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Circle 4 Ranch was a weekend local kids show in Washington, D.C., hosted by Joe Campbell, a singing cowboy. In 1954, Circle 4 Ranch expanded from 30 minutes to 60, and Campbell decided to fill the additional half-hour with songs and skits, "and thought it might be interesting to add puppets to chat with, in the same way Buffalo Bob Smith interacted with his marionette co-stars on NBC's powerhouse kids show Howdy Doody."
That suggestion led to show producer and director Bob Porter introducing Campbell to Jim Henson, who had been hired as a set designer for the show. Henson had agreed to build and perform some puppets, Longhorn and Shorthorn, that Campbell had created and designed, and would provide the voices via pre-recorded tracks.
The show would end six months after Henson joined the show.