There are few things that can take us back to our childhoods quite like the kids’ TV characters we grew up watching. Spanning from the dawn of the small screen right up to the multi-channel era of the early 21st century, here’s a look at 20 all-time favorites. Get ready for a trip down memory lane.
20. Howdy Doody and Buffalo Bob
Regarded as the daddy of American kids’ TV, Howdy Doody premiered on NBC back in 1947 and remained on air for the following 13 years. Set in the Wild West, it was presented by Buffalo Bob Smith and the titular character, a marionette with a freckle for each of the 48 U.S. states at the time. Smith, who got his break singing on the radio, and his co-star both wore cowboy outfits while hosting a mixture of music and sketches.
19. Paul Winchell and Jerry Mahoney
Of course, Buffalo Bob and Howdy Doody weren’t the only ventriloquist double act to make an impression at the time. Paul Winchell and his dummy Jerry Mahoney were regular faces on network TV throughout the 1950s, too. An eponymous NBC prime-time show, which twice changed its name, saw the pair entertain audiences for four years with a mixture of dramatic skits, comedy sketches and quizzes. The wisecracking Mahoney and eternally exasperated Winchell continued to perform together until the early 1970s.