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trof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-22-07 07:38 AM
Original message
Bozo the Clown dead at 77.
Walter McIntyre, city's `Bozo,' dies
Career on air spanned 50 years
Sunday, July 22, 2007
VAL WALTON
News staff writer

Walter "Ward" Wharton McIntyre Jr., a longtime Birmingham broadcaster who entertained many children in the 1960s as "Bozo the Clown", died Friday. He was 77.

McIntyre's career was mostly in radio. He worked as a DJ on WSGN and WEZB. He became the lovable, red-haired clown, Bozo, on WBRC-TV in August 1962. He performed until 1968.


And, now...the rest of the story:

I first met Ward when I was in my late teens and working as a 'gofer' for a local ad agency. Part of my duties were delivering TV and radio ad scripts and commercial props to city broadcast stations.
(Back then the radio spots could be taped, but the TV spots were LIVE! I could tell some tales about that.)
;-)

Ward was about 10 years older than I. A very nice looking guy with a reputation as a bon vivant, sharp dresser, man-about-town type. He was always very nice to me, asking about my plans for college, career, etc.
I thought he was cool as hell.

About 10 years later Bozo had come to local TV. It wasn't one of my favorite shows ;-) but it came on right before the evening news. So sometimes I'd catch the last few minutes. I knew most of the local broadcasters and Bozo sounded somewhat familiar, but I just couldn't quite place the voice. The character used kind of a raspy falsetto.

One evening I bumped into Ward at a downtown watering hole.
He waved me over to his table.
I sat down, got a drink, and we chatted about this and that.
And then it hit me.
I looked at him and grinned.
"BOZO!

A pained look came across his face.
"Shhhhh. If you tell anybody I'll have to kick your ass!"
Being Bozo was SO totally against his image.
It had been a closely held secret.
Hence the weird voice he used.
I guess the money was good, though.

And I never told.
Until now.
:-)



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JustABozoOnThisBus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-22-07 07:47 AM
Response to Original message
1. A sad passing ...
A toast to someone who helped make Bozos of all of us

:hi:

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Droopy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-22-07 07:51 AM
Response to Original message
2. What a great story
I've heard of Bozo the clown, but I never saw any footage of him on TV. I'm 34 years old. I'm sorry for the passing of your friend.
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trof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-22-07 07:59 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. I think the 'original' was in Chicago.
And kind of franchised out to other markets.
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janx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-22-07 08:08 AM
Response to Original message
4. Bozo actually drank alcohol and said he'd kick your ass?
:rofl:

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trof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-22-07 08:21 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. Shhhhhh. don't tell
O8)
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Ghost in the Machine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-22-07 08:20 AM
Response to Original message
5. Bozo LIVES!!
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trof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-22-07 08:25 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. Great photoshop.
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edbermac Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-22-07 08:38 AM
Response to Original message
8. And he used less makeup than Tammy Faye.
Oh, the irony of it.


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Esra Star Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-22-07 07:18 PM
Response to Reply #8
18. Touche. nt
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MilesColtrane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-22-07 10:50 AM
Response to Original message
9. He's not dead. He just smells funny.
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Ptah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-22-07 10:59 AM
Response to Original message
10. I am reminded of the
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trof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-22-07 11:04 AM
Response to Original message
11. Found some photos of Ward and 'Bozo'.
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rug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-22-07 11:05 AM
Response to Original message
12. When is Bush naming his replacement?
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trof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-22-07 11:14 AM
Response to Original message
13. Some funny 'inside the show' stuff. "Want a tee-tee on the show?"
"The sheer routine of doing the show every day led the staff to welcome any break from the ordinary. "It got to the point," Ward says, "where I could say to the director, 'Do you wanna have a tee tee on the show today?' He'd say, 'Yeah, we haven't had one for a long time.'

Ordinarily, halfway through the show we gave each of the children a Jack's Hamburger and a Mountain Dew (sponsors). Now, if we wanted a tee tee, I'd give them the Mountain Dew the moment they sat down!! That was an absolute necessity. If they got the drink in the middle of the show, they'd wait until they started out and then tell their mama. But if they got it at the beginning, when they said 'Bozo!' and I said 'What?' I knew what was coming. They'd say, 'I gotta tee tee.' I think one time I said, 'Well, I do too,' but usually I'd say 'Your mama will get you in a minute.'"

For many years he preferred to NOT discuss his career in the clown suit, mainly because of the not-so-good-natured ribbing his children had to endure from their classmates at school, but in recent years he has finally come to grips with the fact that most kids truly appreciated his work -- and those are the kind of rewards one does not even attempt to measure."
http://www.birminghamrewound.com/features/kidvid_bozo.htm
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flying rabbit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-22-07 01:48 PM
Response to Original message
14. Can't sleep...
clowns will eat me.
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MilesColtrane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-22-07 05:50 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. To help keep you awake....
Edited on Sun Jul-22-07 05:52 PM by MilesColtrane
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Mojambo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-22-07 06:15 PM
Response to Original message
16. RIP Bozo. Long live Eric the Clown
(From "The Fire" a CLASSIC Seinfeld episode)



GEORGE: Bozo?

ERIC: No.

GEORGE: B-O-Z-O?

ERIC: Sorry, I...

GEORGE: You've never heard of Bozo the Clown?

ERIC: No!

GEORGE: How could you not know who Bozo the Clown is?

ERIC: I don't know, I just don't.

GEORGE: How can you call yourself a clown and not know who Bozo is?

ERIC: Hey, man - what are you hassling me for? This is just a gig, it's not my life. I don't know who Bozo is, what - is he a clown?

GEORGE: Is he a clown? What, are you kidding me!?

ERIC: Well, what is he?

GEORGE: Yes, he's a clown!

ERIC: Alright, so what's the big deal! There's millions of clowns!

GEORGE: Alright, just forget it.

ERIC: Me forget it? You should forget it! You're livin' in the past, man! You're hung up on some clown from the sixties, man!

GEORGE: Alright, very good, very good...go fold your little balloon animals, Eric. Eric! (chuckles) What kind of name is that for a clown, huh?
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trof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-22-07 06:32 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. I bet he didn't know who Weary Willie was, either.

With the Great Depression, work became harder to come by -- Emmett Kelly worked at Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus, later joining the Cole Brothers & Clyde Beatty Circus in 1935, and joining the Mills Circus in England in the late 1930's. While performing in Europe, he performed for the Queen of Spain and Winston Churchill, among other notables. It was in London that he came to the attention of John Ringling North, who eventually signed Emmett Kelly in 1942 for the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus -- after Kelly had turned The Big Show down twice.

Emmett Kelly, in his guise as Weary Willie, did not join the huge Spectacle numbers at the conclusion of each performance, but instead wandered into other performers' acts -- string up laundry on a low acrobatic wire, dusting off animals, and working the stands. Read a first-person account of one of Emmett Kelly's circus performances. In addition, Emmett Kelly also performed in the ring in his own acts, with the most famous undoubtedly being his "sweeping the spotlight" routine. (An otherwise unremarkable children's movie, The Clown and the Kids, stars Emmett Kelly Sr., including a rendition of his sweeping up the spotlight routine).

Emmett Kelly Sr. remained with the Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus for fourteen seasons, taking the 1956 season off to perform as the 'mascot' for the Brooklyn Dodgers (Thuh Bums). Emmett was active on Broadway ("Please Keep off the Grass") and movies (notably the circus classic The Greatest Show on Earth and Fellini's classic The Clowns). Beginning in 1957, he worked with the Shrine Circus and made personal appearances worldwide.

Emmett Kelly Sr. died of a heart attack on March 28, 1979, at his home in Sarasota, Florida, USA. He is memorialized by the Emmett Kelly Museum in his birth town of Sedan, KS.
http://www.clown-ministry.com/index_1.php?/site/articles/emmett_kelly_sr_biography_world_famous_tramp_clown/
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rainbow4321 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-22-07 08:09 PM
Response to Original message
19. Awwww..I loved Bozo
Still have that bright yellow/white cup (w/ a Bozo pic on it) from back then---that thing has travelled thousands of miles over the last 40 years!
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