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Howdy Doody was a staple of American kids’ television from the late 40s to the early 60s. The original show, Howdy Doody Time, ran for thirteen years and laid the groundwork for a lot of kids shows to come.
While the original show ended in 1960, a new show, creatively called New Howdy Doody Time, ran for a year in the late 1970s. Despite not headlining his own show for over 40 years, Howdy Doody dolls remain popular with people all over.
The Howdy Doody character was created by Bob Smith. The original Howdy Doody doll was made by a man named Frank Paris (source). It was dubbed “the ugliest looking doll I’ve ever seen” by Smith. It wasn’t helped by the fact Paris had a tendency to steal the doll right before the show was about to air.
Between the ugliness of the doll and Paris’ behaviour, Smith and the studio decided to make a change. After one of these doll-stealing episodes the studio and Bob Smith hired Velma Dawson to create a new Howdy Doody doll. This is what everyone remembers today as the ‘original’ Howdy Doody doll.