More Animated Clowning Around

In my last post, I talked about how the Fleischer brothers used the rotoscoping technique in the production of the “Out of the Inkwell” cartoons featuring Koko the Clown.  This post talks about another cartoon clown–one based on a human TV clown.

Bozo the Clown was the host of “The Bozo Show” on WGN in Chicago for many years.  There were also various regional Bozos.  Bear with me for a bit and I promise to get to how this applies to animation.

According to Don Markstein’s Toonopedia web site, “Bozo the Clown didn’t start out as a cartoon character. ”  Rather, according to Markstein, “He began in a series of book and record sets, designed so kids could listen to a story and read it at the same time.”  The first of these, Markstein continues, was ‘Bozo at the Circus’, issued in 1946 by Capitol Records.”  The first actor to voice Bozo and portray him in promotional performances “was Pinto Colvig, who also portrayed Disney’s Goofy.”

Toonepedia points out that, in 1956, “Larry Harmon (one of several actors who portrayed Bozo in one venue or another), along with several partners, bought most rights to the character.”

According to the TV Acres web site, Harmon, “in 1959, produced a series called, ‘Bozo the Clown’ (The World’s Most Famous Clown).”  TV Acres says that the Bozo cartoon “featured Harmon voicing both Bozo and his circus sidekick, Butchy Boy.”  Toonepedia says that “there were 20 five-minute shorts made in 1958 by Jayark Films.”  Beyond the original twenty shorts, Jayark created 136 more from 1959-1962.

I usually like to attach one or more YouTube clips to each of my posts, with the posts relating to the topic I am discussing.  However, I was, unfortunately, unable to find any clips from the “Bozo the Clown” cartoon.  If you don’t remember it, you’ll just have to take my word for it that the cartoon existed.  Trust me.


2 Responses to “More Animated Clowning Around”

  1. August 10, 2010 at 10:36 pm

    Bozo the Clown will never be forgotten. Have you hear of Larry Harmon’s book that just got published? “The Man Behind the Nose: Assassins, Astronauts, Cannibals, and Other Stupendous Tales” http://lcoonline.wordpress.com/2010/08/10/the-man-behind-the-nose/

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