Portrait of Buffalo Bob Smith and Howdy Doody:...

Portrait of Buffalo Bob Smith and Howdy Doody: Fort Lauderdale, Florida (Photo credit: State Library and Archives of Florida)

Howdy Doody’s Birthday

It’s Howdy Doody Time.

Buffalo Bob: Say kids, what time is it?
Kids: It’s Howdy Doody Time!


Sung to the tune, “Ta ra ra Boom-dee-ay.”

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!


Howdy Doody was created by Buffalo Bob Smith, first as a voice on a radio show, then as a puppet in a guest appearance on Puppet Playhouse on December 27, 1947.

It was so popular, The Howdy Doody Show was born.

It aired until September 24, 1960.

The show went to color in 1955, but that didn’t help me.

My father didn’t get a color television until several years after I got married.

The little red-headed boy, dressed in jeans and boots, and a Western shirt and scarf, had 48 freckles, one for each of the then 48 states.

He originally had 11 strings.

He was reconstructed after the puppeteer that created him at Buffalo Bob Smith’s request left over a contract dispute in 1948.

Three more strings were added to the new version.

Buffalo Bob Smith owned the rights to the character and originally was his voice.

Howdy Doody was on the NBC Test Pattern until 1957.

Who Else Was on Howdy Doody?

Princess Summerfall Winterspring was first a puppet, then a live character.

Flub-a-dub was created when Buffalo Bob Smith went on vacation, telling his audience he was going to catch a Flubdub, later renamed Flub-a-dub because it was easier to say.

The Flub-a-Dub had a duck’s head, a cat’s whiskers, a giraffe’s neck, a cocker spaniel’s easr, a seal’s flippers, a raccoon’s tail, a dachshund’s body and the memory of an elephant.

It became Clarabell’s pet.

Parents complained that their children were eating the flowers in their gardens, copying Flub-a-Dub, who ate the flowers on his hat.

In response, he was changed to start eating spaghetti and meatballs and got his own theme song to mark the new diet.


Meatballs, meatballs, meatballs, meatballs

I love some meatballs, meatballs, meatballs and spaghetti

I’m always ready,

to eat spaghetti.


Clarabell the Clown, first played by Bob Keeshan, later of Captain Kangaroo fame, did not speak until the end of the last show, when he tearfully closed with, “Goodbye, kids.”

Do you remember the 1959 Christmas show when Buffalo Bob, Howdy Doody and Clarabell the Clown flew a rocket ship to the North Pole to find out why Santa Claus was late?

Who Sponsored the Show?

Hostess, of Twinkies fame, was one of the sponsors, along with Kellogg’s cereals, like Rice Krispies.

Click on Twinkies for a bit of nostalgia, a Twinkies commercial from the Howdy Doody Show.

One of the last on-air performances with Howdy Doody and Buffalo Bob singing a duet was on the Sally Jessy Rafael show on December 7, 1990.

Tomorrow, Howdy Doody will be eligible for Social Security.

If you liked this post, you will enjoy reading about how things have changed since we raised our children.

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Did you watch The Howdy Doody Show?

Did you ever hope to be in the Peanut Gallery?

Which was your favorite character?

To you and sharing the sweet memories of childhood with your grandchildren.


Carol Covin, Granny-Guru

Author, “Who Gets to Name Grandma? The Wisdom of Mothers and Grandmothers



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