Kids programming seems to be everywhere these days, there’s no doubt about it. Gone are the Saturday morning cartoon blocks, now we have dozens of channels dedicated entirely to children’s TV shows. These series benefit from always having an audience, because kids never stop wanting something fun and lighthearted to watch. Even when their final episodes have aired, these shows still have an audience through reruns, allowing them to live on for years.
Of course, some of these programs manage to stay on the air no matter how long they’ve been going now. Just look at Sesame Street. The educational show is almost at its 50 year anniversary and is still going strong. None of these series would have been possible without the ones that came before them, though. It’s the pioneers of the genre who are responsible for their success, which is why we’re so grateful for shows like Howdy Doody.
The series that enchanted young viewers back in the ‘40s and ‘50s was one of the first of its kind, and it proved there was a place on TV for kids’ programming. Children loved the marionette star and his human companion so much that the show remained on the air for 13 years, and to this day it hasn’t been forgotten. However, while it may have been the delight of young audiences six decades ago, things weren’t always quite so happy backstage. Some truths about the show have recently come to light, and they’re not all so kid friendly.
[post_page_title]Start in life[/post_page_title]
While Howdy Doody may have been the star of the show, he was nothing without his human sidekick. That’s not just because they featured on the series together. Howdy Doody was actually first created by Bob Smith in the ‘40s, back when the TV star was a radio announcer on WNBC. Initially, the puppet started out life as just a voice, but that was enough to gain the attention of NBC executives. When Smith featured on an episode of Puppet Playhouse in 1947, the executives were convinced that the idea of Howdy Doody would attract young viewers. They commissioned Frank Paris to create the puppet, and thus Howdy Doody was born.