On Rediscovering Howdy Doody
Many years later, Buffalo Bob explained that “Howdy” was what he said at the start of the show, “and every little kid knew what ‘doody’ was.”
I watched the show for several years, or until Mouseketeer Annette Funicello (my age) started growing up. Met her in a Bridgeport record store one day, but that’s another story. Anyway, Princess Summerfallwinterspring was still a puppet until she was magically changed into a sweet innocent girl. Or so I thought; she knew where to sleep.
The show’s director had a son who hung around the studio a lot and later wrote a book about the place. Pulled no punches and called it as he saw it. None of us kids ever realized what was going on in Doodyville, but there was a lot of doody (and whoopee) behind the scenes. “Say, Kids, What Time Is It?” should be required reading.
I recently was given a DVD with loads of episodes from this extraordinarily popular show. Now I can see the little things that I missed the last time. Nothing really big, but my trained eye picks up on the little stuff. It was live television when there were no re-takes and the kids could be a pain.