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'Howdy Doody Show' head writer Edward Kean well remembered

August 24, 2010 | 10:12 am


Edward Kean, the original head writer for "The Howdy Doody Show" who died Aug. 13 in West Bloomfield, Mich., at age 85, created characters and story lines for the pioneer NBC children's TV program that debuted in late 1947 as "Puppet Playhouse" and ran until 1960.

The prolific Kean also wrote songs for the baby boomer TV favorite hosted by Buffalo Bob Smith.

Said Rhoda Mann, the program's master puppeteer from 1947 through 1952: “I think of all the people on the show, including the emcee, he was the true talent of the show because he put the words in our mouths, and he did the music and the lyrics.”

Kean, Mann recalled, “was kind, sweet and very pleasant to everybody on the show; he never had a mean word for anybody."

Read more in the Edward Kean obituary that appeared in The Times, and watch an extensive interview Kean did with the Archive of American Television.

-- Dennis McLellan

Photo: Edward Kean, left, with wife Vivian Kean and family friend Del Reddy, who is holding a replica of a Howdy Doody stamp unveiled by the U.S. Postal Service in 2009. Credit: Del Reddy