Famous Clowns

Bozo the Clown, portrayed by Bob Bell

Bob Bell (1922 – 1997), WGN-TVs Bozo the Clown

Biography of Bob Bell, WGN-TV’s original Bozo the Clown (January 18, 1922 – December 8, 1997)




(Editor’s note: for fans of Bob Bell, WGN-TV will be showing Special: Bozo, Gar & Ray: WGN TV Classics, on Christmas Eve from 10:00 a.m. Central Standard Time, “A look back at three of WGN’s most beloved television series, “Bozo’s Circus,” “Garfield Goose and Friends” and “Ray Rayner and His Friends.” )

Bob Bell, as Bozo the Clown, in an early photo from Bozos Circus

Bob Bell, Bozo the Clown to WGN-TV’s audience in Chicago, has passed away (December 8, 1997) at the age of 75. I’m not from Chicago, but thanks to the magic of cable TV, I grew up with Mr. Bell’s rendition of Bozo the Clown in the frozen north of Wisconsin. To me, he was Bozo the Clown — pure and simple. (more…)

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Don Burda as Homer with Dee

Homer / Don Burda – last walkaround

(from Richard Snowberg)

Dear Clown Camp Family Members,

We have lost a member of our family. With sorrow I am writing to tell you that Don Burda passed away this morning (Thursday, September 11) at 5:15 AM. I have spoken with his daughter, Denise, and she was able to share with me the arrangements that have so far been determined. Don will have a 1 PM service on October 4th at his hometown church, United Methodist Church, in Friend, Nebraska. A private family burial service will follow. A larger Celebration of Life event will take place in Los Altos, California on his birthday, November 8th. This service will take place in the Burda’s current church, Los Altos United Methodist Church, at 655 Magdalena Avenue. This 11 AM gathering, will be a casual dress event, with attendees welcomed – if they wish, to dress in their clown wardrobe. The pastor has proposed a clown processional to begin this service. Following the service, there will be a luncheon served, at which time an open mike will be available for attendees to share memories and stories of  Don’s life. The family is requesting no flowers, but is in the process of selecting memorial funds that friends can gift in Don’s memory. I will have  further information within, perhaps, a few more days. (more…)

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Staff make up demonstration - after. Back row: Kenny Ahern, Brenda Ahern (yes, they're related -- happily married). Front row: Betty Cash/Peewee, Linda Batdorf/Spin, Jim Howle/Jim

Clown Camp 1998

A pictorial journey through Week 3 of UW-LaCrosse’s Clown Camp

A photo history of the UW-LaCrosse’s clown camp, taken back in 1998 (week 3). (more…)

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