Saturday, July 5, 2008

Bozo the Clown, Larry Harmon, Dies

I haven't heard much about Bozo's passing -- Larry Harmon, who portrayed the clown for over 50 years, died the other day. But I haven't been watching TV for the last few days, so if it's been on the news -- a funeral like the Pope's, Ronald Reagan's, or Tim Russert's, please forgive my ignorance.

Since the character was licensed out to numerous TV stations around the country, I suppose the odds of your Bozo actually always being Larry Harmon were pretty limited. So it's a little different, the sense of sadness we feel, than if there had been only one of him. Like Santa Claus.

Bozo didn't even start with Larry, but was originated by some other fellow, and Larry acquired the rights to the character. Originally Bozo was a character on a series of Capitol records. I have (or have had) a 78 rpm album involving Bozo as a deep sea diver. I said "have had" because my possessions are not well organized. And Grandma's had numerous garage sales over the years, meaning certain things of mine have a way of disappearing.

But back to Bozo, you know, I can't remember much about his show. It seems like I remember having seen it, but this stuff goes way back. It's like Howdy Doody. I was culturally aware and into it, but forgot it five minutes later. So what can you say? I remember seeing Bozo merchandise over the years and seeing the little phrase on it, "Larry Harmon Enterprises." So when I heard Bozo died, I immediately thought of the name Larry Harmon.

I was at a garage sale myself a year ago and they had a pretty nice Bozo doll, with a string that you pull to hear it talk, but the mechanism didn't work.

Larry Harmon was 83 and died of congestive heart failure at the age of 83. He was one heck of a clown and very successful at it.

On behalf of the entire Slump family, our deepest sympathies are extended.

© 2008 Grandma Slump Enterprises

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