Its Howdy Doody Time

I won 2 boxes of old letters in an auction and found this, Kids Official Ballot to Vote for Howdy Doody or Mister X in 1953. I am starting this as a $10 auction on Ebay. You can watch the auction here   SOLD for only $10. (Not many people looking for this I guess.)

 

Howdy Doody Ballot 

It also came with this note from a friend telling her to vote.

The Howdy Doody Show staring Buffalo Bob Smith (born Robert Schmidt in Buffalo N.Y.) and Howdy Doody(originally named Elmer) first aired on December 27, 1947 and ended September 24, 1960.

But WHO WAS MISTER X?

According to Bob Smith in an interview by People Magazine, 

"The first Howdy was very, very crude. He was ugly. Just terrible. I can’t tell you how bad he was. Thank God he didn’t frighten the kids."

In 1948, an election year, Eddie Kean, our writer, got a great idea. Howdy was running for President of all the kids in the United States. We wrote into the show that Howdy was campaigning out in Portland, Ore. We told the kids that Mr. X, his running mate, was very, very handsome, and Mr. X was getting votes from all the girls so maybe Howdy should have a face-lift. We said, “Don’t worry, kids. It isn’t going to hurt. It’s not even as bad as having a tooth pulled. It is just going to make Howdy more handsome. You’ve got to admit Howdy doesn’t look too good.”

So we stalled. I made a recording of Howdy’s voice and sent it over to [former Disney artist] Velma Dawson, a puppet maker. She came back in a couple of days with drawings of a puppet. The minute we saw the sketch, we said, “My gosh, that’s it.” We had to wait another three weeks for Velma to make Howdy. The sponsors wanted Howdy to do commercials, so we took another puppet and bandaged it, and we did the commercials with his face taped up. We said he was going to look wonderful, and we just had to put up with this until the bandages came off.

Finally the beautiful Howdy arrived at Rockefeller Center. When we saw the face, we just loved it. We bandaged it all up, went on the air, then we took off the bandages and had the unveiling of Howdy as we know him today. Howdy is made of wood, and he is 27 inches tall. The Howdy we have now is the same one we had in the spring of ’48. Later we made other Howdys, but it’s like trying to paint two Mona Lisas the same. You just can’t do it. Any kid could tell which is the real Howdy. The one that came closest we used in long shots. We called him Double Doody, and he’s in the Smithsonian Institution now."

The other characters in the show included:  Clarabell the Clown, who didnt talk and hopped around honking a horn to signal yes or no and spraying Buffalo Bob with a bottle of seltzer.

Chief Thunderthud official representative of the Ooragnak Indians (Ooragnak was kangaroo spelled backwards)

Princess Summerfall Winterspring who began as a puppet, then was transformed into a human because Buffalo Bob, who hired the actress Judy Tyler, wanted something beautiful and life-sized for girls to identify with and Ms. Tyler was all of that

Phineas T. Bluster an always grumpy but never evil mayor of Doodyville; his Latin and Anglo brothers, Don Jose Bluster and Hector Hamhock Bluster, and Flub-a-Dub.

howdy doody and buffalo bob

Phineas T. BlusterPrincess Summerfall Winterspring

Princess Summerfall Winterspring

Flub-a-Dub.

3 comments

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Linda

I really really love this article!! It brings back such great memories and I also found out allot of information that I never knew!! So Fun!!

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