Let’s All Drink To The Death Of A Clown

I assume that as visitors to this blog you are already aware that Larry Harmon, the man who WAS Bozo, passed away July 3 at his home in L.A. He was 83.

I bring this up because many of you are of my generation and we grew up watching Bozo The Clown. The orange-haired freak was both inviting and repulsive, friendly and scary at the same time. Just like the world we had found ourselves deposited into.

Personally, I liked Bozo. But, I grew up in SoCal so my favorite clown was Chuckles, The Birthday Clown. He was on KTTV Channel 11 (like Vin Scully and the Dodgers) while Bozo was on Channel 5 (KTLA). They both did the same gig, kids in the audience, goofy acts and lots of cartoons. I think Bozo was syndicated while Chuckles was local. I liked the cartoons on Chuckles better.

At any rate, the word “bozo” became a synonym for “idiot” or “dumb-ass”. Both the Firesign Theater (“I Think We’re All Bozos On This Bus”) and the Grateful Dead, on their ’72 tour of Europe, appropriated the name “Bozo”. The Dead used it to differentiate between the two camps in their touring party. You were either a “Bozo” or a “Bolo”. The designation was dependent on which bus you found yourself on. Bob Weir and Phil Lesh, being Bozos, often wore Bozo The Clown masks onstage to proclaim their affiliation.

There are real Bozos, you know (aside from Bush and  Cheney) that live on the Niger River in Mali. They’re a fishing people. Their language is known as Bozo as well. It had also been used as a term to describe foolish people, but that’s about all I know about Bozo.

I hope his shoes were sticking out of the casket…he was Bozo after all. May he rest in peace.

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3 Comments on “Let’s All Drink To The Death Of A Clown”

  1. ianbalentine Says:

    It seems a lot of our favorites are passing away this year. A sign of getting older, I guess. Sad but inevitable.
    Oh, and great Kinks reference!

    E

  2. Tom Shudders Says:

    Sad. But we still have our politicians.

  3. Budd Hodges Says:

    Phil…I had all the Bozo records as a kid. Big old 78’s that I played over and over until the grooves wore out. I also watched The Boz on KOTV, Tulsa everytime he was on. Redding used to have a local clown on local KVIP-TV.

    Rest in Peace Boz…keep the Hevens laughing.


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