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The New Howdy Doody Show 1976

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Mark Y, Oct 10, 2016.

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  1. Mark Y

    Mark Y Screenwriter

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    I know The New Howdy Doody Show has a bad reputation among fans of the original Howdy Doody show -- heck, I watched it in 1976 and was a big fan, yet I'll be the first one to tell you the original show was better -- but I retain a fondness for it and it continues to be a "guilty pleasure." I enjoyed the reruns on Cozi-TV recently (not sure if they're still running it, but this summer on the Fourth Of July holiday they ran a few original Howdy Doody episodes including the final show in color from 1960 -- one of the ones they ran had Howdy running for President, and they had a short feature about this including a brief clip of the original Howdy puppet from the first months of the show; I'd never seen anything but a still photo or two, so this was very cool to see -- but I digress).

    Anyway, I happened to stumble on what is apparently a new release of the 1976 series on DVD. Like in the past, this is just a sampler of shows and not anything comprehensive. However, the majority of them have not been released before:

    http://www.thenewhowdydoodyshow.com/

    Is this legit? It has the name Memory Lane on it, which I believe is the company that currently distributes the series. They have a couple You Tube links, one of which shows the original (unaltered) 1976 opening from one of the shows, complete with the intro "from the sunshine state, Florida" (which was cut off the earliest VHS releases of the show in the late 1990s; those VHS tapes also had the closing credits missing from every episode). Later releases had a completely re-edited show opening and closing, which is what has appeared on all DVD releases of various episodes to date. The COZI showings had the original opening and closings.

    What leads me to question the legitimacy is the You Tube link has a superimposed "E/I" in the corner for shows that meet educational programming requirements. I thought that was done at broadcast level?

    Anyway, what I would really like to see is a complete series set, but there were 130 episodes, so maybe it would be overkill.
     
  2. Neil Brock

    Neil Brock Producer

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    Interesting. I notice that the copyright is by Bob Smith. I wonder if it was ever even registered because the show seems to have been treated as a PD show. Unless Smith has any heirs that might decide its worth it to now copyright the show, I'm assuming its a case where anyone who gets ahold of the tapes can do as they wish with them.
     
  3. Brian Himes

    Brian Himes Screenwriter

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    I remember watching this when it first aired in 76 and I've caught a few of the episodes on Cozi TV (yes, it's still on). I might be tempted to get this just for historical purposes to place in my 70s TV collection. It's certainly not something that you're gonna see everyday.

    Well, the link to buy this is not working so it looks like this might not be available anymore.
     
  4. Message #4 of 23 Oct 12, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2016
    Mark Y

    Mark Y Screenwriter

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    Interesting how that cast photo from the 40th anniversary (1987) keeps getting used on releases of the 1976 series. At least on this one, the photo of Howdy on the front cover actually reflects his appearance in these shows. One of the VHS box sets had a photoshopped picture of the original Howdy with "real hair" added, but looked nothing like the 1976 hairstyle. The 1987 40th anniversary special was pretty cool (it would make a great extra with a complete series set) but it was clear everyone was going out of their way to act like the 1976 series never happened.

    Just for the record, here are the episodes released on VHS in 1998. Each storyline ran for five shows. They included the Monday through Thursday shows of each storyline on one tape, then all the Friday shows together on a fifth tape. The pink and blue box has a sixth tape called "Sing-A-Long #1," which is a half-hour or so compilation of songs from various episodes with superimposed song lyrics.

    Red and yellow box set:
    01-1 through 01-5 Phantom Of The Doody-O Studio (later released on DVD by Goodtimes)
    01-2 through 02-5 Doodyville Art Festival (later released on DVD by Madacy)
    20-1 through 20-5 Good Behavior Contest (later released on DVD by Madacy)
    26-1 through 26-5 Songfest (later released on DVD by Madacy) (Identified on the case as the final episodes of the series)

    Pink and blue box set:
    04-1 through 04-5 Music Appreciation (later released on DVD by Goodtimes)
    17-1 through 17-5 Dilly Dally's Birthday
    18-1 through 18-5 Clarabelle's (sic) Fun Show
    21-1 through 21-5 Doodyville Fair

    The episodes included in these two VHS box sets have partial original show openings, but deleting references to the show being taped in Florida. They are faded down before the closing credits start. Each one is preceded by a "slate" (newly-created for this series) identifying the episode numbers (numbered by week as shown above). At least the first two tapes in the "pink and blue box" were also released separately -- and although the cover art is the same, the individual releases have versions of the shows which have been further re-edited, with a generic show opening (same on each episode) with superimposed sing-along lyrics for the theme song (memorably including "let's give arousing cheer" -- I think that's supposed to be "let's give a rousing cheer")! These versions also have newly-remade closing credits. These remade openings and closings are what appear on all episodes released on DVD. Both Goodtimes and Madacy re-released several of the same episodes as mentioned above; a few additional episodes came out as part of these releases:

    "Doodyville Laugh-A-Thon" (Madacy)
    "Bionic Clown" (Goodtimes)
    "Magic Contest" (Goodtimes)

    The new box (which is the subject of this thread) repeats one week's worth of shows ("Clarabell's Fun Show") from the VHS releases and adds four new-to-video (as far as I know, in any format) storylines (I recently saw many of these on COZI-TV; the descriptions are from memory):

    "King Cobb" -- (IIRC) Cornelius Cobb finds out he is of royal blood

    "Clown Tamer" -- Clarabell's pranks are getting out of hand, so Buffalo Bob hires a "clown tamer" named (interestingly) "Vladimir O'Reilly," a character who might have fit in well on Hogan's Heroes

    "Unhappy Harmony" -- Happy Harmony (1976 fill-in for Princess Summerfall Winterspring, I guess) doesn't feel loved and decides to leave

    "Davis Dilemma" -- bandleader Jackie Davis (who later appeared in Caddyshack) loses his ability to play music, so cast members start switching roles throughout the week's shows

    Just putting this info out there for anyone who's interested...
     
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  5. LouA

    LouA Screenwriter

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    I liked this show although I didn't get too much of a chance of seeing it back in the 1970's (it ran at an hour when I was still at work). I have the two previous DVD box sets , and since this has newly released episodes I'll get this as well. Still I wish someone would issue more 1950's episodes.
     
  6. Message #6 of 23 Oct 13, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2016
    Mark Y

    Mark Y Screenwriter

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    More from the original series would be welcome. Image released four DVDs years ago with four episodes each, which concentrated mostly on later shows (mostly from the Saturday morning era). Mill Creek later issued their 40-episode box set, with mostly earlier episodes (circa 1948 through 1952-ish). That set also has three episodes as extras, and among those 43 episodes, only two are repeated from the Image DVDs. IIRC, the Shout Factory Hiya Kids: A 1950s Saturday Morning set has one episode released neither by Mill Creek nor Image. All episodes released from the original series have been kinescopes, with the exception of the very last episode which is from a color videotape -- apparently the only tape in existence (and for many years it was split, with one party owning the first reel and someone else holding the second).

    I read something years ago on some website or newsgroup, which I have been unable to find again, claiming that the producers had original tapes of many of the shows (I guess from the Saturday morning era when it was taped in advance and aired in color) in some warehouse which either blew up or burned down, and that's why the final show is the only one that exists either in color or on tape. It's really fascinating to watch, the difference in quality is like night and day. I wonder how much of the library actually exists, and whether it's ever been catalogued. Like I said, I was shocked to see that clip of the Frank Paris puppet on COZI-TV. I had no idea any footage of it existed.[​IMG]
     
  7. LouA

    LouA Screenwriter

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    Back in the late 1990's I had the opportunity to speak with Buffalo Bob Smith at the Lead East " vintage car show" in NJ . He told me that between 4-500 early shows exist in NBC's library . I'd guess mostly kinescopes . Anyway Buffalo Bob had the idea to market these to television editing out the original commercials and filming new narrations where he would comment on and explain what was was going happening on the particular episode. I gave him my opinion that the original adverts should remain , but the new filmed segments would be most welcome . Bob died a year or two later and the "new show" never materialized .
    Thanks for the info on the DVD's - as a fan I have all of them.
    Anyone interested in Howdy Doody new or old shows might want to check out Richard Liljeblad's Doodyville Gazette newsletter :[email protected]
     
  8. Mark Y

    Mark Y Screenwriter

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    That's kind of like what COZI did on the Fourth Of July. They edited out commercial-related stuff, and they had new intros, but they were done by the Howdy Doody puppet -- obviously not Bob Smith performing him -- talking a little about the show in question, trivia about it, etc.

    Between 400 and 500 then? Interesting. Thanks for the into on the Doodyville Gazette. I had heard of something like this but was under the impression it was defunct. Will have to check it out.
     
  9. Neil Brock

    Neil Brock Producer

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    From what I've seen in the NBC kinescope inventory at Library of Congress, its more like around 1800 episodes that survive.
     
  10. LouA

    LouA Screenwriter

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    Wow . That many ! Better yet . I'm not sure why buffalo Bob was only aware of 3-500.
     
  11. Neil Brock

    Neil Brock Producer

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    99% of the kinescopes which NBC either retained or donated to LOC are negatives with separate picture and audio tracks. Transferring films of that nature is even more expensive and time consuming than even regular kinescopes. So while its nice that a good deal of material still exists (just the ones donated are around 100,000), its unlikely that more than a handful of these things will ever be seen.
     
  12. Lord Dalek

    Lord Dalek Producer

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    3-5k is a still a ridiculously high number of extant material for a "golden age" television program. Most daily shows from that era only have a handful of material escaping wiping.
     
  13. Mark Y

    Mark Y Screenwriter

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    I thought the cited figure was between three and five hundred, not thousand.

    My understanding is the original Howdy Doody series ran to 2,343 episodes -- during the last years, announcer Bill LeCornec would say over the show opening, "It's the 2,xxx Howdy Doody show, starring Howdy Doody and Buffalo Bob Smith." (It gets me wanting to identify the "show numbers" of the ones I have from before they started doing that.) The famous "Clarabell Speaks" final show is #2343 (although on the back of their 40-episode set, Mill Creek mistakenly said there were 2,543 episodes produced). The New Howdy Doody Show consisted of 130 half-hours (plus a one-hour pilot special which aired during the summer of 1976). Add in that one NBC fall-preview special and the 1987 special It's Howdy Doody Time: A 40 Year Celebration and it all comes out to 2,476 shows -- unless there's anything else I'm missing.
     
  14. Mark Y

    Mark Y Screenwriter

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    Something else puzzles me, and I wonder if anyone here can shed some light. The Mill Creek 40-episode collection has three "bonus episodes." (One is the final show from color videotape -- as an aside, this was also released by Image Entertainment as part of their series of four DVDs. The Image version includes some control-room audio, accompanied with still photos, before the show properly begins; this is not on the Mill Creek version. The second reel of the Image version also begins with a few seconds of freeze-frame on John J. Fadoozle; the Mill Creek version is not freeze-framed, revealing some brief tape damage which Image was probably trying to cover up.) (This is FYI just for the record. COZI-TV included the control-room audio with the stills from the Image DVD when they ran the show this summer.)

    The other two extra episodes are both anniversary shows. One is labeled "5th anniversary" and is dated January 2, 1953, while the other is listed as "8th anniversary" with a date of December 31, 1954 (this show features Ted Brown as Bison Bill filling in for the absent Buffalo Bob). Wikipedia says Bob Smith was absent following his heart attack in September 1954 and returned in September 1955. But even with one show being from early January and the other from late December, the math still doesn't seem to add up.
     
  15. Rodney

    Rodney Screenwriter
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    I see that The Film Detective is releasing a 4-disc set of The New Howdy Doody Show this Tuesday.
    It appears to be a different compilation than the one Mark posted about back in October, which was a 5-disc set.

    [​IMG]

    Disc 1 - Doodyville Documentary
    Disc 2 - Glory Grits
    Disc 3 - Grab Bag
    Disc 4 - Peanut Parade
     
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  16. Neil Brock

    Neil Brock Producer

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    Authorized by whom, I would love to know.
     
  17. Mark Y

    Mark Y Screenwriter

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    Just checking in. I received the "Memory Lane Syndication" set as detailed here:

    http://www.thenewhowdydoodyshow.com/#shop

    They appear to be professional DVDs (not DVD-Rs). At least they are not purple on the underside.

    Quality on what I have watched is awesome. They look to be "from the source," i.e. not from TV or something. (They look and sound better than any versions I have on VHS or DVD, and better than the Cozi showings, though I was only able to receive those through a digital over-the-air antenna, and that's another whole subject.)

    They are complete, they include the references to Florida and the footage of Sea World (?) at the beginning, and the full closing credits.

    But...every show has a superimposed "E/I" in the upper right corner throughout the entire length of the show. That would suggest "bootleg" to me, unless this is on whatever source elements they used. (If it is, it would have been added in relatively recent times.)

    The packaging (which could have been done by anyone with a software program) shows Memory Lane Syndication as the distributor, with a copyright date of 2005 (?). The "E/I" logo appears on the spine as does a blurb saying "New On TV" inside a TV-screen shaped box (like when you see infomercial-type merchandise in a store and it says "As seen on TV").

    So what is this? Is this some sort of promo sampler? Did this get sent out to cable channels to solicit them to run the series?

    Or was this made in someone's basement?

    Also, I went back to the website this morning and found it's been updated a little. There are a few photos added (not from the 1976 series but from the original Howdy Doody show), as well as a full episode list for the series (I was very happy to discover this). They have "testimonials" which appear to be lifted from Amazon reviews of past VHS and DVD releases of episodes.

    I see that Amazon is offering some of the shows as downloads, including the first week of shows ("The Phantom Of The Doody-O Studio") which has been released both on VHS and DVD in the past, but is not part of this set. It has the same graphics as the box set cover.

    Anyway, I'm glad to have these. The original Howdy Doody show was still better, though.
     
  18. Tony Bensley

    Tony Bensley Producer

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    Image does (Or did?) seem to have a habit of using stills to cover for missing material, even when what is actually missing is very minimal. For instance, I never knew that the Stan Laurel & Oliver Hardy silent comedy THE SECOND HUNDRED YEARS (1927) was missing any footage until I viewed the Image DVD version, which used a still in the film's opening scene. It couldn't have been more than a few seconds that was missing.

    Regarding the 5th and 8th Anniversary Howdy Doody shows dated just under 2 years apart, it just seems that somebody sucks at basic math! I have that Millcreek DVD set, but have yet to view either of these episodes, so I don't know whether it was a goof up during the show's original run, or somebody at Millcreek doing the liner notes got careless, although I tend to suspect the latter!

    One of my favorite bits from the early episodes is Buffalo Bob's voice overs for silent films segment. I thought the ones he did for the Mickey McGuire series were a lot of fun!

    CHEERS! :)
     
  19. JoeDoakes

    JoeDoakes Cinematographer

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    Has anyone got this? Is the quality good?
     
  20. Mark Y

    Mark Y Screenwriter

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    I've ordered it but haven't yet received it.

    All new to video (any format). Weeks 7, 8, 24 and 25.

    Including this set, 19 "weeks" out of 26 (or 95 episodes out of 130) have been released in some form, either on VHS or DVD, since 1999. Who woulda thought.
     

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