Bozo to hang up his nose.
March 25, 2001 8:07 AM   Subscribe

Bozo to hang up his nose. After 40 years on the air in Chicago, the final episode of The Bozo Show will air in August. One of the personalities ingrained into the head of every Chicago kid is going away.
posted by hijinx (14 comments total)
WGN really didn't help much, I s'pose. Bozo had become, in recent years, a really cruddy version of the Bozo Show I remember growing up. It was a two- or three-hour Sunday morning educational program, and they were giving away things like globes on the Grand Prize Game.

I saw the Bozo show back when I was 7 or 8. My pal Joey and I got front-row tickets (getting tickets for Bozo was beyond difficult). A magician on the show that day pulled a coin out from behind my ear, marking my first appearance on TV. I was genuinely amazed, and you could tell in my eyes... it was just part of the whole magic that the show offered.

I suppose that since Cooky died, ending the show is kind of a poetic justice, since the show wasn't the same without him.

Instead of something associated with Chicago, we'll get more nationally-created stuff for kids. Hooray.
posted by hijinx at 8:11 AM on March 25, 2001

I used to watch Bozo too. Indeed, who in Chicago didn't?

I always wanted to play the Grand Prize Game - a test of skill requiring young children to toss a ping pong ball into a series of 10 buckets. Hitting the last one usually won you a brand new bike and a "crisp $100 bill".

I have to admit, however, that Bozo always gave me the creeps. While I don't harbor a secret fear of clowns, there was always something about him that freaked me out. Still, it's sad to see a staple of local programming leave the airwaves (or cable, as it were).

For those not from Chicago, just think of Krusty the Clown as slightly less drunk and with red hair rather than green.
posted by aladfar at 8:41 AM on March 25, 2001

Y'know, we had Bozo in Detroit too. It wasn't just a Chicago thing. How widespread was the Bozo Phenomenon?

(Did y'all have Bozo cartoons? Bozo and Butchie-Boy? "Just Keep Laughin'"?)
posted by rodii at 9:10 AM on March 25, 2001

Time was when there was a local Bozo show in almost every major American TV market. When I was a tiny tot here in Boston, Frank Avruch was Bozo. Bozo wasn't as big a deal here as Boomtown, though.

Larry Harmon was the first "real" Bozo and licensed out the character.

When I was a college student at Northwestern University, there was a drinking game that people played based on the Bucket game -- you had to take a drink for every bucket the kid could get the ball into.
posted by briank at 10:21 AM on March 25, 2001

I was on Bozo in 75, the magic arrow (younger reader might recall it's replacement the bozoputer) picked the kid next to me to
play the grand prize game. It was my
first crushing defeat. The kid picked only got to the second bucket! The kids mother shot me a nasty look when I informed the
kid that his motor skills were sub par. Ringmaster Ned used to put a silver dollar in the last bucket everyday, and it was up to
some princely sum the day I was there.

I think there was a 5 year waiting list to get tickets back then, people used to apply when they were pregnant. I only live 2
blocks from the WGN studio, I wonder why I have never wandered over there? Here is a good Bozo page. I just
remembered a really weird thing. Several years ago, I saw a spanish bozo on one of the local spanish channels. It looked like it
was being filmed live at the Medinah temple or something. Bozo was sloppy, and wearing the very rare red clown suit that I only
remember from my youngest days, there was a woman wearing a bikini and Cookie makeup, and a little kid dressed as a hobo
clown, who kept saying "Es Boso, es Boso!". I watched 'til the end and never had a clue.
posted by thirteen at 10:45 AM on March 25, 2001

aladfar: My Chicago-raised girlfriend claims there were 6 buckets. ;o]

She appreciates the memories though--thanks hijinx and everyone.
posted by aflakete at 11:12 AM on March 25, 2001

For what it's worth, they used to show Bozo out of New York City in the late 60's. I remember watching it as a kid... but it wasn't a Sunday morning show. That revered time-slot was saved for Wonderama, interspersed with Bugs Bunny cartoons, and followed by The Bowery Boys.
posted by crunchland at 11:23 AM on March 25, 2001

(Thirteen: what is *up* with your line lengths?)

briank: thanks for the link. Although that is the most disappointing excuse for a Bozo site… you'd think an animation studio would at least have >2 graphics.

In Detroit, I think Bozo was on Saturday when I was a kid. Then something mysterious happened, the station lost the franchise rights or something, and the former Bozo-person became Oopsy the Clown on Sunday. Same personality, green costume instead of blue, different cartoons. Very confusing to us kids, but we figured Bozo just had a personality crisis or something. He wants to be called Oopsy now? OK. We knew that he was Bozo underneath.
posted by rodii at 11:32 AM on March 25, 2001

rodii: Sorry, spellcheck was slow so I pasted my text into my e-mail program, and did not notice the breaks when I pasted it back into Metafilter.
posted by thirteen at 11:38 AM on March 25, 2001

We had Bozo here in Northern Michigan too, but that's because we have WGN on cable.

Did the magician say "Doody doody doo" or "boody boody boo"?
posted by Mark at 12:55 PM on March 25, 2001

I remember "woody woody woo." It has been a long time though.
posted by john at 1:29 PM on March 25, 2001

Wizzo the magician, right? I'm almost certain it was "Doody Doody Doo".

But then again, I was wrong on the buckets, so I may be wrong on this too.

Speaking of the buckets, did anyone else ever see one of those kids who missed the first one? I always felt bad for them - one of those things that's probably left permanent emotional scars on a number of people.
posted by aladfar at 2:55 PM on March 25, 2001

Wizzo aka. Marshall Brodien. And Doody it was.
posted by thirteen at 3:11 PM on March 25, 2001

Similar to rodii: I watched Bozo on local TV growing up in Duluth in the mid-60s. One Monday afternoon, without warning, he morphed into "Mr. Toot". Same personality, slightly different makeup and costume (he became a hobo clown), different cartoons, hastily repainted and reshuffled sign that changed "B-O-Z-O" into "T-O-O-T". It shaped my sense of permanence and my early moral judgments.
posted by mac at 6:46 AM on March 26, 2001

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