HAVING ORIGINATED ON the records as 'Bozo The Capitol Clown', the character had a successful four year run on TV via the wonderful world of syndication. The cartoons featured three main characters; being, Bozo the Clopwn of the full and easy laughter., Butch-juvenile sidekick and Boss-the crusty, elderly Ringmaster of the unnamed circus.
THE PLOTS OF the 6-8 minute cartoons usually involved the activity of some hooligans; who are out to rob or to do harm to the Big Top community. One of the pair of recurring baddies that we remember were called "Big Shorty and Short Biggy." And guess what, Shot Biggy was little and Big Shorty was small, or was it the other way around?
THE VOICES FOR the characters were well suited to their appearances. Larry Harmon provided Bozo's vocals. with someone unknown to us doing the juvenile, Butch. As for the Boss, we believe it o have been yet another vocalization from the great Paul Frees; who did the Boss as a Southern Colonel-type. That was an excellent choice; for the Ringmaster was portly, elderly and sported white hair, mustache and goatee. In short, he was almost a Colonel Harland Sanders caricature.
THE LEVEL OF animation, although of the limited TV variety, was good and more than adequate for the purpose. The music was peppy and very Circus-like. Being of a highly formula nature, every Bozo Cartoon would wind up with the main character doing an extended exhibition of his best Bozo laugh.
AS A SORT OF sidebar to the whole cartoon story, the BOZO SERIES had a profound effect on local stations kiddie programming. Local Stations were licensed to produce their own live action BOZO SHOWS; which would feature the Cartoon Series; as well as doing plenty of kiddie sch-tick, often with a live gallery of kids and mommies on hand.
AT ITS HEIGHT, this BOZO Franchise boasted of about 28 authorized shows. NBC TODAY SHOW Weatherman, Willard Scott, had done a hitch as a Bozo. The longest running on the BOZO family tree was here in Chicago; where Bob Bell (later Joey D'Auria) donned the red Bozo male patter Baldness wig and size 22 shoes. He was ably supported by Ned Locke, Ray Rayner and others.
IT WAS A LONG time since the original BOZO CARTOONS were produced that WGN TV, Chanel 9's BOZO'S CIRCUS had a 7 or 8 year waiting list for tickets! IT WAS A different day and simpler way of life then!
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