Howdy Doody’s Christmas (1951)
Article 5874 by Dave Sindelar
Featuring Dayton Allen, Robert Keeshan, Bob Smith
What it is: A puppet Christmas
When Santa fails to show up for Christmas, Howdy Doody, Buffalo Bob Smith and Clarabelle the Clown take the rocket doodle to the North Pole, where Santa is being kept hostage by Ugly Sam who has mistaken Santa for a burglar.
I have this one on a collection of cartoons, but it barely qualifies as one; outside of about 15 seconds of Santa taking off in his sleigh, it’s all live action. Other than that, it’s a not particularly memorable piece of whimsy with Clarabelle’s antics the highlight. The presence of Santa as well as the fact that the Rocket Doodle appears to be the flying machine from the Flash Gordon serials provides the fantastic content. It’s holiday filler, and there’s lots of that out there.