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Former clown can still hear thos
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SAN MARCOS - As he looks out his living room
window,the serenity of the well-trimmedLake SanMarcosgolf coursegreetsBobBell daily.
But sometimesit's too quiet. It's then that he hears
echoesof the laughterthat for 25 yearsfilledhis earsand
his soul.
At the heightof his career,Bell wastoutedasthe clown
of all clowns,reigning supremeover one of the longestrunningshowsin history: "The BozoShow."
WhenBell donnedhis costume,from ski-slope,flaming
red hair to banana-boat
shoesand bulbousred nose,he
brought Bozothe Clown to life before live audiencesthat
jammedthe WGN televisionstudioin Chicagoto overflowing. Bell and his colleaguestook it to the hilt, ad-libbing
throughoutan entire 90-minuteshow,enjoyingthe spontaneityof it all, clowningit up.
Waitingup to eig
matterof fact, and
once they were in
Andfansate it up.
every daythe show
Goodold slapstick- from pies in the face to revived
Bell attributesth
burlesquebits - entertainedtelevisionviewersas well. he sharedwith the
The show,a nonstop,fast-paced
meccaof sensorydelight offered wholesome
featuringcircus animals,jokes, gags, games,audience entertainment.a cl
"It was never ju
seasof smiles.
workedtoo hard to
The original Bozo,Larry Harmon,portrayedthe clown
"The most impor
on record albumsand an unairedTV movie in the early to treat each othe
1950sfor CapitolRecords.Harmonthen purchasedthe genuinelyenjoyed
televisionrights to the character and beganfranchising showsandmadepe
the programto localstationsthroughoutAmerica.In all,
The successinc
Harmonestimates,there havebeen 183 Bozos,manyof
themoperatingat the sametime.
"Bozowas the d
But Bell,who becamethe WGN Bozoin 1959.hadthe trouble.but whose
longestrun of them all. And, whenthe superstationbegan
broadcastingby satellite in 1978, "The Bozo Show"
reachedmorethan4,000marketsaroundthe globe.