The great Jimmy Durante used to have a catch phrase, "Everybody wants to get into the act." To some extent that was true of Bozo the Clown. He had so many incarnations that it is difficult to comment on just one. Undoubtedly, the most famous person to ever be Bozo was Willard Scott, popular member of the "Today" show for years. He was also the very first Ronald McDonald. The one I watched with my wife and two kids in Jonesboro, Arkansas, in the 1970's was the Bozo on the super station WGN-TV in Chicago, made available to us via cable TV. So the fabulous Bob Bell will always be THE Bozo for us.
At one time there were actually two Bozo's on the show, the friendly, outgoing Bob Bell Bozo and then a mean, ugly Bozo, always causing trouble. Since the program was aimed at children, the good Bozo always came out the winner. My children loved the antics of the two Bozo's. They worked Bozo in between "Sesame Street" and cartoons. There was an early morning Bozo and an after school Bozo as I remember.
Another Bozo show watched from time to time by my kids was beamed out of KARK-TV in Little Rock, Arkansas. Gary Weir played the red-haired, white-faced Bozo for our state. I was able to book my children on the show. Unfortunately, the day they were supposed to appear was a snowy, blizzard-like day where we lived in eastern Arkansas. Even the main roads were closed. I was unable to call to cancel the appearance, the phones being out of order because of the inclement weather. This was not the case in Little Rock, in central Arkansas, where the weather was cold but no snow. About a week later, I received a personal letter of an irate nature from Bozo stating that because my kids didn't show up when scheduled they would be blacklisted and would never be able to be on the Bozo show. I may be the only person who ever received a threatening letter from Bozo the Clown.
Postscript: My daughter did meet Bozo later on a school trip. We still have a large autographed picture of Bozo with his arms draped around her. She kept quiet about the letter.
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