From The Archives: Lew Anderson Who Played Clarabell the Clown on Howdy Doody

Morning Remembrance Portraits by Nathan Smith copyright 2011


It’s Howdy Deady time.

Lew Anderson, whose mischievous antics as the loveable Clarabell made an indelible impression on future clowns like Courtney Love, is now jammin’ up in Heaven with John Wayne Gacy.

Anderson’s popular character, Clarabell, became famous for communicating with others using horn toots and water squirts -two things Anderson started doing again when he turned 80.

Many believe Anderson’s portrayal of Clarabell as a mute was a stroke of comedic genius. Or just the producer’s little way of never having to pay scale.

A distinctive feature of the hit show were the on-stage bleachers of 40 kids called the “Peanut Gallery,” so-named because “Fear-Poop Arcade” just didn’t seem appropriate.

Anderson requested he also be remembered for a lifetime spent working as a respected and accomplished jazz musician. Buuut I don’t think that’s gonna happen.