Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Edward Kean, from "The Howdy Doody Show"

Mr. Kean, who recently passed away at age 85, played a key role in the production of The Howdy Doody Show.

The program, originally known as Puppet Playhouse, began airing on television at the end of 1947.

As the New York Times obituary notes (see link, below), Mr. Kean was the show's chief writer, co-wrote (with star Buffalo Bob Smith) the lyrics to the program's famous theme song, and named such characters as Clarabell the Clown, and Princess Summerfall Winterspring.  The obituary also notes:  "He once said that he was probably best known for coining the word 'cowabunga' (originally spelled with a 'k') as a greeting for Chief Thunderthud, a character on the show."