Howdy Doody - 1947-1960
The children's classic, "Howdy Doody" set many 'firsts' for television. It was the first show produced for children, and was the first show on NBC to air 5 days a week. It became the first show on televsion to air over a thousand shows (2,343 consecutive episodes), airing between 1947 and 1960. Buffalo Bob Smith was the host of the show, and Howdy Doody was a marionette that had 48 freckles - one freckle for each state (there were only 48 states when the show was started). Other marionettes included Dilly Dally, a boy with a baseball cap that could wiggle his ears, Mister Bluster, the rogue mayor of Doodyville, Inspector Fadoozle, always looking through his big magnifying glass, and Flub-a-Dub, an animal made up from seven different animals, whose favorite food was spaghetti and meatballs. Clarabell was a clown that never uttered a word until the final episode. During the run of the show, Clarabell was offered great sums of money by advertisers to speak their name, but the clown never spoke a word until the final episode, after the credits had rolled, just before the screen went dark, saying, “Goodbye, Kids.” Clarabell was played by Bob Keeshan until 1952, when he left after a salary dispute, and then became Captain Kangaroo on the CBS network.
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