Home Today's Reason to Drink November 27: Howdy Doody and Tie One On Day

November 27: Howdy Doody and Tie One On Day


Say kids, what day is it? It’s Howdy Doody Day! So-called because the creator of the freckled-faced cowboy puppet that entranced a nation of children was born on this day in 1917. We’re talking about Robert Emil Schmidt, who was better known as Buffalo Bob Smith, the big man with an easy smile and fringed rawhide jacket. Buffalo Bob was a little more complicated than his fun-loving character on the show would suggest. He liked to approach strangers and demand, “What time is it?” Then, before they could consult their watches, he’d pointedly say, “It’s Howdy Doody Time. It’s always Howdy Doody Time.” Uh-huh. He also got in a bit of trouble during his morning radio show when he announced, completely deadpan and serious, that, à la Orson Welles’s War of the Worlds broadcast, pint-sized aliens were invading South Carolina. Apparently a lot of his listeners believed him and freaked out. Fun fact: Buffalo Bob had something else in common with Orson Welles. Later in their careers, they both hawked under-priced wine. Orson famously did commercials for Paul Masson wines, while Bob was the first commercial spokesman for Riunite sparkling wine. “What time is it?” he would ask during the radio spots, then energetically solve his own riddle, shouting, “It’s Riunite time!” Also? It’s Tie One On Day. It’s supposedly in honor of aprons, wink-wink, but we know what it’s really about. The day before Thanksgiving is one of the biggest drinking days of the year, right up there with New Year’s Eve and St. Patrick’s. If you’re wondering why, it’s because everyone is in town to eat turkey with their parents, and they sneak off to the bars to escape the perhaps oppressive attentions of their loving families. They just want to throw off a little stress. It’s also a time to have a drink with old hometown friends, or friends who are in town for the holiday. We should call it Boozy Reunion Day. Let’s do that. Done deal.


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