Howdy Doody went off the air fourteen years before I was born. Until today, I had never seen a single episode. Oh yes, I had seen the clip of Clarabell crying on the last episode, but it was not until today--at age 31--that I saw the show for the first time with my five year-old son.
I can't say that I have ever seen such a quality children's program. Maybe this is because Bob Smith & Co. were trained in radio and live television back in the 1940's, but there was something authentic about their performances. Their diction, their facial expressions, their chemistry, and their interaction with the kids... And then the story lines were not bad either. Plus, after seeing the live commercials, I was expecting my son to ask for Wonder bread.
All you have to do is compare their work product against any children's show today and you will see what I mean. They had a connection with the audience--something the Power Rangers don't have. Frankly, I feel sad for my son's generation, because there is nothing so real on television for him today. Instead of finding role models like Buffalo Bob on TV, all he has are impersonal cartoons; and if, God forbid, he should ever change the channel from these shows, he might find Jerry Springer and Maury Povich.
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