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'Howdy Doody Show' writer Edward Kean dies at 85

August 23, 2010

WEST BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) -- A family friend says "Howdy Doody Show" writer Edward Kean has died at the age of 85.

Kean was the primary writer for the show and penned the theme song to which millions of American children sang along each week during the show's run on NBC from 1947 to 1960.

Family friend Del Reddy said Monday that Kean died Aug. 13 at a nursing care facility in Oakland County's West Bloomfield Township from complications of emphysema.

Reddy says the New York City native wrote the song "It's Howdy Doody Time," which was sung during the show's opening.

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Kean is credited with creating the exclamation, "kowabunga," made popular by one of the show's characters and borrowed by Bart Simpson, the animated problem child on the long-running comedy "The Simpsons."

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