POLI SIGH: Christine O’Donnell Is Son Of Bozo (Sorta)


WILL BUNCH: Times reporter Mark Leibovich described Bozo – the TV clown made famous by Larry Harmon but ultimately franchised in the 1960s to local channels in dozens of cities, including Philadelphia – as Daniel O’Donnell’s “signature role,” […] the senior O’Donnell admits that it was hardly a “signature role” but a short-term gig; in fact, any full-time actor who played Bozo was required to attend a special clown school led by Harmon in Texas. “They gave me a book with 60 pages on how to be a ‘Bozo,’ ” O’Donnell recalled. Even though it was only a few weeks, the experience provided the part-time actor with lifelong memories of a golden era in Philadelphia TV when live shows still flourished. He said the “Bozo” episodes were taped in a small studio in an apartment building owned by the founders of WIBF, the Fox family of Jenkintown. One day the producer told him that the show would be canceled because snow had sidelined the bus driver who was supposed to bring in schoolchildren for that day’s audience. But O’Donnell said he called his wife and rounded up a studio full of kids from the neighborhood. He said they were counting down to start the live telecast when one of the children ran into the booth and blurted out, “That’s not Bozo – that’s Mr. O’Donnell!” MORE

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