Sorry, Doodyville, one of Howdy’s most dedicated sponsors from the 1950s has filed for bankruptcy. Hostess Brands, makers of Hostess Creme-Filled Cupcakes, Twinkies and Ding Dongs — not to mention Wonder Bread — has assets of about $1 billion but is struggling under a debt load of $860 million.
A privately held company located in Irving, Texas, Hostess became a staple junk food maker for kids, who grew up sneaking Twinkies and Hostess cupcakes when no one was looking after seeing them on TV's kid shows, like Howdy Doody. High-end restaurants took to duplicating the cupcakes as desserts in later years, playing on the nostalgia.
Buffalo Bob once told me he did private “blue” dress rehearsals for executives of the sponsors, which no doubt included Hostess. Later, when I was older I worked on the floor crew of “Mr. Knozit,” a kid show run by Joe Pinner, at WIS-TV in Columbia, S.C.
On this show, Joe had to tear a slice of Wonder Break straight down the middle to prove how fresh it was. The trick worked because I would go to the factory and get the freshest loaves of bread available for the show. Otherwise, the bread would never tear straight.
Hostess is an iconic American name. We hope it survives long after its current financial problems. Those memories are still strong to this day.
Me, Howdy and Buffalo Bob of the Howdy Doody Show