomation

  • There are 2,543 episodes of Howdy Doody.

  • Howdy Doody showed the love of technology with many inventions called the “Electromindomizer” that was able to read minds.

  • Although Clarabell never spoke there were many offers to the show for her to say a company's motto or slogan but all offers were refused. The only time that Clarabell spoke was the very last episode.

  • The Howdy Doody Show was the first nationally televised children's television show and was also the first NBC show to air five days a week. In addition, it was the first show ever to air more than 1,000 continuous episodes.

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