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

IMAGES

AUDIO/VIDEO

1990

The suspended 10-year studio audience reservation list for "The Bozo Show" runs out. WGN-TV announces it will make five years of reservations available via a special 900-telephone-number hotline during Chicago’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade telecast. A $3 charge to each caller reserving a set of four tickets covers telephone service expenses and a contribution to the Off the Street Club, Chicago’s oldest boys and girls club serving approximately 3,000 children and teenagers on the city’s west side. In just over five hours, the show is booked through the 1994-95 season. Illinois Bell reports 27-million phone call attempts in Illinois alone, peaking at 120,000 per minute. The story is featured on the NBC-TV's "NBC Nightly News."

The Los Angeles Times publishes a feature story on WGN-TV’s "Bozo Show."

WGN-TV’s first annual Bozo Ball, featuring live music by the Buckinghams, at the Fairmont Hotel in Chicago raises approximately $370,000 for the Off the Street Club. Approximately $35,000 of the money was raised through "The Bozo Show" studio audience ticket reservation hotline. Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley proclaims April 28 "Bozo Ball Day" in Chicago.

WGN-TV's Bozo (Joey D’Auria), Chicago Bull Michael Jordan, Chicago Cub Mark Grace, Chicago Bear Mike Tomczak and Chicago Cubs broadcaster Harry Caray appear in "Boze Knows," a promotional spot for WGN-TV. The promo is a takeoff on pro-football/baseball player Bo Jackson’s "Bo Knows" shoe campaign. ("Boze Knows" can be viewed at the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago.)

WGN-TV’s "Bozo Show" moves to weekdays at 7:30 a.m. $100, a Schwinn bike and a trip for two to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida are the prizes offered in the Grand Prize Game’s Bucket #6.

Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley proclaims December 16 "Bozo’s Grand March for Kids Day" in Chicago. WGN-TV airs a 30-minute preview special of the toy-drive at the Rosemont Horizon in Rosemont, Illinois, which ends up collecting approximately $250,000 in toys and donations for Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago and the Church Federation of Greater Chicago. "The Bozo Show" cast, once again, greets thousands of attendants.

WGN-TV broadcasts a two-hour Bozo holiday special on Christmas morning featuring two Grand Prize Games and highlights of guest performances from Bozo’s Grand March for Kids at the Rosemont Horizon in Rosemont, Illinois.

1991

WGN-TV’s Take A Vacation with Bozo contest winners (20 families) are flown to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, where "The Bozo Show" tapes a week of shows. (One program can be viewed at the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago.)

On Monday, March 4, Vance Colvig, Jr. passes away at the age of 72 in Hollywood Hills, California.

Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley visits WGN-TV's "Bozo Show" during rehearsal to proclaim April 13 "Bozo Ball Day" in Chicago. The second annual Bozo Ball, featuring live music by Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, at the Fairmont Hotel in Chicago raises over $265,000 for the Off the Street Club.

One night after the Chicago Bulls clinch their first NBA World Champion title, WGN-TV’s Bozo (Joey D’Auria) presents Michael Jordan a symbolic "key to the hearts of everyone in Chicago" during a live prime time special on WBBM-TV (CBS) in Chicago. (This show can be viewed at the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago.)

Tim Meadows plays the Grand Prize Game with Bozo (Joey D'Auria) looking on in a WGN-TV promo.

Bob Bell and Roy Brown are hospitalized for heart-related problems in August.

Viewers born on September 11, 1961 enter WGN-TV’s random drawing to win a chance at playing the Grand Prize Game on "The Bozo Show 30th Anniversary Special." Ray Rayner, Sandy (Don Sandburg) and Ringmaster Ned Locke join WGN-TV's Bozo (Joey D’Auria), Wizzo (Marshall Brodien) and special guests, magician Harry Blackstone, Jr. and Chicago-born actor Adrian Zmed on the 60-minute prime time broadcast. Zmed is a former Grand Prize Game contestant. Mr. Ned presides over the Grand Prize Game. The winner of the drawing, George Palmer of Roselle, Illinois, reaches Bucket #5 and winds up winning $1,500. (This program can be viewed at the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago.)

Sandy (Don Sandburg) returns to WGN-TV’s "Bozo Show" for two weeks while Roy Brown recuperates.

Allen Hall is elected President of the Chicago Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Craig Constantine receives an Emmy for directing and writing the "Clown About Town" segment on WGN-TV’s "Bozo Show." Ron Lazzeretti and Rino Liberatore of the Eisaman, Johns & Laws advertising agency in Chicago and Jim Osborne of Rockywood Productions in Denver receive an Emmy for WGN-TV’s "Boze Knows" promotional campaign. Lazzeretti was four-years-old in 1963 when Ringmaster Ned Locke asked him to introduce a "Rocky" cartoon on "Bozo’s Circus." The 33rd annual Chicago/Midwest Emmy Awards take place at the Hyatt Regency Chicago.

Adrian Zmed returns to WGN-TV’s "Bozo Show" for two weeks while Roy Brown recuperates.

Michael Immel joins WGN-TV’s "Bozo Show" as Spifford (Spiffy) Q. Fahrquahrrr.

WGN-TV offers stuffed Bozo dolls and Bozo-shaped cookie cutters with net proceeds going to WGN-TV Children’s Charities.

1992

Cooky (Roy Brown) returns to WGN-TV’s "Bozo Show" in January.

WGN-TV’s Take A Vacation with Bozo contest winners (20 families) are flown to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, where "The Bozo Show" tapes a week of shows.

On Tuesday, February 4, Norbert Stoyke "Ned" Locke passes away at the age of 72 in Kimberling City, Missouri. He served as mayor of Kimberling City from 1988 until his death.

WGN-TV’s third annual Bozo Ball, featuring live music by Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, at the Fairmont Hotel in Chicago raises approximately $250,000 for the Off the Street Club.

Dennis Miller appears with WGN-TV's Bozo (Joey D'Auria) in a WGN-TV promotional spot for the nationally syndicated "Dennis Miller Show."

WGN-TV’s Bozo (Joey D’Auria) participates in two Chicago Symphony Orchestra concerts at Orchestra Hall in Chicago.

The International Clown Hall of Fame in Delavan, Wisconsin presents Allen Hall the Lifetime of Laughter Achievement Award for his contribution to WGN-TV’s Bozo show.

WGN-TV’s "Bozo Show," Joey D’Auria, Roy Brown, Andy Mitran and Adrian Zmed receive Emmys at the 34th annual Chicago/Midwest Emmy Awards at the Hyatt Regency Chicago.

Representatives from the International Clown Hall of Fame surprise Cooky (Roy Brown) during a taping of WGN-TV’s "Bozo Show" by announcing that he will be inducted into their Hall of Fame.

1993

WGN-TV’s Take A Vacation with Bozo contest winners (20 families) are flown to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, where "The Bozo Show" tapes a week of shows.

Roy Brown is inducted into the Chicago Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences' Silver Circle. The ceremony takes place at the Hotel Inter-Continental Chicago.

The fourth annual Bozo Ball, featuring live music by Sam Moore, at the Fairmont Hotel in Chicago raises over $300,000 for the Off the Street Club and WGN-TV Children’s Charities.

Roy Brown is inducted into the International Clown Hall of Fame in Delavan, Wisconsin.

Roy Brown goes on sick leave for heart-related matters and segments with Cooky and Cuddly Dudley from previously aired Bozo shows are added intermittently throughout the 1993-94 season.

WGN-TV offers stuffed Bozo dolls with net proceeds going to WGN-TV Children’s Charities.

1994

WGN-TV’s Take A Vacation with Bozo contest winners (20 families) are flown to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, where "The Bozo Show" tapes a week of shows.

Marshall Brodien and Michael Immel leave WGN-TV.

The fifth annual Bozo Ball, featuring live music by the Drifters, at the Fairmont Hotel in Chicago raises approximately $270,000 for the Off the Street Club and WGN-TV Children’s Charities.

The cast and production staff of WGN-TV’s "Bozo Show" win six Emmys at the 36th annual Chicago/Midwest Emmy Awards at the Chicago Marriott Downtown.

To make room for a new weekday morning news program, WGN-TV moves "The Bozo Show" to Sundays at 8:00 a.m. and renames it "The Bozo Super Sunday Show." The show is expanded to two hours with a new studio audience for each hour and new shows replacing summer reruns to keep up with the ticket reservations. Robin Eurich portrays Rusty the Handyman. Howell Eurich, Robin’s father, portrayed Bozo on KROD-TV (CBS) in El Paso, Texas during the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. Cathy Schenkelberg and Michele Gregory make intermittent appearances as Pepper and Tunia. The Grand Prize Game is played twice on each show, once each hour. $100 and a trip for four to Universal Studios Theme Park in Orlando, Florida are the prizes offered in the game’s Bucket #6.

Roy Brown retires from television and donates some of his memorabilia, including one of his Cooky costumes, to the International Clown Hall of Fame in Delavan, Wisconsin.

WGN-TV offers 5,000 limited edition Bozo long-distance calling cards with net proceeds going to WGN-TV Children’s Charities.

1995

WGN-TV becomes a WB network affiliate. The superstation agrees to carry the network nationally until the network acquires additional affiliates.

The sixth annual Bozo Ball, featuring live music by Chubby Checker, at the Sheraton Hotel in Chicago raises approximately $260,000 for the Off the Street Club, Maryville Academy and WGN-TV Children’s Charities.

The suspended studio audience reservation list for "The Bozo Super Sunday Show" runs out. WGN-TV distributes three years of tickets (approximately 18,400 in sets of four) to Chicago area viewers through a watch-and-win promotional drawing, booking the show through the 1997-98 season. One of the approximately 4,600 winning entries receives the grand prize, twenty tickets to the program and a trip for four to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. The Chicago Sun-Times jumps on the promotional bandwagon by publishing the secret Bozo words required for eligibility in their newspaper the day after each is revealed on WGN-TV.

WGN-TV’s "Bozo Super Sunday Show" returns to a 60-minute format and remains at 8:00 a.m.

WGN-TV’s Bozo (Joey D’Auria) makes a guest appearance on the nationally syndicated "Live with Regis & Kathie Lee" at the U.I.C. Pavilion in Chicago. (This segment can be viewed at the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago.)

Allen Hall ends his four-year tenure as President of the Chicago/Midwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. The Board of Governors presents him the Governors’ Award during the 37th annual Chicago/Midwest Emmy Awards ceremony at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago.

Bill Jackson donates his "B.J. and Dirty Dragon" puppets to the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago.

1996

WGN-TV’s Bozo (Joey D’Auria) makes a guest appearance during a Chicago Bulls half-time show at the United Center in Chicago.

WGN-TV’s Bozo (Joey D’Auria) makes a guest appearance on NBC-TV’s "Tonight Show with Jay Leno" at the Rosemont Theatre in Rosemont, Illinois. (This program can be viewed at the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago.)

The seventh annual Bozo Ball, featuring live music by the Shirelles, at Navy Pier in Chicago raises approximately $360,000 for the Off the Street Club and WGN-TV Children’s Charities.

Cathy Schenkelberg leaves WGN-TV.

WGN-TV’s Bozo (Joey D’Auria) tosses the first pitch before a Chicago White Sox baseball game at Comiskey Park in Chicago.

On Saturday, August 3, Bob Bell is inducted into the International Clown Hall of Fame in Delavan, Wisconsin. The weekend-long event attracts the organization’s largest crowd ever.

The Federal Communications Commission requires broadcast television stations to air a minimum three hours per week of "educational and informational" children’s programs beginning September 1997.

WGN-TV "Bozo Super Sunday Show" viewer Patrick Cashin of Ocean City, New Jersey surprises his girlfriend Terry Williams by proposing marriage to her during a taping of the program at WGN-TV’s Studio One in Chicago.

The 35th anniversary season of WGN-TV’s Bozo show premieres with a surprise guest appearance by Cooky (Roy Brown), who leads the Grand March finale on "The Bozo Super Sunday Show." Rare clips of "Bozo’s Circus" and "The Bozo Show" are featured throughout the season.

During a taping of WGN-TV’s "Bozo Super Sunday Show," both studio audience contestants reach the Grand Prize Game’s Bucket #6. The players are eight-year-old Brandon Louro of Hoffman Estates, Illinois and 11-year-old Claire McCarthy of Schaumburg, Illinois. At-home players Joshua Shipp in Muskogee, Oklahoma and Jessica Sterbanz in Houston, Texas win duplicate prizes. Producer Allen Hall states it was about 1965 the last time he recalls both studio contestants reaching Bucket #6 on the same program, with each contestant winning $84 and a Schwinn bike in the sixth bucket.

WGN-TV's Bozo (Joey D’Auria) makes a guest appearance on the nationally syndicated "Oprah" Winfrey show at Harpo Studios in Chicago. Bozo surprises studio audience member Mike Smith, who wrote to Winfrey about his childhood dream to visit "The Bozo Show," by presenting him with a letter of admission to the program. (This program can be viewed at the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago.)

The Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago presents "An Evening with Roy Brown." WGN Radio host Dean Richards interviews Brown on his career. Joey D’Auria, Marshall Brodien, Allen Hall and "Garfield Goose and Friends" Director Ron Weiner also share their memories of working with Brown. (The event was taped and can be purchased at or ordered through the museum.)

1997

WGN-TV’s Bozo (Joey D’Auria) makes a guest appearance during a Chicago Bulls half-time show at the United Center in Chicago.

The International Clown Hall of Fame in Delavan, Wisconsin moves to Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The eighth annual Bozo Ball, featuring live music by the Spinners, at Navy Pier in Chicago raises approximately $360,000 for the Off the Street Club and WGN-TV Children’s Charities.

WGN-TV’s "Bozo Super Sunday Show" becomes "educational and informational" and moves to 7:00 a.m. Cartoons are no longer featured. Reruns replace new shows during spring and summer.

On Monday, December 8, Robert Lewis "Bob" Bell passes away at the age of 75 in San Marcos, California. Notable among the local and national media coverage, WGN Radio in Chicago broadcasts and webcasts a three-hour tribute hosted and produced by Dean Richards, and the Chicago Sun-Times publishes a tribute by Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist Jack Higgins. (Richards’ tribute can be purchased at or ordered through the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago.)

1998

Wally Phillips signs off WGN Radio after 41 years.

Illinois Governor Jim Edgar and Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley proclaim April 18 "Bob Bell Day" in the State of Illinois and City of Chicago. The City Council of the City of Chicago passes a resolution naming West Addison Street, between Western Avenue and the Chicago River (near the WGN-TV Studios), "Bob Bell Way." Among the people appearing at the street naming ceremony are Bob Bell’s widow Carol Bell, daughter Joan Roy, son Jeff Bell, Don Sandburg, Roy Brown, Marshall Brodien, WGN-TV's Bozo (Joey D’Auria), Rusty (Robin Eurich), Professor Andy (Andy Mitran), Allen Hall, Jerry Gregoris and WGN-TV Vice President/General Manager Peter Walker. Host Dean Richards reads tribute letters from Alan Livingston and Ward Quaal. (Portions of the street naming ceremony can be viewed at the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago.)

The ninth annual Bozo Ball, featuring live music by the Buckinghams, at Navy Pier in Chicago raises approximately $300,000 for the Off the Street Club and WGN-TV Children’s Charities. In honor of WGN-TV’s 50th anniversary, "The Year of 1948" is the theme with dinner dancing to the music of Glenn Miller, performed live by Tex Beneke And His Orchestra.

The Chicago Tribune adopts WGN-TV’s Grand Prize Game as a theme for its coverage of the Chicago Bulls’ drive for a sixth NBA World Championship win titled "Shooting for Bucket #6."

WGN-TV distributes 2,560 remaining tickets for the 1998-99 season of "The Bozo Super Sunday Show" in sets of four to Chicago area viewers through a random drawing.

Joey D’Auria, Roy Brown, Ray Rayner, Don Sandburg, Allen Hall and WGN-TV "Romper Room" host Beverly Marston Braun appear at the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago for a panel-discussion on WGN-TV children’s programs. Dean Richards moderates the program, which is part of the museum’s "WGN-TV: 50 Years As Chicago’s Very Own" exhibition. (The discussion was taped and can be purchased at or ordered through the museum.)

Alan Livingston receives his first honor for his creation of "Bozo the Clown" as the International Clown Hall of Fame in Milwaukee, Wisconsin presents him the Lifetime of Laughter Achievement Award. WGN-TV’s Bozo (Joey D’Auria) introduces him. The International Clown Hall of Fame dedicates their 10th annual induction ceremonies and festivities that weekend in memory of Bob Bell.

Michele Gregory leaves WGN-TV.

$100 and a trip for four to any Southwest Airlines destination are the prizes offered in the Grand Prize Game’s Bucket #6 on WGN-TV's "Bozo Super Sunday Show."

Joey D’Auria receives an Emmy for WGN-TV’s "Bozo Super Sunday Show" at the 40th annual Chicago/Midwest Emmy Awards at the Fairmont Hotel in Chicago.

1999

The 10th annual Bozo Ball, featuring live music by Three Dog Night, at Navy Pier in Chicago raises approximately $300,000 for the Off the Street Club and WGN-TV Children’s Charities.

During a guest appearance on the nationally syndicated "Howie Mandel Show," actor and Chicago native Dan Castellaneta, best known as the voice of Homer Simpson and Krusty the Clown on Fox-TV's "The Simpsons," reveals that his voice characterization of Krusty is based on Bob Bell's Bozo.

WGN-TV distributes 3,272 tickets for the 1999-2000 season of "The Bozo Super Sunday Show" in sets of four to Chicago area viewers through a random drawing.

WZZM-TV (ABC) Grand Rapids, Michigan's "Bozo's Big Top" ends a 33-year run making WGN-TV's Bozo show the last remaining Bozo show in the world.

Per WGN-TV's agreement with the WB network, the superstation stops carrying the WB nationally to avoid conflicts with other WB affiliates but continues its prime time affiliation in the Chicago area.

 

© 2001 WGN Television
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