I recall being a little boy and watching the Howdy Doody show on the black and white television set with the ten-inch screen. One of the regular gags on the show involved someone (usually Clarabell the clown) playing a “trick” on ol’ Buffalo Bob by placing, in an obvious place, something that Buffalo Bob was desperately looking for. For example, Clarabell might “secretly” (i.e. on camera) place Buffalo Bob’s “magic handkerchief” in Buffalo Bob’s back pocket without Buffalo Bob knowing.
As the “magic handkerchief” hung from his back pocket, Buffalo Bob would ask Clarabell, “Clarabell, I’m looking for my magic handkerchief. Have you seen it anywhere?” Of course, Clarabell would shake his head “no,” causing Buffalo Bob to search even more frantically for his magic handkerchief. This drove the kids in the live audience (called the “Peanut Gallery”) absolutely insane.
Incredulous that Clarabell could have so easily fooled Buffalo Bob, the kids in the Peanut Gallery screamed, “It’s in your pocket, Buffalo Bob!! It’s IN YOUR POCKET!!!” All the kids at home (including a very young Jimbo) would likewise scream at the television, “Buffalo Bob, it’s in your POCKKKKKKET!!!!” It was frustrating to see Buffalo Bob (a genuine grownup) turn in circles, seemingly oblivious to the screaming coming from the Peanut Gallery and to somehow remain unable to figure out that Clarabell had played a trick on him.
As if this hadn’t driven the kids in the Peanut Gallery (and those of us at home) crazy enough, Buffalo Bob would stretch the gag out even more (Remember, this was live television). Over the screams of the children, Buffalo Bob would say, “Clarabell, something tells me that you know where my magic handkerchief is, and you’re not telling me. You wouldn’t try to trick Buffalo Bob, would you?” Clarabell would again shake his head “no.”
By this time, the Peanut Gallery and the kids at home were about to come completely unglued. “Buffalo Bob!!!! BUFF-A-LO BO-OB!!!! LOOK!!! LOOK!!! THE HANDKERCHIEF IS IN YOUR POCKET!!!!! CLARABELL PUT IT THERE!!!!”
After working the audience into a veritable frenzy and milking it for a few more minutes, Buffalo Bob would suddenly “discover” that the “magic handkerchief” had been in his pocket “alllllll along,” at which time Clarabell the clown would fess up to having played yet another joke on his pal, Buffalo Bob.
Man, that was great stuff for a kid. I hope that kind of thing still captivates children.
Now, having told that story, I want to tell you that this guy is frantically trying to find where he might have put his dog’s feeding dish. Can you people in the Peanut Gallery help him out?