TIMELINE
1940s
1950s
1960s
1970s
1980s
1990s
2000s

IMAGES

AUDIO/VIDEO

 

1950

KTTV-TV (CBS) Los Angeles' "Bozo's Circus" goes off the air.

Capitol Records closes its television division.

1953

Capitol Records Creative Operations Vice President Alan Livingston signs Frank Sinatra with Capitol.

Elmo Williams and Harry W. Gerstad receive a "Best Film Editing" Oscar for the 1952 motion picture "High Noon" during a live NBC broadcast of the 25th Annual Academy Awards at the RKO Pantages Theater in Los Angeles. (This, the first Oscar telecast, can be viewed at the Museum of Television and Radio in New York and Beverly Hills, California.)

1954

Hal Roach, Jr. produces a 30-minute "Bozo the Clown" television pilot for Capitol Records starring Gil Lamb as Bozo. (This film can be viewed at the Museum of Television and Radio in New York and Beverly Hills, California.)

1955

"Bozo and His Friends," starring Jim Chapin as Bozo, debuts on WHBQ-TV (CBS) in Memphis, Tennessee. Chapin also is the producer, director and writer of the live 30-minute show, which airs weekdays at 3:30 p.m.

1956

WHBQ-TV's "Bozo and His Friends" goes off the air as Larry Harmon, one of several actors hired by Alan Livingston and Capitol Records to portray Bozo at promotional appearances, forms a business partnership and buys the licensing rights (excluding the record-readers) to the Bozo character from Capitol and Livingston.

Ward Quaal, Executive Vice President of Crosley Broadcasting in Cincinnati, Ohio, becomes General Manager of WGN-TV and WGN Radio in Chicago. He hires the comedy team of Wally Phillips and Bob Bell, along with their producer/director/writer, Don Sandburg, from Crosley’s WLWT-TV (NBC) and WLW Radio in Cincinnati. During the next four years, Phillips and Bell star on their own variety shows, which include "The Wally Phillips Show" and "Midnight Ticker."

Ned Locke leaves NBC in Chicago to join Ted Zeigler and Dardanelle Hadley on WGN-TV’s "Lunchtime Little Theater." William Friedkin, who goes on to win a "Best Director" Oscar for the Academy Award winning motion picture "The French Connection" in 1972, is one of the directors.

1958

Jayark Films Corporation begins distributing 20 Bozo limited-animation cartoons to television stations, along with the rights to hire a live Bozo host. Larry Harmon produces and provides the voice of Bozo in the cartoons.

The Chicago Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences is formed. CBS’s Ed Sullivan hosts "The Chicago Academy Show," a live 30-minute broadcast from the Sheraton Hotel celebrating Chicago Television. Comedian and Chicago area native Jack Benny makes a guest appearance. Sullivan introduces Bob Bell as a meteorology professor in a comedy skit. (A kinescope of this special, donated by WBBM-TV (CBS) in Chicago, can be viewed at the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago.)

1959

On Monday, January 5, Bozo returns to television beginning with a live 30-minute "Bozo the Clown" show weeknights at 6:00 on KTLA in Los Angeles. Vance Colvig, Jr., Pinto's son, portrays KTLA's Bozo. Additional Bozo shows begin appearing later in the year throughout the rest of the U.S. and other countries. The most notable include Bill Britten on WPIX-TV in New York, Willard Scott on WRC-TV (NBC) in Washington, D.C. and Frank Avruch on WHDH-TV (CBS) in Boston. The wigs are made of yak hair that sticks out, enabling the live Bozos to match the character's hairstyle more closely.

On Monday, January 26, the Bozo cartoons make their Chicago television debut on WGN’s "Bugs Bunny and Friends" hosted by Dick Coughlan, weeknights at 6:30.

Jayark Films Corporation distributes 84 additional Bozo cartoons to television stations.

Bob Bell hosts WGN-TV’s "Three Stooges" weekday afternoon showcase as Andy Starr, the elderly custodian of the Odeon Theater. Bell also is a staff announcer.

 

© 2001 WGN Television
"Bozo" TM & © 2001 LHPC
All Rights Reserved.