Howdy Doody, 1960: Clarabell The Clown Ends It With Two Words

By Emily Morenz
Clarabell delivers his farewell. Source: YouTube

On September 24, 1960, the children's TV institution Howdy Doody came to an end, and it was Clarabell the Clown who made sure we knew it was truly over. Clarabell was an important cast member, though unlike the chatty puppet Howdy Doody and main host Buffalo Bob, Clarabell never said a word. In 13 years, that clown -- played by Bob Keeshan, Nick Nicholson and Lew Anderson -- never said a damn word. But on the show's finale, after prodding by Bob, Clarabell turned to the camera and tearfully whispered, "Goodbye kids." And suddenly, it was no longer Howdy Doody time, and never would be again. Nothing lasts forever, kids.