Monday, 3 November 2008

E. Roger Muir R.I.P.

E. Roger Muir, executive producer and co-creator of Howdy Doody, passed on October 30 at the age of 89. The cause was a stroke.

Muir was born Ernest Roger Muir in Alberta, Canada on December 16, 1918. When Muir was twelve the family moved to Minneapolis. Muir attended the University of Minnesota, majoring in photography. In 1941 he was draughted into the United States Army and assigned to the Army's film production unit. It was there that he met Warren Wade, who had worked for NBC before the war. Upon returning home Muir received a job at NBC from a referral by Wade.

Muir began directing shows at NBC, including the quiz show Who Said That, Your Hit Parade, and The Wide, Wide World. Muir would go onto help create Howdy Doody. He produced the show for its entire run, from 1947 to 1960. It was Muir who came up with the idea of having Howdy Doody run for president of the boys and girls in the 1948 election. Once Howdy Doody ended, Muir and Nick Nicholson founded their own production company. Among the shows they produced were Concentration and The Newlywed Game. During the 1976 to 1977 season Muir attempted a revival of The Howdy Doody Show. It only lasted one season.

As co-creator and producer of The Howdy Doody Show, E. Roger Muir made a lasting impact on pop culture. It was easily among the most successful children's shows with which early Baby Boomers grew up. While its Seventies revival failed and even clips of the show are rarely seen today, then, Muir undoubtedly had an impact on over half of one generation of Americans.

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