Thursday, May 18, 2006

Rest in peace, Clarabell the Clown

If you're of "a certain age," you'll likely mourn the passing of Clarabell the Clown, sidekick for Buffalo Bob and Howdy Doody ... the TV show that kids in the 1950s watched the way kids today watch "Spongebob Squarepants" ... or "South Park."

Clarabell was Lew Anderson, a jazzman and bandleader who died Sunday of complications of prostate cancer at a hospice in Hawthorne, N.Y. He was 84.

Maybe you saw it live, or maybe you have just seen the endless replays of great TV moments. Like Harpo Marx before her/him (I was 3 and confused), Clarabell never spoke a word and communicated by honking a horn. But on the last episode of Howdy Doody in 1960, it was Clarabell who got the last word: "Goodbye, kids" is all he said.

Fade to black.

Doody Trivia: Captain Kangaroo Bob Keeshan was actually the first Clarabell in 1947


Love, Rita said...

How very sad. I was born in '61, though, so I never really watched Howdy Doody and Clarabell. But I had certainly heard of him/her. (??? I am 44, and STILL confused.)

And your trivia--I remember Captain Kangaroo vividly. Interesting post!

Thanks for keeping our memories alive!

Chancelucky said...

wow, had no idea that anyone from Howdy Doody had survived that long.
bye Clarabell