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December 27

“The Howdy Doody Show”

The Howdy Doody Show was the first ever to reach 2,000 episodes. It specifically marketed products like toothpaste and candy bars to its young audience.

Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images

1947: Say Kids, What Time Is It?
The Howdy Doody Show premieres on television
The freckle-faced marionette Howdy Doody was the star puppet in this early children’s TV show, the very first regular network series to be broadcast in color. Set in the imaginary town of Doodyville, the show also featured human characters like Clarabell the Clown, who communicated with beeps of a horn on his belt and did not speak a word until the final episode of the show.

Then there were the characters that started as puppets but were later performed by people, like Princess Summerfall Winterspring, played by Judy Tyler. Buffalo Bob Smith provided the voice for Howdy, and he would also speak directly to the kids in the on-set “peanut gallery,” and he sang the show’s theme song in every episode.
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