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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » I'm a real boy! » » Dilly Dally -- Howdy Doody Show (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Fonsy
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"Howdy Doody TV SHOW String Puppet DILLY DALLY Complete with Moving Ears"

Hey, an original Dilly Dally can be yours for a mere $100,000.00
That's what a seller on eBay is now asking.



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TheDummyDoctor
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Quote:
On 2013-04-20 23:07, Fonsy wrote:
"Howdy Doody TV SHOW String Puppet DILLY DALLY Complete with Moving Ears"

Hey, an original Dilly Dally can be yours for a mere $100,000.00
That's what a seller on eBay is now asking.
http://fonsy.weebly.com/


Seems doubtful to me that the seller will get that price. But then again, who knows...eBay is, after all, a very strange land that rarely reflects the true value of many items sold there.

for whatever it's worth, the fact is that the last bona-fide vintage Howdy marionette (not the original, but still with a provenance going back to the 1950s and the original production) didn't come anywhere close to fetching that kind of money when I went to auction.

15-20 years ago, it may have been a different story, but I think that boomers to whom this would have meant anything are now more likely protecting their cash reserves for their retirement. Dilly Dally (built by the late Scott Brinker) is a really wonderful puppet however...He passed through my workshop (along with the rest of the Doodyville cast) for a light refurbishing and minor repairs around 13 years ago.

You can see a brief video clip featuring one of the original Howdys, as well as a brief glimpse of the original Dilly and Bluster, here:
http://mel.machighway.com/~alansemo/olds......edit.mp4
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Alan Semok, Ph.D (honoris causa)

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Fonsy
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I think you are right, Alan.
The seller just seems to be fishing to find out what he can get.
The original "Howdy Doody Show" went off the air in 1960.
So, this is an item for those past their mid-fifties.

The seller seems to be thinking a museum or studio might buy or rent it.
He writes, "NBC, if you want this puppet for Your HOWDY DOODY SPECIAL SHOW, Please feel free to contact me.
I would consider renting it to you if you need it for the taping of your show."

Just out of curiosity, how much did that Howdy Doody marionette fetch at auction?


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And we know NBC often shop on eBay
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Howdy Doody Registry
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Regarding Dilly Dally, I can offer this. My name is Dave Little and in conjunction with the Howdy Doody Historical Society, and several of the original people directly involved with the original NBC Howdy Doody Show, we have jointly assembled an Official Howdy Doody Marionette Registry. It has been published expressly to clarify and quantify the remaining Howdy Doody Marionettes. Furthermore, the Registry was assembled to reduce/eliminate any confusion or fraudulent claims regarding the whereabouts of the original TV marionettes, most of which were auctioned off by Lehland's, and most of which are currently in private collections.

As far as Dilly Dally is concerned, There is only ONE original Dilly. It is currently in private hands, as sold by Lehland's in May of 2003 (item #355). There is also an original Canadian Dilly, auctioned by Lehland's in May, 2002 (item #72). Additionally, in 1976, when a "Revival" Howdy Doody Show was syndicated on American TV, a "revival" Dilly was built. It too was auctioned by Lehland's (October, 1997 - item #38). And back in 1956, a Dilly was built for the Cuban version of The Howdy Doody Show, telecast from Havana on CMQ-TV. The whereabouts of the Cuban Dilly is unknown, but CMQ's station head Mr. Arturo Chabau, who later moved to Miami, did not bring Dilly with him.

These are the ONLY four Dilly Dally's ever built for broadcast TV. None of these original four Dilly's are currently being offered for sale. The Dilly that is currently being offered (April, 2013), is most likely a replica built by master puppet maker Rick Liljeblad. The Registry has been informed by Mr. Liljeblad that a Dilly "replica" was built for the seller who is currently listing a Dilly Dally on ebay. The Registry suggests extreme caution regarding this offering.
Fonsy
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Thank you for the information and warning, Dave!

A suspicious sale on eBay? How surprising!

How many Howdy Doody marionettes are there?


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TheDummyDoctor
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Quote:
On 2013-04-21 17:25, Fonsy wrote:
Thank you for the information and warning, Dave!
A suspicious sale on eBay? How surprising!
How many Howdy Doody marionettes are there?


I'd be curious to know that tally myself (and "Registry Dave", while we're at it...how is it that we've never met or spoken, given my very close association with Bob Smith, Howdy, Scott Brinker, Bob Rippen, and others connected to the show??? I guess the world isn't quite as small as everyone keeps saying! LOL)

Anyway...I do know that I've personally seen and/or handled _five_ bona-fide vintage Howdy puppets (that's including Velma Dawson's original).
Aside from that, there are _definitely_ two latter day non-marionette duplicates that Buffalo Bob Smith used briefly on television; one made by Kramer Marionettes (whereabouts unknown), and one made by me for Bob in record time for an appearance on the 1995 Daytime Emmy awards broadcast (the head of which now sits on a fully strung marionette body and is in a private collection). The marionette copy I built for Bob, which was never used on TV (though it would have been in a commercial in which Bob and Howdy were scheduled to appear around the time of his final illness & subsequent passing) is now a part of the Copperfield collection.

There are a good number of unauthorized knockoffs out there in the wild, most of which were evidently reproduced off of one of the several duplicates which Bob Smith had asked me to make for friends.
Most of the knockoffs were made by one person (whom I won't name)...ironically, he has made more of them off of a bootleg mould than I made from the original direct mould (which is still in my possession)!
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Alan Semok, Ph.D (honoris causa)

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web: www.AlanSemok.com/dummies
Fonsy
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So, there must be Canadian and Cuban versions of Howdy as well.

The Howdy in the Smithsonian -- is that the first one (made by Dawson)?
And is that the only one available to viewing public today?
TheDummyDoctor
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Quote:
On 2013-04-22 00:05, Fonsy wrote:
So, there must be Canadian and Cuban versions of Howdy as well.

The Howdy in the Smithsonian -- is that the first one (made by Dawson)?
And is that the only one available to viewing public today?


I'm, not sure what was used on the Cuban show (and I've heard mention of a Mexican version of the show as well) but the puppet used in the Canadian show went to auction 10 years ago (and that's the one you see in the video link I posted).
The puppet in the Smithsonian is a copy which, by most accounts, was built in the 1950s by Rufus & Margo Rose. The 'Canadian' Howdy puppet was also constructed by the Roses, though interestingly, it looks quite different from the Smithsonian one (which is actually a much better likeness of the original Howdy).
The Velma Dawson original (the one whose ear I appear to be poking in my avatar photo) resides in the Detroit Institute of Art. As far as I know, he is currently still on display there.
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Alan Semok, Ph.D (honoris causa)

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harris
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About 8 year ago,(or so) Paddy Blackwood was the artist in residence at the Puppetry Arts Institute.
He was involved in the later version of the show, as well as making the puppet for Nunsense productions.

Perhaps it is one of his creations.

Side note, I will be at the Puppetry Arts Institute in Independence, Missouri on May 18th.

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Howdy Doody Registry
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Fonsy:
In regards your question "How many Howdy Doody Marionettes are (were) there?", I offer the following. If you question is limited to Howdy's used ONLY on the original American (NBC) TV show, the answer is 7. Howdy #1 was built by Frank Paris and did not look like the Howdy we all recognize today. Paris unceremoniously pulled the puppet from the show over a merchandising dispute in April, 1948. It was referred to as the "Ugly Howdy" and was later destroyed as part of a negotiated settlement between Paris and NBC. NO UGLY HOWDY PUPPET EXISTS TODAY. Howdy #2 was technically a Howdy Doody marionette, but its head was unfinished and bandaged as part of a "face-lift" story line. it was quickly built by New York Puppet-maker Dorothy Zuconic to satisfy sponsor demands for a "visible" puppet, until Velma Dawson's Howdy #3 arrived in June, 1948, officially replacing the Ugly Howdy. The faceless "Bandaged Howdy" is presumed to have been recycled into other Zuconic characters (not used on NBC). Howdy #3 is of course the most famous and classic looking Howdy Doody, It is currently in the Detroit Institute of Arts. Howdy #4 was another Dawson creation. It was referred to as "Double Doody", and was supposed to be a stand-in back-up puppet if needed. However, it did not look enough like Velma's original Howdy to be considered a true double. After unsuccessful attempts to re-sculpt Double Doody, it was reconfigured by NBC employee Scott Brinker as Inspector John J. Fedoozle. Howdy/Fedoozle is currently in a private collection in San Pedro, Ca. Howdy #5 was built by Scott Brinker and became the actual "Double Doody" for the show. It is currently in the Smithsonian. Howdy #6 was built by Rufus Rose as a poseable doll for use as a advertising prop. It was referred to as "Photo Doody". But it was so well made, that it was eventually strung and used on the show as another back-up. Photo Doody is currently owned by Ms. T.J. Fisher of Palm Beach, Florida. The last Howdy (Howdy #7) to be used on the original American (NBC) TV show was another Rufus Rose creation. Used on-air in 1953, and on publicity tours in 1954, it moved to Toronto, Canada in 1955, replacing a Canadian-built Howdy on the CBC's version of the show. Today Howdy #7 is referred to as the "Canadian" Howdy, though it started out on US TV. It is currently in private hands and is still in its original condition.

If you are asking "How many TV Howdy's were there in total, you must add 3 more, for a total of 10. First was the original 1954 Canadian Howdy, which is referred to as the "Spare" Howdy. Lehland's auction house gave it that name in 2002. It is currently in a private collection in Illinois. Next would be the two Howdy's built by Paul Ashley and Jim Rose for the 1976 syndicated "revival" show. Referred to as "Revival" Howdy's, both puppets are in private collections in Michigan and New York. As a final note, The Howdy Doody Show was also produced in Cuba and telecast on CMQ-TV out of Havana in 1956 and 1957. The Cuban show had three of its own puppets (Howdy, Mr. Bluster, and Dilly Dally). The maker(s) are unknown, as are the puppets existence. However, it has been speculated that the original Canadian Howdy, (aka Spare Howdy), was sent to Cuba after its retirement from the Canadian show in 1955 to become the Cuban Howdy. And lastly is the Mexican Howdy Doody Show. It was an animated show ONLY, shown only in Mexican theaters. It ran for only six months. The film is not known to exist. I hope this helps. Dave Little - Howdy Doody Registry
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Dear Dummy Doctor (Alan);
It's nice to finally get to chat with you. I have had your phone number for years and apologize for not calling. Jack Roth was instrumental in helping construct the Registry, and it was he who gave me your number. Having said that, I must explain that the focus of the register is primarily on the marionettes used on broadcast TV in America, Canada, and Cuba (Mexico was on film). The Registry does have a Non-Televised section on the ever growing number of replicas in existence (Howdy's and others), so your marionettes are well documented. But I'm sure there is much more that I could use in future Registry updates. So if you don't mind, I would like to call sometime. The last Registry update was 2012, so new information may not surface for a while, but I would love to have your information in the future file.
Regards,
Dave Little - Howdy Doody Registry
manal
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I remember reading somewhere quite awhile ago that the original Howdy Doody had been stolen and although it had been vandalised it was recovered.
Was this correct?
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Manal:
Back in 1983, the poseable "Photo Doody" Howdy was still in the possession of Howdy producer Roger Muir. It was in Muir's Larchmont, New York office when the office was broken into and "Photo Doody" (not the original Velma Dawson Howdy) was stolen. Poseable "Photo Doody" was seriously vandalized, resulting in a badly damaged head. Once recovered, expert puppet maker Pady Blackwood did a wonderful job restoring "Photo Doody's" head. Now owned by Ms. T.J. Fisher of Palm Beach, Fla. (and New Orleans, La.), "Photo Doody" is still in excellent condition. As a footnote, Ms. Fisher set the bar for Howdy Doody marionettes when she paid Leland's $113,431.00 for the poseable "Photo Doody" puppet (item #42) in October, 1997.
Dave Little - Howdy Doody Registry
TheDummyDoctor
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Quote:
On 2013-04-22 18:51, manal wrote:
I remember reading somewhere quite awhile ago that the original Howdy Doody had been stolen and although it had been vandalised it was recovered.
Was this correct?


A Howdy puppet was vandalized (although not stolen), and yes, it wall all over the news...although the puppet in question was not the original Howdy but rather a stringless/jointed/posable doll that is often referred to as "Photo Doody" (although the head of this doll did do some duty on a marionette body and did appear on camera on a kinescope recording I've seen (if I recall, it was in a commercial).

About the vandalism incident: I made arrangements to visit the office of Roger Muir (Howdy's producer) in the early 80s in order to take some research photos of the puppet, which Roger kindly gave me free reign to do. Coincidentally (I promise) it was the _very same day_ that vandals later broke in to the office and caused the damage. Imagine my shock (and utter panic) when I saw images on television the next day of Roger holding the broken puppet!!!

Interestingly, that particular puppet was the first important Doodyville artifact to sell in an auction, in the late '80s.
Must have been a time of rampant disposable income, since it sold for an utterly insane amount of money (upwards of $100,000 once the various auction fees were added in).
The irony of it is that while the puppet was beautiful and did resemble Howdy, when held next to the original that resemblance was only marginal at best. It was not an exact copy of Howdy. It looked like a younger brother or a cousin. LOL.
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Walden
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$100,000.00 seems steep even for a very accurate replica. Why would someone order a replica, under his own name, and then post it on a public auction site, as being "original"? It sounds unwise.
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harris
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My memory is not as good as it used to be. Paddy was a manipulator during the revision show, not the creator.


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