Small TVs

The first TV program I remember watching was Howdy Doody, the famous marionette puppet show with Buffalo Bob, Clarabell the clown, and the “peanut gallery” for kids. (Mom later actually got to be in the peanut gallery at NBC’s New York studio.)

Other members of the cast were Dilly Dally, Howdy’s ditsy friend, Flubadub, the crazy animal that was a cross between a platypus and a dachshund, and Mr. Bluster, the nasty Doodyville mayor and owner of the store where Howdy worked. Also part of the action were Indian Princess SummerFallWinterSpring, and an Indian Chief called simply “The Feather Man.” Later, another chief called “ThunderThud,” who popularized the word Kawabonga, joined the cast and the Feather Man disappeared. (For proof that Featherman existed, see this site) Most people of my generation remember chief Thunderthud, but I’m the only person I know who remembers the Feather Man, both because my early memories are good and because I had access to a TV before most other kids.

You probably know this already, but the clown Clarabell, who didn’t speak, but only honked his horn, was Bob Keeshan, who later became Captain Kangaroo. Ah yes, great memories.

DadMemories01/13/06 1 comments


Patrick • 01/14/06 4:58 PM:

Dad, apparently, Bob Keeshan also played Chief Featherman. Not only that, but he earned a Navy Cross for bravery in directing Lee Marvin and other troops on Iwo Jima. Just kidding.

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