Thursday, September 9, 2010

It's Howdy Doody Time!

A friend of my husband gave us a couple of DVDs of The Howdy Doody Show for our daughter to enjoy. Howdy Doody is way before my time, but my husband watched it when he was little and had fond memories of it. We thought it would be a good idea to watch the show first to make sure it was something our daughter would like. I'm sure the show was a big deal in its day, but it has not aged well at all. It was SO unintentionally funny. I haven't laughed that hard watching something in a long time.

My husband gave a hilarious recap on his facebook account, so I'm reprinting what he wrote. Just think of him as a guest blogger for this post (thanks, honey!).

Here is his recap:

Our good friend kindly loaned us her brand new DVD's of "The Howdy Doody Show..." to share with our daughter, and while she slept, we checked out an episode last night. Holy crap!! -- I was a big fan when I was about my daughter's age, but
First of all, Buffalo Bob seemed a little drunk and pretty creepy. He leers into the camera and hilariously, close-talks and rubs up against Clarabell (who now strikes me as a very creepy mute clown with those rectangular mouth lines and zebra jump suit). The episode we saw featured "Captain Scuttlebutt" who operates the only tugboat in "Doodyville". I'm guessing there was quite a bit of scatological hilarity when Bob and his writers came up with that stuff.

J. Corny Cobb was this nondescript character who I actually didn't remember at all. On this show, he was wearing an extremely tight cardigan with something very bulky in the lower front pocket. What? He couldn't leave whatever it was in his dressing room?

The "peanut gallery", a group of 40 kids sitting behind Buffalo Bob seemed genuinely excited at first, but gradually looked increasingly bored and miserable once the show got under way. By the end, I half expected a revolt.

"Howdy Doody", the actual puppet, had almost no air time at all except to shill several products and sing a little bit of the closing song. In the middle of the show, Buffalo Bob ambles over to a plate of Hostess Twinkies and starts selling them hard. REALLY hard. For over 3 minutes, he harps on the delicious sponge cake and the filling and how nutritious it all is. He says, and I quote: "This is why kids across America can't get enough of Hostess Twinkies." He repeatedly urges his young viewers to tell their parents to go out and buy them for them, and then, in one of his rare appearances during the body of the show (the other is in a Wonder Bread sales spot), Howdy Doody appears at his own Twinkie stand telling kids they have to have them.

Finally, my wife, Cheryl, and I noticed that the "Howdy Doody" puppet had little armbands on and while it was impossible to see what was on them, once she mentioned that they looked very much like little Nazi armbands, we were in tears. Hysterical.
I highly recommend it as a bizarre walk down memory lane, but to adults. Our daughter would probably find it creepy and boring but more importantly, right now, she loves to eat relatively healthy. I don't want her suddenly demanding Twinkies.

Thank you, sweetie, for that great recap!

I understand Howdy Doody DVDs are available for rent on Netflix. If you've run out of movies you want to see, I highly recommend watching! I don't remember laughing that hard in a long, long time!


  1. Howdy Doody was before my time too, but I watched similar shows that I'm sure would look equally horrid now. I love how Howdy Doody was used exclusively to hawk junk food...ha! Makes you wonder why he was so beloved...I guess with only 3 channels to watch kids didn't have much choice!

  2. I watched Howdy Doody as a kid. My dad loved sharing things from his childhood. Good times.

  3. I've never seen an episode, just seen it in the background of movies and things like that. Who knows? My kids like Yo Gabba Gabba and that's pretty freakin weird and creepy...

  4. I'm not sure if I ever watched a full episode of Howdy Doody, but I did have the ventriloquist Howdy Doody puppet, which I enjoyed tremendously when it came to entertaining my other 7/8 year-old friends. Wow, I can't believe the show actually suggested Twinkies were nutritious...and we all know that Wonder Bread is not the healthiest bread of choice either. My mom and aunt have fond memories of Howdy...I'm glad I don't (except for my puppet) :) Too funny.

  5. That is funny, maybe I can find some on youtube. Wow we have sure come along way since then...Howdy is way before my time to....why do I really want a Twinkie.

    p.s. your husband makes a great guess blogger!

  6. I have never seen the show, perhaps I should give it a whirl eh?

  7. I don't recall ever watching these as a kid but they sound hilarious according to your recap! We might just hit up netflix for them!