On September 24, 1960 the Howdy Doody Show finally came to and end.  And it went out with a VERY BIG SURPRISE!

The show began its run on December 27, 1947 and ran for 2,343 shows.  Everyone my age grew up with this show.  We remember Buffalo Bob Smith and his cast of characters including the beloved Clarabell the Clown.

BUT DID YOU KNOW>>> Bob Keeshan played Calarabell, the mute clown, for many years but left the show after a salary dispute.  Luckily for him (and all of us) he landed again as Captain Kanagroo.  But what about Clarabelle.  Well, several other actors stepped into the role but it was jazz musician/actor Lew Anderson who was in the Clarabelle outfit on the final episode.

The title of the episode was "Calarabell's Big Surprise."  Watch this video.  It is really quite sentimental.  At the end of the show Clarabelle finally speaks, with great dramatic fanfare, just two words.  Two unforgettable words:  "Goodbye kids."  It was the end of a wonderful chapter for many of us kids.

Burt remember...the actor who speaks these lines is not Bob Keeshan, but rather an unknown Lew Anderson.  Check it out below: