… so here’s something, part 2 of my ongoing boxing series, apparently.

Other fun stuff. While I await my copy of Kim Deitch’s new book, The Search for Smilin’ Ed [amazon], his dad’s first animated film was re-discovered a couple months ago: “Howdy Doody and His Magic Hat”.

And a good story to go with:

The catch to this opportunity was that all of us bright young hotshot UPA stars absolutely hated the Howdy Doody show, and felt that the puppet itself was gross—a ten on a kitsch scale of one to ten. We determined to “improve” the Howdy Doody character to the level of our hallowed UPA design standard. After all, we were already the toast of New York animation, raking in the prizes and publicity. We simply couldn’t lower ourselves to something so crude, even if the client was paying us to do just that. So we just blithely went ahead with transforming Howdy Doody in our own image.

Unfortunately, this God-like endeavor went down in flames. Kagran paid for the film, but “Buffalo Bob” Smith, Howdy Doody’s Daddy, hated what we had wrought, and ordered the negative destroyed. Our little pride and joy experiment was never shown publicly, and was never properly listed on the International Motion Picture Database. In plain language, it simply did not exist.

So far as I’m concerned, that’s the heart of liberalism: you take some red-blooded red state icon like Howdy Doody and you succumb to the unbearable temptation to ‘make it more like Europe’ – all ‘modern’, New York stiff and flat. And you emphasize that – hey, it’s just a hat. (Thus does the liberal strike at the heart of American exceptionalism.)

At any rate, I’d rather look at Howdy Doody (even without ears) than Glenn Reynolds.