Join The Bozo Army
I go back and forth wondering whether Bozo could return to television. Since Bozo's floppy feet didn't make tracks throughout the whole world, here are are few words about the concept. When TV was relatively new in the US, broadcasters looked for ways to entrance the kiddie set. Lot of times the station would just string together some old cartoons, but more ambitious shows employed a host; a sort of MC to speak directly to camera - or to an in-studio audience. It was really all down to the ability of that presenter (often an Uncle so-and-so or Captain this-and-such) to create something charming and popular, or somethineg amateurish and embarrassing.
Larry Harmon had performed as "Bozo the Clown" for a while when the idea struck him. He could franchise the Bozo concept - he'd help create a framework for a daily TV show starring "Bozo - the world's most famous clown". Harmon would train the clowns, provide the costume, even create a series of cartoons featuring the adventures of Bozo. Any TV channel could have their own home-spun Bozo, and of course every city knew that their Bozo was the best.
Here in Chicago, we were lucky enough to have Bozo on the air from the 60s until around the turn of the century. We were also lucky to have our Bozo genuinely be considered one of the best and most famous (Krusty the Clown's three-pack-a-day rasp is a direct lift from Chicago's Bozo). For as long as there's been standard def color TV, there's been Bozo on Chicago's airwaves.
Bozo lives on in some small merchandising effort, interest diminished since the show doesn't air anywhere anymore. In the 60s and 70s, there was of course far more stuff. One of my favorites is this cloth patch. No need to send in box tops and wait weeks - you could just buy your way into Bozo's good graces for 49 cents. Not only did you get an emblem patch (certified washable by the ominously named "American Institute of Laundering"), but you also got a tear-off membership card at the bottom.
Paying your four bits made you a Bozo Booster, as long as you promised to follow the rules on the back of the membership card. What's more important than eating all your veggies and obeying your parents? Rule #1 of course - your solemn oath to "watch the Bozo TV program faithfully". Goodness knows if the show were still on, I would.