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Howdy Doody Ventriloquist Doll

4.1 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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  • Genre Children's television series Created by E. Roger Muir Presented by Buffalo Bob Smith Howdy Doody Starring Bob Keeshan Lew Anderson Robert "Nick" Nicholson Country of origin United States Production Producer(s) E. Roger Muir Running time 60 minutes (1947-1948; 1960) 30 Minutes (1948-1960) Broadcast Original channel NBC Picture format Black & White (1947-1954) Color (1955-1960) Original run December 27, 1947 - September 24, 1960
  • The character first came to life from the creative mind of Bob Smith, who created Howdy Doody during his days as a radio announcer on WNBC (AM). At that time, Howdy Doody was only a voice Smith performed on the radio. When Smith made an appearance on NBC's television program Puppet Playhouse on December 27, 1947, the reception for the character was great enough to begin a demand for a visual character for television. Frank Paris, a puppeteer whose puppets appeared on the program, was asked to create a Howdy Doody puppet.[2] Bob Smith, the show's host, was dubbed "Buffalo Bob" early in the show's run (a reference to the historical Buffalo Bill). Smith wore cowboy garb, and the name of the puppet "star" was derived from the American expression "howdy doody"/"howdy do", a commonplace corruption of the phrase "How do you do?" used in the western United States (The straightforward use of that expression was also in the theme song's lyrics.) Smith, who had gotten his start as a singing radio personality in his home town of Buffalo, New York, used music frequently in the program. Cast members Lew Anderson and Robert "Nick" Nicholson were both experienced jazz musicians.
  • As both the character and television program grew in popularity, demand for Howdy Doody related merchandise began to surface. By 1948, toymakers and department stores had been approached with requests for Howdy Doody dolls and similar items. Macy's department store contacted Frank Paris, the creator of the puppet, to ask about rights for a Howdy Doody doll. While Paris had created the puppet, it was Bob Smith who owned the rights to the Howdy Doody character; an argument ensued between the two men, as Paris felt he was being cheated out of any financial benefits from having made the puppet. After one such disagreement, Paris took the Howdy Doody puppet and angrily left the NBC studios with it about four hours before the show was to air live; it was not the first time Paris had taken his puppet and left, leaving the live television program with no "star".[2][3][4] With Paris' past disappearances, impromptu excuses regarding the whereabouts of Howdy Doody had been hastily concocted. This time, an elaborate explanation was offered-that Howdy was busy with the elections on the campaign trail. NBC hurriedly constructed a map of the United States, which allowed viewers, with the help of Smith, to learn where
  • Howdy was on the road. The explanation continued that while on the campaign trail, Howdy decided to improve his appearance with some plastic surgery. This made it possible for the network to hire Velma Dawson to create a more handsome and appealing visual character than Paris' original, which had been called "the ugliest puppet imaginable" by Bob Smith.[4][5] Since Paris did not provide the voice of the character, Howdy's voice would stay the same after his appearance changed. The puppet which is remembered as the "original" Howdy Doody replaced the actual original made by Frank Paris.[2][3][4] The original Dawson Howdy Doody at Detroit Institute of Arts Howdy Doody himself is a freckle-faced boy marionette with 48 freckles, one for each state of the union (up until January 3, 1959, when Alaska was admitted as the 49th state), and was originally voiced by Buffalo Bob Smith.[6] The Howdy Doody show's various marionettes were created and built by puppeteers Velma Wayne Dawson, Scott Brinker (the show's prop man) and Rufus Rose throughout the show's run.[7] The redheaded Howdy marionette on the original show was operated with 11 strings: two heads, one mouth, one eye, two shoulders, one back, two hands and two knees. Three strings were added when the show returned-two elbows and one nose. The original Howdy Doody marionette now resides at the Detroit Institute of Arts. There were duplicate Howdy Doody puppets, designed to be used expressly for off-the-air purposes (lighting rehearsals, personal appearances, etc.), although surviving kinescope recordings clearly show that these duplicate puppets were indeed used on the air occasionally. Double Doody was the Howdy stand-in puppet, now on permanent display at the Smithsonian.[8] Photo Doody is the near-stringless marionette that was used in personal appearances, photos, parades, and the famed NBC test pattern. He was sold by Leland's Sports Auction House in 1997 for more than $113,000 to a private art collector

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Product Description

Product Description

"It's Howdy Doody time!" was heard daily on the children's T.V. program named after the character, the sidekick star of Buffalo Bob Smith. Howdy Doody delights kids and adults alike with his clean-cut cowboy charm, amiable expression, and wholesome "Aw shucks" personality. This Howdy Doody Doll is moseyin' around in his blue jeans, long-sleeve flannel shirt (complete with elbow garters), blue bandera, black socks, and his red and white cowboy boots. Howdy also features molded red hair and those famous freckles. This celebrity dummy/doll comes with a set of basic instructions included on "How To Be A Ventriloquist" and is approximately 30" long. *** PLEASE NOTE: The mouth on this doll is operated via a string affixed to the back of the doll's head. Hold the head with one hand and pull the string with your other. If you prefer a dummy that allows for one hand operation and lets you to put your hand in the back and turn the head please take a look at the Howdy Doody Standard Upgrade Ventriloquist Dummy.

Amazon.com

The Howdy Doody Show was a phenomenal success. After its 1947 crossover from radio to television, lines to see the show were tremendous, as fans were eager to watch the antics of the spunky, freckle-faced marionette and his cohorts. Goldberger's Howdy Doody ventriloquist doll is a playful reminder of those days. He's the mirror image of Buffalo Bob's pal, with everything but the strings. He has fiery hair, great big ears, wide blue eyes, and a liberal peppering of freckles. Howdy sports a dark blue neckerchief, sunny yellow armbands over a red plaid shirt, and red-and-white plastic cowboy boots. He's a 30-inch, lightweight stuffed fellow with a vinyl head and hands. The string pull hidden on his back gets his jaw a-flappin'. The doll's action is a bit stiff--it takes some expert positioning to keep Howdy's head from following the motion of the string--but after a little practice it gets better. Included in the case is a set of simple, encouraging (and quaintly illustrated) black-and-white instructions for the beginning ventriloquist. You'll want to practice in front of a mirror before you lasso your own admiring fans. It's Howdy Doody time! --Julie Ubben

Product Details

  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds
  • ASIN: B00004T95U
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #300,681 in Toys & Games (See Top 100 in Toys & Games)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Verified Purchase
I purchased this for my husband (Ron). When he was in 2nd grade, he had the Original Howdy Doody doll. He had to have his tonsils out and he took Howdy to the hospital with him. When he was taken to the operating room, Howdy Doody stayed in his room waiting for the procedure to be done and his friend would return.

When Ron woke up in his room, he didn't see Howdy Doody any where. Someone had stolen Howdy Doody.

The reunion of Howdy Doody with my husband was a precious moment.

My husband never forgot that tragedy, but he is very happy to have him back.
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By A Customer on August 3, 2000
I looked all over for my son and daughter for venntriloquist dolls. These provided hours of amusement and play...
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Verified Purchase
Purchase might have been extravant for me, but the doll is good quality. It had clothes and boots (fabric and 'boots', not painted on). This is [...] and intended in fun, but doll has more freckles than the TV Howdy Doody (who had only 48 freckles, one for each State). This last thing is intended to be in humor. Who counts freckles? Quality is excellent and very realistic.

Hope yas take my freckle comment in fun. You'll LOVE this puppet.
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Verified Purchase
I am so happy that I made this purchase. It reminds me of the Howdy Doody doll I had as a child in the 60s and 70s. It is of good quality and the packaging is nice too. I highly recommend this purchase to those of you that are nostalgic and want their Howdy Doody doll.
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Verified Purchase
gave this to my husband and he loves it...something he has talked about...a childhood memory came alive for him..it came quicker an total happy
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Verified Purchase
If your a H.D. fan this is a must have. I sit him everywhere in the house ! and its a great conversation piece... Howdy was a kids show in the 50's and sixties I beleave. Even though he 's a ventriloquist doll, i don't use it as sush...He's 30 inchs long, and his cloths can be changed !! Really? Get a grip on yourself. he's just a Doll.. ha ha Anyway I tryed to find A HD pupet on line, but after 50 yrs most are falling apart... So ! this is the next best thing..Everyone who see's him wants to know all about Howdy.. So brush-up on all the info. .....First, you must go on the websight.. howdy doody.com ........... Everything is there !!.... The shows, what happen when the first Howdy was kidnapt for real and where he is now !!! Ok! ok!. Howdys cloths do get dirty!! and you do need to take them off, and wash them!! ( I wonder if they have a Rob for a 30 incn Boy doll ??) Anyway.... Howdy Doody to all the fans out there..
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Verified Purchase
PLEASE NOTE!!! THIS IS NOT TO BE USED AS A VENTRILOQUIST DOLL!!! Otherwise, you will sorely be disappointed. The mouth is sooooo stiff, it barely opens when you pull on the string at the back of the neck This should only be used for decoration. It is NOT a performance dummy. Your hand can not go up inside the doll's head. In fact, there is no place to stick your hand. All you can do is hold onto the floppy doll with 2 hands or set it on a shelf. Definitely NOT what I expected!
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Verified Purchase
As a child, I was one of Howdy's biggest fans. I had a doll then and played with it until it was worn completely out. I have always wanted another one, but never found him. I just love this one and I will treasure him always. I am an old lady, who still loves dolls. It does bring back a lot of childhood memories. I will keep him where I can see him at any time. The quality is good and I am very pleased. Terri Delp
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