Larry Harmon, the man responsible for most of us knowing who Bozo the Clown is–and who owned the Bozo franchise–died earlier this week. And in tribute, here’s a couple of Bozo clips I found online.
I never knew before how the whole Bozo thing worked–I’ll let you read the Wikipedia article for the full skinnee–but Pinto Colvig, the original voice of Goofy, was the first Bozo. Harmon was a Bozo, then bought the rights to Bozo. Then he licensed the rights to local television stations to have their own actors play Bozo, the most popular of which was Bob Bell on WGN in Chicago. More on him in a moment.
Could not find any footage online of Larry as Bozo, but somebody posted this appearance of the character on What’s My Line? in 1969 and it seemed fitting to share. According to Wikipedia, the actor, Gordon Ramsey, who played Bozo for WOR in New York, then appeared later on the show as himself as another mystery guest.
I wish I could find that segment to couple with this.
Update: Since the original vid has been taken down, here’s both segments, which we also mentioned here.
So here’s Bozo and the Grand! Prize! Game!. I remember watching this when I was a kid and thought that the Grand Prize Game was awesome. Of course, that was the 70s. Ping pong balls in buckets was the cutting edge of amusement technology. And watching this clip–Jesus, I don’t remember the Bozoputer but I remember that everybody won that haircut certificate. Why in the hell would I remember that? Just so you know: that was a rhetorical question.
I’m thinking this is Bob Bell because this all looks way too familiar to me and he was WGN’s Bozo up until 1984.
Update: Alas, this has been taken down and I couldn’t find a good replacement version. If anyone knows of one, please let me know.