The other day Frau Grace sent Loinfruit to the supermarket. This is what he brought home for dinner.
That’s some big squids. He also came home with flying fish eggs.
If you haven’t downloaded my 2005 daily strips, go to the Buy Stuff link. It’s free.
If you’re interested, here’s a little follow up on my 1947 Howdy Doody campaign button. It comes from Keith B. Thanks Keith.
I saw your Howdy Doody button. If it is what I think it is,
I believe there is an interesting story that goes with it
(if my memory serves me correctly).
During the 1948 presidential election, Buffalo Bob
thought he would run a gag on the program “Howdy
Doody for President”. He said on television to send in
for a “Howdy Doody for President” button. Much to
their surprise they were inundated for requests for
the button. Buffalo Bob didn’t know what to do.
He didn’t expect a response and furthermore, they
didn’t have the money to make the buttons. He was
in a panic mode- what to do? Sarnoff’s son saw him
and asked what the problem was and Bob told him
about the request for buttons. Immediately Sarnoff’s
son showed great interest and wanted to see the requests.
Buffalo Bob showed him the cards asking for the buttons.
Sarnoff’s son told him that he would take care of the
matter. This was of great importance to him.
Back in 1948, nobody thought television could ever
replace radio. The NBC network for television was
about a dozen stations on the east coast. No one
knew how many people were watching television:
no one, one person, ten people, 1000 people etc.?
But those post cards requesting those buttons
showed him that there were many people watching
television even as crude as it was back then.
That button issue, as I understand it, caused the
industry to move forward on their development
of television after they found out they had a large
I emailed back to Keith:
I asked Buffalo Bob why they changed Howdy from a clown to a freckle faced boy, and he said the new Howdy was more appealing. That’s true, but I think it’s also true that somebody else owned the original puppet and they didn’t want to pay royalties. You know, of course, that the original Clarabell was Bob Keeshan.
To which he replied:
I understood the reason they switched puppets was because they didn’t own the puppet.
Yes, I knew that the original Clarabell was Bob Keeshan. As I understood it,
originally Bob Keeshan was a stagehand just wearing a T-shirt for his shirt.
Someone decided that he should be dressed in a clown outfit. After that he
wore a clown outfit, but he did not have a clown face. Apparently Emmett Kelly
(that name really dates us if you know who he was) was a guest on the show.
They told Emmett Kelly that Bob Keeshan was their clown. Apparently he put the
Clarabell face on Bob Keeshan which is how Clarabell acquired his appearance.
After he was made up as a clown, the Clarabell character developed. Again this
is from memory which may not be totally correct.
Buffalo Bob was And just in case you didn’t know, Bob Keeshan later became Captain Kangaroo. My family was among the first 50 families in the Philadelphia area to own a television. It was an RCA, about 45 inches high and 32 inches wide. My sister in New Orleans still has it. It had a record player that played both 10 and 12 inch 78’s, and a radio that played all available frequencies that were broadcast at that time. I think it even had short wave. My favorite TV shows were The adventures of Lucky Pup, featuring Pinhead and Foodini,
Kukla Fran and Ollie, and Milton Berle. Ed Wynn also had a wonderful show. One day my father came up to my room and said “Buddy, there’s a show on tv you ought to see. I went down and it was episode two of the Lone Ranger. I didn’t get to see episode one until I found it a couple years ago on Youtube. In our correspondence Keith also mentioned Tonto:
There were other kid’s shows from the 50s that have interesting facts
associated with them. For example, did you know that Tonto’s real
name was Harold J. Smith and he spoke English very well?
Tonto’s stage name was Jay Silverheels. The Lone Ranger was Clayton Moore. And finally, I told Keith about a wonderful little incident in my life from about 30 years ago:
30 years ago I was at the Salmagundi Club in New York. I went down to the little bar in the basement to get my self a drink and noticed a little old man over in a dark corner eating lettuce out of a bag. As he was leaving he stopped and said hello, and he asked what I was doing there. ( Salmagundi is an artists’ club) I told him I was a cartoonist at a meeting. He thought I meant animated cartoons, so I jumped in and started lamenting the loss of good animation. I mentioned three cartoons that I thought were so very good in the old days. One was Walter Lance’s first Woody Woodpecker cartoons, I forget which was the second, but the third I praised was Beanie and Cecil. A wonderful smile came over his face. I was talking to Bill Baird, the puppeteer who invented Beanie and Cecil. It was a wonderful moment.
I’ve been scanning in my old single panel cartoons from way way back. Here are a few I scanned today: