Howdy Doody was a freckle-faced boy marionette and a children's television program, aired on NBC from 1947 through 1960. Considered a pioneer in children's programming, NBC reportedly used the show to sell color television sets in the 1950s. The show's host, "Buffalo Bob" Smith suffered a heart attack in 1954, but NBC managed to keep the show going with guest hosts like Gabby Hayes and Ted Brown. Some sponsors insisted on having Buffalo Bob sell their products, however, and NBC set up a special studio at Smith's home.
Clarabell the Clown communicated by honking horns and squirting seltzer. Chief Thunderthud originated the cry "Kowabonga!". Princess Summerfall Winterspring, originally a puppet, was later played by the actress Judy Tyler. The characters inhabit the fictional town of "Doodyville".
The Famous Author loved this show, and he wasn't the only one. Originally an hour on Saturdays, the show moved to Monday through Friday, 5:30-6:00 pm EST in 1948. Beginning in 1954, the NBC test pattern featured a picture of Howdy.
The peanut gallery was 40 kids in on-stage bleachers. Each show began with Buffalo Bob asking, "Say kids, what time is it?" and the kids yelling, "It's Howdy Doody Time!".
Thanks to Howdy, Buffalo Bob, and Wikipedia.