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You are here -> HOME - RETROVILLE - 1947 - On the Television - Howdy Doody Show
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Welcome to Retroville! It's 1947!
In early 1947, NBC's affiliate radio station WEAF premiered "Triple B Ranch."  The three B's stood for Big Brother Bob Smith, a country-bumpkin ranch hand who greeted everyone with a "ho, ho, howdy doody." Making a fast name on radio, the program gained the interest of the NBC television production staff. Renamed "Puppet Playhouse," the show made its television debut on December 17. Within two weeks, the show was renamed The Howdy Doody Show and remained unchanged for its 13-year run.
Howdy Doody and Buffalo Bob Smith from the Howdy Doody Show
Main Characters:
  • Buffalo Bob Smith played by Bob Smith
  • Clarabelle Hornblow (Clown) played by Bob Keeshan (who would later go on to become Captain Kangaroo)
  • Henry McLaughlin played by Bob Nicholson
  • Lew Anderson the Story Princess played by Arlene Dalton
  • Chief Thunderthud played by Bill Lecornec
  • Tim Tremble played by Don Knotts
  • Princess Summerfall Winterspring played by Judy Tyler
  • Bison Bill played by George "Gabby" Hayes
  • Howdy Doody (puppet) voiced by Bob Smith and Allen Swift
  • Phineas T. Bluster (puppet) voiced by Dayton Allen
  • Double Doody (puppet) voiced by Bob Smith
  • Flubadub (puppet) voiced by Dayton Allen
  • The Traveling Lecturer played by Lowell Thomas, Jr.

Show Concept:

  • The show centered around a live, child-packed audience engaged in the lively skits and questions-and-answers segments presented by Buffalo Bob and his puppet friend, Howdy Doody.  The inhabitants of Doodyville included an array of live people and marionnettes skillfully crafted and artfully worked. The shows taught lessons, reinforced moral messages, encouraged children to be inquisitive, and introduced new technologies--in a child-like fashion, of course.

Hosts or Guests:

  • unknown

Writers or Producers:

  • Martin Stone, producer
  • E. Roger Muir, producer
  • Simon Rady, producer


  • Gulf Oil (1940)
  • Bromo Seltzer (1942, 1943)
  • Anacin (1945, 1946, 1947)

Networks or stations:

  • NBC

Total shows or length of production:

  • Premiered on December 17, 1947
  • Final episode on September 24, 1960
  • Reintroduced as The New Howdy Doody Show in August 1976
  • Cancelled January 1977

Special Note:

  • Clarabelle the Clown, who only honked a horn throughout the series run, finally spoke during the final episode on September 24, 1960, when he said, "Goodbye, kids."
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