Defending the Bozo?

Defending the Bozo?
Killer Clown

In a recent post I mentioned that I thought clowns and their distant cousin, Santa Claus, were creepy.

This observation was met with some criticism from one of my two loyal readers, Carolyn.  All clowns were not bad, she said.  Yes.  A dead clown is not deadly and therefore not bad.

Even before the killer clown, John Wayne Gacy appeared under the Chicago area bigtop, I thought clowns were creepy.  Gacy, as Pogo the Clown, once said that “Clowns can get away with murder.”  He’s a guy who should know.

Evidence of the first clowns have been traced back to ancient Egypt, where they served in a role of holy man and psychologist, not funny guy.

Think of it, grown men and women dress in garrish pajamas and big floppy shoes and disguise their faces by painting them with strange lines and marks and wear a rubber ball on their nose, all with the idea that it is somehow entertaining to children and weak-minded adults.

Clowns have probably caused more pee and poop accidents in kids pants than any bad food; yet these clowns advertise that they are all about laughs.


Laughs if you think cleaning up kids bodily functions is fun.

As a kid I used to watch Bozo Circus, starting in black and white and then in color.  Color television only made Bozo scarier.

Him and his Grand Prize Bucket Game.   Throw the ball in Bucket Number 6 and you win.

You can’t tell me the ball in the bucket didn’t symbolize something more evil.

What did you win?  Time with Bozo or Oliver O. Oliver?

Were you then shared with John Wayne Gacy?

Or, worse, did you get turned over to Santa Claus?

Some think the FBI should investigate what Ronald McDonald does all day, hanging around all the fast food joints.  At least Burger King got rid of the psycho-king, clown -substitute ads that were running all over television.  I heard he was ground up into a Whopper.

Bozo originated in Chicago, but there were Bozo shows licensed all over the country.  I think the Bozo scourge is over,  as there is no more Bozo on television.  Kids have moved on to video games where they at least are armed and have a chance.

Chicago had a rare chance to influence the world early in the television age, and what do we contribute?  A clown.  A friggin clown.


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  • Bozo did not originate in Chicago. It was introduced in Los Angeles in 1959.

    Chicago contributed more than just "a friggin clown". You forgot Kukla, Fran, and Ollie, Romper Room, Ding-Dong School and others.

  • Aquinas, you are right! Bozo didn't start here. I guess I was mis-informed on that; yet WGN had wide reach, so I'm stretching it and I'll say that Bozo "rose to fame" here.

    Thanks for calling to mind all the true originating shows here. Still, anything with a clown in it is still creepy, whether it is "Chicago's own" or not.

    Don't get me started on Santa Claus, either.

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