Posted by: kristabella | December 27, 2006

It’s Time for the Grand. Prize. Game!

So airing on WGN this past Sunday (which I think was Christmas Eve. But I’m not sure as all the days run together and I can’t even remember if I washed my hair in the shower. And hair washing ranks higher than what day a TV show ran.) (Sadly.) Anyway, on Sunday was this special about the children’s programs that have aired on WGN through the years. It talked about Garfield Goose (um Garfield is a cat silly. Not a goose. A cat. C-A-T.) and Ray Rayner and Friends (huh?) and last, but not least, Bozo! T. Clown!

It was a nice little ditty (who the fuck says ditty?) (me apparently) showing things from each of these three shows. Garfield Goose was some show with puppets. Kinda like the early Mister Rogers Neighborhood of Make Believe. (Weeeeeee! Fun site!) Except the puppets didn’t talk. The goose just snapped his beak together. But the dude (who would later end up on Bozo’s Circus), who was dressed like a Colonel or something (just read he was a Prime Minister. Excuuuuuuse me.), couldn’t understand the snapping. The rabbit or beaver “translated” for him (my mom told me all this because she watched the show as a kid.) But the rabbit/beaver didn’t talk either. Just moved his mouth. Very weird. And then it would show cartoons. And one of them was called Clutch Cargo. And it was really strange (like tripping-on-LSD-kind-of-strange) with a cartoon dude with human talking lips. Apparently that was animation in a hurry in the 60s. (You really won’t understand the oddity until you click the link and watch a clip.)

Ray Rayner and His Friends was another Chicago classic. (Although, this is the first I’ve heard of it.) He showed cartoons, sang and had a duck. That usually tried to bite him. And apparently Ray didn’t much care for animals. But he would also give the weather and traffic. Just what an eight year old cares about before going to school. Oh! And Cuddley Duddley (who later appeared on Bozo) was originally on Ray’s show. Reading mail and doing the whole shtick from the doghouse. (And the voice of Cuddley is totally Cooky the Clown! Who was some master puppeteer.)

(And totally thought it was Cookie. Cooky makes WAY more sense. Because the only cookies on the show were the ones you got for getting the ball in bucket number one. Archway cookies. Remember? Hip Hip? Hooray!) (I swear, the things my brain retains. Must I point out again I don’t remember if I shampooed my hair? Yet, I remember Archway cookies and the Bozo Buckets?) (I should get a prize. And not cookies. I should get like a bucket-number-six-prize like a BRAND. NEW. SCHWINN. BICYCLE! Eeeee!) (Am so lame.) (And addicted to parentheses.) (See?) (OK, I’ll stop.) (Seriously.)

These shows were so incestuous. Apparently puppeteers, clowns and the like were not easy to come by back in the day. Or probably now in the day either.

(I’ve so lost any point I meant to have with this post. Must explain why I can’t remember things. Like my shower this morning. And I didn’t even drink last night.)

It was quite awesome to watch this walk down memory lane. I forgot about The Bozo Show. I mean, I can’t even tell you the last time I watched it. It was probably junior high. And not because I was old and didn’t want to watch a kid’s show. (Puh. Lease. I’ve just spent 20 minutes on the Mister Rogers site. Meow meow crazy person meow.) Actually, it’s because Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was my morning show of choice in high school. Seriously. I mean I left the house way before The Grand Prize Game, so what was the point anyway? (Damn, we started high school early.)

But I forgot about the Bozo-puter. And the big drums where they pulled out the “at home” player’s name. And Wizzo! From Nirobia. Or somewhere fake. And he’d do magic. (And is/was apparently a well-respected magician before donning a weird beard and shiny hat and weird medallion and going “nuu nee nuu nee nuu nee.” His name is Marshall Brodien. And he sells magic shit.)

I had no idea as a kid that WGN was a nationwide station. And that kids all over the country woke up to watch Bozo T. Clown and the Grand Prize Game. And the Grand March. It wasn’t until I went away to school in AZ that someone asked me if I was ever on the show. (The answer is no. My brother went. But sadly the Bozo-puter was not kind to him.) (Now people just ask if I’ve ever been to Oprah. That answer is no, too.)

I wish I appreciated the greatness of the show as a kid. I mean, there really was nothing else like it. And hasn’t been anything like it since. Kids today (apparently I just turned into crotchety old woman, shaking fists about those damn kids today) would never watch a show like that. “You mean, it’s real people? Throwing pies at each other? Change the channel.”

And dammit, I wish I could have played Bozo Buckets. I would have totally sucked. And then would have ran off the stage, stopping only to steal that $100 bill out of bucket number six. And tasted the sweet, sweet victory of Archway cookies. From bucket number one. Because only idiots missed bucket number one. Or blind kids.






  1. So not cool to post pics of scary-ass clowns with no warning!


  2. Ray Rayner moved to the Bozo show when his show ended….I think he was Oliver O. Oliver. One of his feet was a size 14 1/2 B and the other was a 15 A. That’s some big (narrow) feet!
    It’s early…haven’t had my coffee….but how is Garfield the Goose a cat???? Better go get my coffee. And Garfield’s mute “translator” was Romberg Rabbit.

  3. Scarlet – I thought about warning people because I forget people are afraid of clowns. Sorry. But it’s Bozo! You can’t be scared of Bozo! 🙂

    Garfield the cat. You know the cartoon? Go get some coffee. And apparently I get my fantastic memory from my mother as well.

  4. Kids today just don’t appreciate good TV. Garfield Goose is Classic TV. Clutch Cargo and Spinner and Paddlefoot is also classic. And Mahnee was right about Oliver O. Oliver. Did you see Suzy Snowflake and Frosty the Snowman? I know you didn’t see Hardrock, Coco and Joe because I think we discussed that.

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