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Not just any bozo…

bozo the dead clown

Hey, kids! Bozo is dead!

Did y’all see this? Larry Harmon died in his home on the third of this month. He was 83.

He wasn’t Bozo’s creator (that would be Alan Livingston of Capitol Records), nor was he the first Bozo (that would be Pinto Colvig, the voice for Disney’s Goofy), but Harmon bought rights to the character in the Fifties and flogged that clown for a zillion bucks. Harmon trained and licensed over 200 Bozos to perform in local cities across the US.

I knew somebody who claimed to know the Nashville Bozo. Said he a pervert. I bet they say that about all the adult men who opt to dress up and play with children for a living. I was told this guy paid $30 grand to become a licensed Bozo.

According to Wikipedia’s list, there wasn’t a Nashville Bozo, so I’ve probably been had. Kids waited years for tickets to go on the program. My big brother was on once, but I don’t even know where. <insert funny anecdote and/or recollection here>

Many local Bozos went on to become local bozos. Weather men. That guy who used to introduced the afternoon movie on TV. Like that.

In 2004, controversy swirled when the International Clown Hall of Fame took down Harmon’s plaque, claiming that he had misrepresented his role in the Bozo legend. Geez. He carried that fool thing for fifty years. Give the man his plaque.

Snopes has some doubts about whether a child ever told Bozo to “cram it” live on-air. However, they did go out live, so I’m sure plenty of unsavory things snuck through. My mother said she saw an episode where some kids sitting in the bleachers got the giggles. When none of them would tell Bozo what was so funny, he asked one of them to whisper it to him while he stuck the microphone by his ear. “Jimmy farted.”

Yeah. Weasel’s back.

July 25, 2008 — 1:11 pm
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