Bozo the Clown is back, thanks to David Arquette

I’m just old enough to remember Sonny Fox as the host of Wonderama, but most of my memories of the show are of Bob McCallister as host.

I’m starting to forget the details of the show; just bits and pieces.


I really enjoyed Bozo as a kid. He ran on Channel 9 WOR in NYC, as I recall.

One of my childhood friends got to be in the audience. We got a glimpse of him in the stands during the closing credits, while the kids batted a giant balloon around.

In July, 1969 my family travelled to Little Rock, AR to visit my uncle. I was surprised and baffled that the TV channels were different, and totally weirded out when my aunt (RIP Dixie) tuned in Bozo for my sister and my cousins. It was a DIFFERENT BOZO on a DIFFERENT (cheaper) SET. Surreal and a little alarming, for a seven year old!

Much later – twenty years actually – I was in Chicago for a trade show, and there was Bozo again! It was interesting and trippy to see how this last bastion of Bozo still holding.




Growing up in Chicago, I was told by my mother that expectant parents put their names on the waiting list for being in the audience on the show. Then, by the time the kid was old enough to understand what’s going on, the family might get a chance to see the show live. My mom and I along with my aunt and cousins got to see the show and my oldest cousin made it on to the Grand Prize Game. I think he won a Lincoln logs set or something. I remember it being an adventure going out to see that but was surprised at how small the bleachers were and that was probably 8 or 9 year old me thinking that.


Heard joke once: Man goes to doctor. Says he’s depressed. Says life seems harsh and cruel. Says he feels all alone in a threatening world where what lies ahead is vague and uncertain.

Doctor says, “Treatment is simple. Great clown Bozo is in town tonight. Go and see him. That should pick you up.”

Man bursts into tears. Says, “But doctor…I am Bozo.

Doctor says “It’s a franchise, dummy. Trust me, I’ve seen both your acts and this guy is a way better Bozo than you are.”




We didn’t need drugs back then.


I was one of those lucky kids who was on Romper Room, with Miss Barbara.
I found out how they did the magic mirror trick (they just switched it! and did a swirl in the camera! how cool!) and it sparked a life-long interest in special effects.

And the big cookies with tiny chocolate chips. That’s all I remember of the experience.


I post that occasionally when Facebook tells me it’s somebody’s birthday. It never gets old.

I had the best of both worlds living on the Canadian border. Uncle Bobby, Bozo from two countries, Mr. Dress Up, The Friendly Giant, and Polka Dot Door.

And don’t get me started on the whole Sid and Marty Krofft drug induced kids shows.

What a great time to be a kid.


Then you must have watched The Uncle Floyd Show… at least once. Sort of a more casual, less structured version of The Soupy Sales Show, and much more hip; Floyd’s show often hosted up-and-coming, (eventually big name) bands and singers.

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Yes. Yes indeed!

I watched Floyd on UHF 68, as I recall. Crummy set, not-even-trying ventriloquism act, Loony Skip Rooney, Netto*, A Day in the Life of a Food.

  • Cousin of a college friend. The family name is Cornetto.

I always felt lucky picking up the channel well!

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