Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Clowning Around is NO Joke

I love it when a good happenstance occurs.

In my little world it makes me happy.

It's a sign.

I will admit that it's not a major life altering event...

...but I am in awe when it does happen because it's often about the weirdest things!

Last week I was having coffee with my friend MK.  She is a half a generation older than me.... so that means.... stay with me here.... she is 15 years older than me..... my mom is 15 years older than her, and her kids are 15 years younger than me.... and my kids are 15 years younger than hers.

Got that???

She was born and raised in Chicago.  I was born and raised in Racine.... which is about 60 miles north of Chicago.  Big city .... little town.  I never really had a desire to go to Chicago.... too big for me.  But living close enough to the City.... we got both Milwaukee and Chicago television stations.

Anyway, MK and I often find a great topic for conversation and this time it centered around Bozo Circus!!!

I asked her if she knew what I meant when I said 'do you want a cookie or a Bozo Button'. 

She laughed! 

Do you know what it means???
My authentic Bozo Button
....when someone brags or shows off one should ask him or her "would you like a cookie or a Bozo Button"  getting the Bozo Button would be like getting the consolation prize. However, if you're not from around these parts.... it really isn't very funny.
WGN - TV out of Chicago aired  the show on channel 9 from 1961-2001 during the noon hour.  It was a staple show for kids who walked home to eat their lunch. Bozo Circus
Tickets to attend the popular show had to be ordered years in advance, my parents put our name on the wait list to get tickets to the show just after I was born in 1964.  The story goes that my mom called my dad at work telling him that someone cancelled and our name was next on the list .... in 1967*.
My brother got chosen to play a gag with Cooky the Clown.  If I recall, Cooky told Bozo he was very strong, so strong that kids from the audience could pull on a rope that he was holding and he would not be moved. 
My brother was on one side and a few kids were on the other side pulling the rope Cooky was holding.  All of a sudden a huge gorilla came out from the curtain and started pulling on the rope behind my brother.  Everyone in the audience was laughing.  At the end, we found out that Cooky had put the rope through his jacket and the kids were actually playing tug o war against each other!
Recently, I spoke to my dad about this, and I thought I remembered Ringmaster Mr. Ned pointed at my dad during the show and said to him, "I bet his boss was watching the show."  My dad didn't recall that, but said it was very odd to see fathers on the show since it was performed live during the day.
It was fun watching the show at home, especially during the Grand PRIZE Game.... magic arrows were on the screen as the camera  whizzed around picking out one boy and one girl to play the ping pong ball toss. Six buckets were lined up in a row and the child had to stand behind the line and toss the ping pong ball in each bucket, one at a time.  A viewer from home was picked from thousands of post cards and they received the same prizes.  If you tossed and made it into the sixth bucket.... you won the GRAND PRIZE, often a new bike!!
What's odd about all of this, all the hundreds of thousands of different topics there are.... I was listening to WLS, one of Chicago's leading talk radio shows and the top 5 topics on this past Monday night they were talking about the Nation's Clown Shortage.... no joke! 
The talk show hosts were reminiscing about Chicago's own beloved Bozo the Clown.... ahem, the real BOZO (not the one in the oval office).
I looked at my husband and started laughing.... of all the different things happening in the world, in less than 5 days, the oddest of things ... Bozo the Clown was being talked about.
* doing a bit of research, it seems that Cooky didn't start the show until 1968, so our year of attendance could be wrong.
Fun memories!!!
Did you hear that Bozo the Clown™™™™™ was murdered last night?
It was an axe-murder -- his legs were over there, his arms over there, and his balls were found in bucket #3
wah, wah, wah waaaaaaaah!!!!!
Have a great day!

No comments:


Blog Widget by LinkWithin