It’s Always Bozo in Philadelphia

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Okay, one more, and then we’ll quit. Unless there’s another one.

But we like this one — even if it doesn’t mention us. It’s from a morning TV show. In Philadelphia. The same Philly TV station where Christine O’Donnell’s dad was a Redshirt Bozo. Allowing for ownership changes, of course.

The current owner? Rupert Murdoch. Channel 29 is a Fox O&O.

What inspired the coffeetime chitchat was a nice BozoGate piece in Friday’s Philadelphia Daily News. It doesn’t mention us either, but the reporter placed a call to Mr. O’Donnell — who answered — and heard this charming anecdote:

The father of the 41-year-old Senate candidate… said he was only a short-timer in the late 1960s when the regular actor who played Bozo on WIBF-TV was called away to a gig on Broadway…

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!”

No, really — that’s sweet. It may not be the “signature gig” that was first reported, but hey, any Bozo in a storm.

Christine O’Donnell’s dad: A local Bozo [Philadelphia Daily News]

O’Donnell’s Dad Played Bozo The Clown [Fox 29 Philly]


1. A Very Special Stinque Investigation

2. “Where’s the Bozo Certificate?” Billboard

3. Channel Your Outrage Into Our Bank Account

4. The Times Rides Again

5. The Reckoning

6. Adventures in Surrealism: BozoGate on Countdown

7. It’s Always Bozo in Philadelphia



The real lesson is that you have to give before you get.

Wave that whole “I’m holier than thou” morality card and it amplifies exaggerating you daddy’s “importance” (is Bozo considered important?) into an “epic” sin/goof. The lack of understanding and compassion one shows for others comes hurtling back at you but amplified.

What makes it worse is that people like Xtine are oblivious to their own failings. Instead of looking inward at herself and reevaluating, she blames the media for taking her statements on context and makes her more spiteful towards the “left.”

Does this mean that we should leave people like her alone? No. Dipshits gonna be dipshits even if they try to play victim.

Having seen people like this up close and personal, their Dunning Kruger views on things fuck things up even more than their hatred (which for the most part is impotent because they’re incompetent and all too predictable.)

I say good work Nojo. Karen Marie and the rest.

Mother of god — they go to the trouble of running this segment and can’t be bothered to accurately identify Larry Harmon? Are their fingers broken that they can’t even type it into the Google and find it in Wikipedia? (And no, Sideshow Bob is not Bozo either.)

I am offended by the sneering tone directed at people who thought fit to expose yet another lie associated with Christine O’Donnell. Shouldn’t the sneering be reserved for a senate candidate who attempts to use a false claim about a clown to bolster their image?

Of course, if it had been Chris Coons who had come up with this whopper, there wouldn’t be a news report about him that didn’t remind folks that he had lied about being “the son of Bozo.”

There is no justice.

This story suggests that the young Christine the Chaste may have been on TV on a snowy day when her Dad played Bozo. Perhaps one of you Bozo Detectives can call the station and see if there’s an old kinescope around.

@karen marie, Stinque Senior Clown Correspondent who is irritated at the unserious nature of the coverage: Now, now, be nice — this is a morning chat show, all Happy Talk, no Content. Their journalistic failures are the point — this is where Memes Go To Die.

Think of it as a national game of Telephone: the meme starts here, gets picked up by the Times and exploited by Countdown, and finally, twisted beyond almost all recognition, lands on MyFoxPhilly.

Honestly, we should be giving college credit in Media Studies.

@Dodgerblue: I strongly doubt (a) they were still doing kinescopes in 1969-70, when Bozo briefly reigned in Philly, and (b) Celibabe, b. August 1969, would have attended that day.

Maybe her brother. Can’t find his age offhand, but he seems to be the one with the memories.

@nojo: Well, I’d say fact (b) nails it. She would have been too young. I have to say, you and KM really have your shit together on this topic.

@nojo: There’s a difference between this morning news show and any other news show? Color me unconvinced.

@karen marie, Stinque Senior Clown Correspondent who is irritated at the unserious nature of the coverage: Precisely: There’s no difference. It’s not a news show, it’s a “news” show. Feed the hosts a bland talking point, let them wing it.

Part of the fascination for me is how the satire got weeded out of the coverage — how the joke became serious. Not that we didn’t have it nailed on the facts, but how our treatment of the facts became An Attack on the Candidate’s Family, no different than other attacks.

That’s the joke here: The hosts think Bozo Truthers are a real threat, as if we’re actual Opposition Researchers.

And what’s the real truth? Either Bro got excited in explaining Dad’s gig to the Times reporter, or the Times reporter got too clever in calling it a “signature gig”. Christine sat this one out, so we can’t lay it on her.

Meanwhile, the real Opposition Researchers have been trying to lay “Bearded Marxist” on Coons, but it hasn’t stuck. There’s only so much you can do with a bland county-government administrator.

In the interest of completism…

“Bozo the Clown is a franchise, and back then, every major city had their own Bozo,” said Daniel O’Donnell, the brother, who is a business manager at a car dealership in Trenton. “He was Philly’s Bozo for a time.” Daniel O’Donnell, the father, declined to comment for that article.

That’s from the Times update, which seems to be the quote that inspired “signature gig”. Danny’s not strictly wrong, but he’s not strictly correct, either. But if you’re retelling a 40-year-old family story, you might lose track of the details.

The Times credits the Wilmington News Journal for breaking the news in November 2006. I can’t find the story there, but their archives are restricted, and I don’t have Lexis/Nexis to do it right.

@SanFranLefty: And so, for the record, from 2006:

Daniel O’Donnell had played Bozo the Clown and had a talk show on local TV. He was even part of a comedy team for a while.

And while we’re there, there’s this:

“During the primary, I heard the audible voice of God,” she says. “He said, ‘Credibility.’ It wasn’t a thought in my head. I thought it meant I was going to win. But after the primary, I got credibility.”

But I think my favorite is this:

“Christine will run into things, and the consequences are what they are,” Daniel says.

I think that sums it up.

@nojo: There’s a treasure trove of quotable gems in that article.

Glad to see Philly taking some of the heat off the South and the South West. We’re as racist and stupid as any other place in the country. My Fox Philly’s Good Day show is nothing more than a South Park episode complete with its own Token (Hellloooo, Sheinelle! Go back to Kansas!).

Fun fact: If you’re traveling south on THE I-95, when you leave PA and enter DE, you cross our portion of the Mason-Dixon Line. We call parts of South Jersey “The North South.” I’m going back into hibernation now.

@SanFranLefty: Does any other Western Democracy treasure manifest symptoms of schizophrenia as much as we do?

Yeah, this whole thing is just so stupid, but — again — had this claim been made by one of Chris Coons’ family members it would be turned into a tag line every time his name was mentioned. But part of it is a matter of volume — O’Donnell has so many insane statements and false claims that this one gets lost in the shuffle.

I blame the mainstreaming of teh crazee on the Bush administration which institutionalized 2+2=5/black-is-white/up-is-down.

Nojo, those three quotes are from the 2006 article? Except that I really am exhausted with this subject and COD, it would be interesting to know from whom the reporter got the information. This exaggeration-to-the-point-of-being-an-untruth seems to be something the O’Donnells have been telling for quite some time.

@karen marie, Stinque Senior Clown Correspondent who is irritated at the unserious nature of the coverage: Note that the Witch Ad and the Secret Agent claim also broke Monday — this wasn’t even the weirdest story that day…

There’s also a big non-Celibabe piece making the rounds today. I’ll probably bat cleanup on that Monday, if no one else here makes merry with it by then.

And yes, the quotes are from 2006. Can’t post the entire article, since it’s not publicly available.

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