Thursday, November 15, 2007



This is a very Chicago-centric drawing.

At the top of every broadcast of Bozo's Circus, Ringmaster Ned would proclaim:
"Give me a loud answer to this question.
Who's your favorite clown?"

And the kids would squeal "Bozoooooo!"

And Bozo would inevitably respond with:
"That's meeeeeeeeeee!"
And that meant that Bozo's Circus was on the air.

Bozo's Circus was a Chicagoland institution. It ran on WGN for something like 40 years and went through a lot of incarnations.
I was there from the get-go.
I grew up in an idylic 50's suburban environment where we all went home from school every day for lunch.
That meant we could watch Lunchtime Little Theater featuring Aunt Dody, Uncle Ned, and Uncle Bucky.
In my neighborhood there was little doubt who the star of the noontime broadcast was--we called the show "Uncle Bucky.

After Lunchtime Little Theater went off the air it was eventually replaced by Bozo's Circus. The former Uncle Ned, was now Ringmaster Ned and he was the only sane and stable character in the entire circus. Ned Locke Bozo was portrayed for over 20 years by the incredible Bob Bell. As any Google search will reveal--there were many actors who portrayed Bozo the Clown over the years, but by virtually all accounts, none of them could hold a candle to Bob Bell.

Bell commented upon his retirement,
"I was always somewhat calloused about broadcasting, but this Circus is the doggonedest phenomenon I have ever seen. There's always the satisfaction that you have done something for somebody that goes beyond the commercial aspects of the show. I love my work and enjoy making children laugh. Laughter cannot be imitated. It comes from the heart."

He was replaced with a new Bozo, the citizens of Chicgo got quite upset.
Bozo's Circus was never quite the same.

Anyway, this drawing is from the late 70's. As I recall, there had been an announcement in ADWEEK of an new product--BozoDogs. I haven't a clue if the product ever actually managed to grace grocery shelves. But I do remember drawing this almost immediately after reading the article. I particularly enjoy the drip of coffee right above the letters "UTA."

And I was most certainly was waxing nostalgic about THIS!

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