SAY KIDS! WHAT TIME IS IT? Notes From the Peanut Gallery by Stephen Davis

SAY KIDS! WHAT TIME IS IT? Notes From the Peanut Gallery

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Any baby boomer who doesn't know the answer to the question raised in the title of Davis' (Hammer of the Gods: The Led Zeppelin Saga, 1985) latest should turn in his Clarabell doll immediately--why, it's Howdy Doody time, of course. Davis' inside look at the golden years of the Howdy Doody Show (roughly 1947-1954, although the show lingered on until 1960) is nostalgia in spades: Buffalo Bob was--and is--Bob Smith, a fast-talking D.J. musician from Buffalo who was able to do a very funny ""yokel"" voice (""Ho Ho Mr. Smith and boys and girls, well howdy doody"") during an old NBC radio show called Triple B Ranch. Put that together with a hokey-looking puppet and an imaginative writer named Eddie Kean and you had, in 1947, Puppet Playhouse (later to become The Howdy Doody Show). They were winging it, mainly, but America's children loved it: they loved the silent clown Clarabell (Bobby Keeshan, later to be Captain Kangaroo) and her seltzer bottle; and the beautiful Princess Summerfall Winterspring (Judy Tyler, who later starred opposite Elvis in Jailhouse Rock and died in a car wreck in 1957); and the kindly Buffalo Bob himself, who pitched commercials for Wonderbread and Ovaltine with the same intensity that he used to scold Clarabell. Davis' father, Howard, was a director on the show (and Davis himself a frequent member of the Peanut Gallery)--so whether he's describing the sad end of Judy Tyler, or the legendary (and quite hilarious) ""blue"" rehearsals just before airtime, or the arrival of The Mickey Mouse Show (the beginning of the end for Howdy), Davis puts his heart enthusiastically into his work. Baby boomers could flock to this one.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1987
Publisher: Little, Brown