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The Howdy Doody Show 

Puppet Playhouse (original title)
The first nationally televised American children's TV program and a prototype for what followed. Buffalo Bob Smith hosts while the puppet, Howdy Doody, stars.


E. Roger Muir




12   Unknown  
1960   1959   1958   1957   1956   1955   … See all »
Nominated for 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 1 win. See more awards »




Series cast summary:
Bob Smith ...  Buffalo Bob / ... 196 episodes, 1947-1960
Robert Keeshan ...  Clarabell the Clown #1 103 episodes, 1947-1953
Judy Tyler Judy Tyler ...  Princess Summerfall Winterspring 83 episodes, 1950-1953
Bill LeCornec Bill LeCornec ...  Chief Thunderthud / ... 81 episodes, 1950-1960
Dayton Allen ...  Flubadub / ... 74 episodes, 1950-1952
Learn more

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The first nationally televised American children's TV program and a prototype for what followed. Buffalo Bob Smith hosts while the puppet, Howdy Doody, stars.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

rocket | marionette | clown | See All (3) »





Did You Know?


Mr. Bluster was also known as Phineas T. Bluster. See more »


Host: Say, kids, what time is it?
Peanut Gallery: It's Howdy Doody time!
See more »


Referenced in Daria: Fair Enough (1998) See more »

User Reviews

HOWDY DOODY SHOW - the original kid's show & prototype for many to follow
22 June 2017 | by IanRayonlineSee all my reviews

I don't think some of those reviewing this show understand that TV was in the process of being born in the late 1940s and early 1950s. You have to take into account that this was the first experiment in kids' TV programming - the very first attempt to do a show that would entertain kids. Radio people, being the only "broadcasters" around, were basically trying to do their thing - but with cameras suddenly on them. Buffalo Bob Smith invented the Howdy Doody character on radio - the puppet we usually see as Howdy was the second version, the first one having been horribly crude. Budgets were next to nothing. When Buffalo Bob asked NBC to add a clown to the show, they turned him down. He hired Bob Keeshan (who later played Captain Kangaroo on his own program) to play Clarabelle the clown and paid him $5 a week out of his own pocket. To appreciate the impact of this show you need to close your eyes and listen to the content. Doodyville is an imperfect world with many surprises. Phineas T. Bluster is the mayor and the authority figure. He frequently does thoughtless things but often comes to see the error of his ways. Watch practically any episode of the hit show NORTHERN EXPOSURE and see the same character interactions! Contrary to several internet posts, Smith was not a ventriloquist. He simply voiced the puppet, Howdy Doody, when he himself was off-camera. At some point, actor Allen Swift took over the voicing of Howdy to facilitate more live interaction between Bob and Howdy. Those who know the reality of the early days of TV recognize Bob Smith as one of TV's founding geniuses for his insight into children's entertainment.

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Release Date:

27 December 1947 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Howdy Doody See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(2343 episodes)

Sound Mix:



Black and White (1947-1955)| Color (1955-1960)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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