E. Roger Muir

Producer / Executive


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his three-hour Archive interview, producer E. Roger Muir (1918-2008) discusses his early television producing experiences for NBC, including bringing The Perry Como Show from radio to television. He details directing NBC Opera Theatre, Your Hit Parade, as well as baseball games for the Brooklyn Dodgers. He talks about becoming the producer of the popular children's program Howdy Doody, which he produced throughout the program's run. He chonicles the run of Howdy Doody, including the different puppets used, the popularity of "Buffalo" Bob Smith and Clarabell the Clown, and the show's transition to color. He also speaks about the creation of Gumby, which debuted on the program. He then chronicles his job heading children's programming at NBC before leaving NBC to produce game shows. Karen Herman conducted the interview on October 20, 1999 in Wolfborough, NH.

"After the very first show, 'Variety' comes out and the review didn't say 'Puppet Playhouse,' it said, '"Howdy Doody's" a hit!'"

Interviewee(s)
Highlights
E. Roger Muir on directing a Brooklyn Dodgers baseball game
E. Roger Muir on the Howdy Doody's theme song and music
E. Roger Muir on Bob Keeshan leaving the role of "Clarabell" on Howdy Doody
E. Roger Muir on "Howdy Doody" changing appearance when they got a new puppet on Howdy Doody
E. Roger Muir on the introduction of the first "Howdy Doody" puppet on Howdy Doody, and on "Howdy" running for president
E. Roger Muir on how he would like to be remembered
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early life and influences; on the first time he saw television in 1939, and on going to work for NBC
On producing early service shows on NBC starting in 1947, including I Love to Eat and You Are an Artist; on bringing The Perry Como Show to television from radio, and on meeting "Buffalo" Bob Smith; on directing operas for NBC, conducted by Arturo Toscanini

Chapter 2

On directing NBC Opera Theatre; on directing a Brooklyn Dodgers baseball game; on directing Your Hit Parade
On the beginning of Howdy Doody; on the studio audience of Howdy Doody, which was made up of children, and on becoming producer of the show; on the introduction of the first "Howdy Doody" puppet on Howdy Doody, and on "Howdy" running for president

Chapter 3

On the advertisers of Howdy Doody; on Bob Keeshan as "Clarabell the Clown" on Howdy Doody; on how the peanut gallery got its name on Howdy Doody
On "Buffalo" Bob Smith getting his nickname on Howdy Doody and on the "Howdy Doody for President" storyline on the show; on "Howdy Doody" changing appearance when they got a new puppet on Howdy Doody; on the puppeteers and supporting characters of the show

Chapter 4

On the Howdy Doody's theme song and music; on his day-to-day duties on Howdy Doody, and on the crew of the show; on the 1976 revival of Howdy Doody
On Bob Keeshan leaving the role of "Clarabell" on Howdy Doody; on "Buffalo" Bob Smith's heart attack during the run of Howdy Doody
On Howdy Doody's transition to color; on working with "Buffalo" Bob Smith on Howdy Doody

Chapter 5

On the last Howdy Doody broadcast, and on the legacy of the show; on working with Pinky Lee and Shari Lewis at NBC; on developing Gumby with Art Clokey
On working in children's programming; on leaving NBC, and on developing and producing The Newlywed Game with Chuck Barris; on the Quiz Show Scandals and on producing game shows in Canada

Chapter 6

On his then-recent projects; on his advice to aspiring producers; on how he would like to be remembered and on various people he worked with in his career
On b-roll photos from his career- puppets from Howdy Doody; "Clarabell the Clown" and "Howdy Doody"; Lou Anderson as "Clarabell"; "Buffalo" Bob Smith with "Howdy Doody"; "Buffalo" Bob Smith with the 1976 "Howdy Doody"; "Howdy Doody"; "Howdy Doody" with his parts off; Jim Beard the chef; with "Buffalo" Bob Smith and Lou Anderson; headshot of E. Roger Muir; Studio 3H at 30 Rock; a mobile unit truck; cast of Downtown Quarterback; Sonja Henie and friends at the 21 Club
Shows

Gumby

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E. Roger Muir on developing Gumby with Art Clokey

Howdy Doody

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E. Roger Muir on the creation of Howdy Doody, hosted by "Buffalo" Bob Smith
E. Roger Muir on the studio audience of Howdy Doody which was made up of children, and on becoming producer of the show
E. Roger Muir on the introduction of the first "Howdy Doody" puppet on Howdy Doody, and on "Howdy" running for president
E. Roger Muir on the advertisers of Howdy Doody
E. Roger Muir on Bob Keeshan as "Clarabell the Clown" on Howdy Doody
E. Roger Muir on how the peanut gallery got its name on Howdy Doody
E. Roger Muir on "Buffalo" Bob Smith getting his nickname on Howdy Doody
E. Roger Muir on the "Howdy Doody for President" storyline on the show
E. Roger Muir on "Howdy Doody" changing appearance when they got a new puppet on Howdy Doody, and on the merchandising of the show
E. Roger Muir on the puppeteers of Howdy Doody, and on the supporting characters of the show
E. Roger Muir on the Howdy Doody's theme song and music
E. Roger Muir on his day-to-day duties on Howdy Doody, and on the crew of the show
E. Roger Muir on the 1976 revival of Howdy Doody
E. Roger Muir on Bob Keeshan leaving the role of "Clarabell" on Howdy Doody
E. Roger Muir on "Buffalo" Bob Smith's heart attack during the run of Howdy Doody
E. Roger Muir on Howdy Doody's transition to color
E. Roger Muir on working with "Buffalo" Bob Smith on Howdy Doody
E. Roger Muir on the last Howdy Doody broadcast, and on the legacy of the show

I Love to Eat

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E. Roger Muir on producing early service shows on NBC starting in 1947, including I Love to Eat and You Are an Artist

NBC Opera Theatre

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E. Roger Muir on directing NBC Opera Theatre

Newlywed Game, The

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E. Roger Muir on leaving NBC, and on developing and producing The Newlywed Game with Chuck Barris

Perry Como Show, The

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E. Roger Muir on bringing The Perry Como Show to television from radio, and on meeting "Buffalo" Bob Smith

You Are an Artist

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E. Roger Muir on producing early service shows on NBC starting in 1947, including I Love to Eat and You Are an Artist

Your Hit Parade

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E. Roger Muir on directing Your Hit Parade
Topics

1939-40 World's Fair

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E. Roger Muir on the first time he saw television in 1939, and on going to work for NBC

Advice

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E. Roger Muir on advice to an aspiring producer

Historic Events and Social Change

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E. Roger Muir on the first time he saw television in 1939, and on going to work for NBC

Industry Crossroads

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E. Roger Muir on the Quiz Show Scandals and on producing game shows in Canada

Pop Culture

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E. Roger Muir on how the peanut gallery got its name on Howdy Doody, and on how "Clarabell the Clown" got his name
E. Roger Muir on the Howdy Doody's theme song and music

Quiz Show Scandals

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E. Roger Muir on the Quiz Show Scandals and on producing game shows in Canada

TV Theme Songs

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E. Roger Muir on the Howdy Doody's theme song and music

Television Industry

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E. Roger Muir on the Quiz Show Scandals and on producing game shows in Canada
E. Roger Muir on advice to an aspiring producer
E. Roger Muir on the then-current state of children's programming
Professions

Producers

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E. Roger Muir on advice to an aspiring producer
Genres

Children's Programming

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E. Roger Muir on producing Howdy Doody
E. Roger Muir on producing Howdy Doody
E. Roger Muir on producing Howdy Doody
E. Roger Muir on developing Gumby with Art Clokey

Game Shows

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E. Roger Muir on leaving NBC, and on developing and producing The Newlywed Game with Chuck Barris

Music Shows & Variety Shows/Specials

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E. Roger Muir on directing NBC Opera Theatre
E. Roger Muir on directing Your Hit Parade

Service Shows

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E. Roger Muir on producing early service shows on NBC starting in 1947, including I Love to Eat and You Are an Artist

Sports

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E. Roger Muir on directing a Brooklyn Dodgers baseball game
People

Paul Alley

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E. Roger Muir on Paul Alley

Art Clokey

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E. Roger Muir on developing Gumby with Art Clokey

Fred Coe

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E. Roger Muir on Fred Coe and Bob Stanton

Bob Keeshan

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E. Roger Muir on Bob Keeshan as "Clarabell the Clown" on Howdy Doody
E. Roger Muir on Bob Keeshan leaving the role of "Clarabell" on Howdy Doody

Pinky Lee

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E. Roger Muir on working with Pinky Lee and Shari Lewis at NBC

Shari Lewis

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E. Roger Muir on working with Pinky Lee and Shari Lewis at NBC

Bob Smith

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E. Roger Muir on bringing The Perry Como Show to television from radio, and on meeting "Buffalo" Bob Smith
E. Roger Muir on the creation of Howdy Doody, hosted by "Buffalo" Bob Smith
E. Roger Muir on "Buffalo" Bob Smith getting his nickname on Howdy Doody
E. Roger Muir on "Buffalo" Bob Smith's heart attack during the run of Howdy Doody
E. Roger Muir on working with "Buffalo" Bob Smith on Howdy Doody

Arturo Toscanini

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E. Roger Muir on directing operas for NBC, conducted by Arturo Toscanini

Sylvester L. "Pat" Weaver

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E. Roger Muir on Sylvester L. Weaver

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