Bozo the Clown – Joey D’Auria Bozo the Clown

We all know what a fan Mike Matei is of Bob Bell. Bob Bell played Bozo in the Chicago version of the show from 1960 to 1984. Mike was four years old when Bob Bell retired but he remembers him fondly.

I’m two years older than Mike and have no memory AT ALL of Bob Bell. So he’ll have to regale you with stories of Bob Bell. For my part, I’m going to compile a non-exhaustive list of memories I have of the show in the Joey D’Auria era.

I watched it every day before school. Just for a few minutes. Ten or fifteen minutes maybe. I’m thinking that I had to leave for school shortly after the show started. But I remember always being disappointed that I couldn’t watch more of it.

Cooky was the main other clown on the show, played by Roy Brown. There was also Wizzo, played by Marshall Brodien. He was only part-time, it seemed. Cooky was a cook and Wizzo was a wizard. In real life, Marshall Brodien was a magician. I don’t know what Roy Brown’s real-life culinary skills were like.

Cooky and Wizzo were already pretty old by the time Joey D’Auria took over the role as Bozo. Roy Brown would have been 52 and Marshall Brodien 50. Joey D’Auria was a sprightly 32.

Roy Brown also played Cuddly Dudley on the show. This was a dog puppet who would read jokes that the kids would send in. Bozo would be there to help out. They’d be knock knock jokes and whatnot. But Cuddly Dudley often had to prompt Bozo to turn the page or put a new letter down because it was keeping in character that the dog was reading the jokes.

I had a stuffed animal that vaguely looked like Cuddly Dudley so I named it in honor of the character. Then I had to sell it for 25 cents at a garage sale. My mother was out there hawking my wares. “Hey, all of my son’s prized possessions: only 25 cents each! Everything must go! I am assuring that he won’t speak to me as an adult!”

There would be games on the show. Usually with kids. And Bozo would call the team who lost, “The second place team.”

Sometimes the parents would play the games. A popular one was putting a pillowcase onto a pillow, taking it off, and then handing it to the next person to do the same. It was always men against women and the men almost always won.

Cooky would sometimes hype the men up. Remind them of the history of men dominating the game.

So there was one time when the men lost. And Cooky really made a big deal out of it. Cooky was the one who would bring the prizes out. So when Bozo said, “And what do we have for our second place team, Cooky?” Cooky said, “You mean the losers?” Bozo sheephisly said, “I mean our second place team, Cooky.” Cooky loudly said, “For the losers we have this deck of Uno playing cards” or whatever the prize was.

Grand Prize Game. This was a game where you had to throw a ping pong ball, sequentially, one at a time, into six buckets of increasing distance from the player. The prizes increased in value the more buckets you got. In buckets one to three you might get an Etch & Sketch or a gift certificate to a hair salon, or some frozen pizza. Nothing amazing. But in bucket four, you’d get a Radio Flyer wagon. And Cooky would put all of the prizes you won so far into the wagon so that you could cart them home with ease. I don’t remember what you’d get in bucket five but it must have been something great.

It all paled in comparison to bucket number six. You got a Schwinn bicycle and fifty bucks. And Cooky would always happily ride out on this little children’s bicycle. Later, they upped the prize to $100 and the bicycle.

The Grand Prize Game wasn’t without it’s fair share of controversy, though. There was one time when a suspiciously old-looking 12 year old was playing the game. Cooky made jokes about him shaving and whatnot.

But the main issue was when kids too young to understand the rules of the game would play. They knew that you had to get the ball in the bucket but couldn’t seem to remember that they had to keep their toes behind the line. So they’d just walk up to the bucket and put the ball in.

They would always allow it but Bozo would get increasingly adamant as this went on, explaining the rules.

There was one particularly egregious offender who was being actively encouraged by his father to break the rules. And Bozo would say, “No, don’t listen to him. Keep your toes behind the line and THROW the ball.” But the kid wouldn’t listen. So after bucket four, Bozo had to essentially restrain the kid while he threw the ball at bucket five and obviously missed.

At the end of the show was The Grand March. This is where Bozo would lead the audience out of the studio while carrying a marching baton. But very often Cooky wanted to lead The Grand March. So Bozo would propose a “fair and square”, which was some kind of bar trick, with the premise that if Bozo lost, Cooky could lead the march.

I always rooted for Cooky. Cooky was the main draw of the show for me. Bozo was fine for little kids and simpletons but Cooky had an edge to him. Cooky appealed to, dare I say, the more cerebral members of the Bozo Show audience. He didn’t talk down to you like Bozo did.

Every once in a great while, something would go wrong with this “fair and square.” Bozo would just fuck something up or the prop broke or it just didn’t work for whatever reason. Cooky would relish this and eagerly take the baton and lead The Grand March.

It was a great show. I watched it regularly, even as it constantly continued its downward spiral, until it was finally cancelled. I was in my last year of college by this point.

It’s all gone now. They didn’t save the tapes. There’s some lost media that Bobdunga should uncover. Fuck this anime shit.

8 thoughts on “Bozo the Clown – Joey D’Auria Bozo the Clown

  1. Mike is just lying like he’s done several times before. Boggles my mind that this untrustworthy loser has so many simps praising him.

    1. It’s such a weird thing to lie about. Bob Bell? He wants to present himself as older than he is but…why? What’s being gained by saying that the A-Team cartoon is your era? You’re not getting any bitches with this.

      1. Tony does it too. He’s a tad younger than most of the 80’s and 90’s nostalgia milkers but he likes to claim “he was there” like he’ll claim he watched PREDATOR over and over when he was 3…..THREE…i mean. Its possible i guess, but that’s your nostalgia connection? Idk.

  2. Fuck Matei. I hate that asshole anyway. The truthers kiss his ass but it’s fault there’s a truth in the first place. No need to go into it. But it’s such a weird flex. Who gives a fuck that you “remember” a different Bozo? Try saying that in high school, you get called a faggot and have your ass beat. But somehow when you’re 42 years old this ok!! It reminds me of when dudes would get high and talk about some hair metal band and how it was better with her e original bass player on the first album or some shit.
    I went to school with a guy who never EVER shut the fuck up about seeing the “original” Star Wars in the theatre. Bro you were born in 1976. You were a baby you had no memory of it. He swears he did. Ok so push him and saying you remember it then it had to be a second run. Maybe in 1981. Before home video lots of films had second runs. Well then it wasn’t the original because George Lucas made all kinds of changes to it. Then eventually he just got pissed and shut the fuck up. Also he had a backyard wrestling persona called the boogie man. But like all back yard wrestlers he was out of shape and did nothing with his life. Then there was an actual boogie man in WWE. We would all watch it and he just got silent and started fuming about how his idea was stolen. Sorry, “stolen”
    It really pissed him off to no end.
    I liked Bozo too because I had an appreciation for locally produced TV. Anything not network and not Hollywood I would watch. There was a time when every TV station had original shows with local celebrities. That’s all gone. It was different it was unique and yeah it was all live and never saved so it’s all lost. Sadly. I heard CM Punk was on one episode. I liked the live one take feel to it. They improvised. They never said cut or did retakes. Hell yes kids cheated on the bucket game. It was great. Who cares who the actor was? Matei also has an affinity for the actor who played Ronald McDonald. Why? Who fucking knows! Erin chose to move across America to live with this guy. Someone she had never met before and only interacted with in YouTube comments!!! Holy fucking god damn shit!

    1. There’s a CM Punk clip here:

      I don’t know if it’s the full thing. The full things used to be on Youtube but no longer.

      Also, there was a Philadelphia Bozo. Why wasn’t Mike watching that one? It was apparently on from 1989 to 1994. I guess was Mike was maybe too old to just get into Bozo as a nine year old. And WGN was being broadcast to much of the country, if not the entire country. Still, I’d like to hear Mike’s take on how Deon Aumier was a better Bozo than Bob McCone.

      I won tickets to the 25th anniversary show…or something. I don’t remember much about it. Let’s see, the 40th anniversary episode (and final episode) was in 2001. So…the 25th anniversary episode must have been 1986…I was like 7 or 8.

      It wasn’t in the usual studio. It was like a theatre performance. It was taking place on stage. And they brought in all of these clowns from the 1970s or whatever and maybe Ringmaster Ned and shit. I had no idea who any of these people were. But they were appealing to older people who enjoyed the show.

      And they had the Grand Prize Game but instead of using the Bozoputer (which they introduced in the early 1980s, I think) they had the Magic Arrows. So, again, they were appealing to people who grew up with this in the 60s and 70s.

      We had front row seats. I remember it being kind of scary.

      My father taped it. We didn’t appear in the special. I watched it once. I don’t know if the tape still exists. That’s the only way that tapes of the show still exist. Loads of people who appeared on the show must have taped their episode. But there’s certainly not much on Youtube. I think Larry Harmon or whoever owns the copyright now is aggressive in trying to get this shit taken down, in spite of the fact that nothing has been done with the character in 30 years.

      I think that David Arquette owns the rights to Bozo now.

      1. Yeah it was weird how WGN and TBS were local stations that were also national. Why couldn’t other cities do that? We had WOR for a while too. Why didn’t Mike do anything sensible? Who knows and fuck him!

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