Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Daytime Heroes: Bozo, The World's Most Famous Clown (1958)

Larry Harmon didn't create Bozo the Clown, but he has become most associated with the character after acquiring the rights several years ago.

Harmon, taking his cue from Romper Room's creator, Bert Claster, franchised Bozo to stations around the country who could hire their own actors to play the "World's Most Famous Clown", whose longest stint in any one city is Chicago. Did my home district get a Bozo? Nope. However, the show was briefly revived in syndication and aired on WPIX in the 80's, complete with the original aniimated shorts from the 1958-62. For the cartoons, Harmon did the voice himself, and also produced the cartoons.

Harmon was one of several animators to also work on Popeye during the 60's, and his staff included future Filmation founders Lou Scheimer & Hal Sutherland. Right now, scope out "Square Shooting Square":

For some reason, Bozo didn't really translate well in animated form. Considering that he started in a series of Book & Record sets from Capitol Records, and voiced by Pinto Colvig (Goofy), it is a little strange.

Rating: B.


magicdog said...

I do remember the revival on WPIX and the cartoons. Howdy Doody had a revival in the 70s too.

Harmon was wise beyond his years. So many people from that era were cheated out of their characters in one way or another - he was forward thinking enough to franchise it!

The reason why the cartoon doesn't work as well is like making a cartoon series out of other wacky live action characters like The Mask or Police Academy or The Addams Family. It's redundant.

hobbyfan said...

Would that Hollywood would figure that out.