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'Howdy Doody Show' writer Edward Kean dies at 85

August 23, 2010 | 10:31 am

Edward Kean, who was the primary writer for the "Howdy Doody Show" and penned the theme song to which millions of American children sang along each week during the show's run on NBC from 1947 to 1960, has died. He was 85.

Family friend Del Reddy said Monday that Kean died Aug. 13 at a nursing care facility in West Bloomfield Township, Mich., from complications of emphysema.

Reddy says the New York City native wrote the song "It's Howdy Doody Time," which was sung during the show's opening (see YouTube video above).

Kean is credited with creating the exclamation "cowabunga," made popular by one of the show's characters and borrowed by Bart Simpson, the animated problem child on the long-running comedy "The Simpsons."

-- Associated Press