The Bozo Principle

The Chicago Bozo franchise was the most popular and successful locally produced children's program in the history of television. I remember watching The Bozo Show on WGN-TV , channel 9 in Chicago. The show had a 13-piece orchestra, circus acts, games and prizes before a 200+ member studio audience – what more could an 80’s child ask for? The Bozo Show featured skits and local talent. My favorite game, was The Grand Prize game, where Bozo used the "Bozo Puter" to select a boy and a girl player from the audience based on a three-digit ticket! Now that I think of it, it was kind of a “kiddie lotto” – perhaps this was an attempt to make “gambling” cool with kids and create a hunger in these little Gen. Xers, which later could only be filled with state-endorsed Lottery game? Funny that the Illinois Lottery started in 1974, the same era, and the televised drawings were broadcasted on the very same channel, WGN? I digress – let’s put conspiracy theories aside. Anyways, these two players, with the “lucky” tickets would pick a postcard from the drum of an "at home player" which won duplicate prizes in the game. The game consists of dropping a ping-pong ball into each numbered “bozo bucket” up to bucket six where a $50 bill and a bicycle awaits the winner! Players had their photo taken with an instant camera after bucket one. There was also a team game in most episodes, with a red team and a blue team picked from the audience winning prizes for some physical contest – a precursor to Survivor. And each episode ended with The Grand March, where the audience sitting in the first several rows walk off the set past a camera that has the credits superimposed over it for an additional two seconds of fame. But what I liked most of all was all the characters on the show. Bozo the clown had lots of friends that accompanied him, like Cuddly Dudley, Cooky, and female characters like, Pepper and Tunia. Interestingly enough, as a young child, through observing the show’s cast I realized that clowns hang with clowns. Why so nostalgic? I was listening to an interview of Guy Kawasaki (Pioneer Apple Evangelist, best-selling author) and he made a statement that the interviewer jokingly called the “Bozo Principle” and it brought back old memories and had me thinking. The “Bozo Principle” states: “If you hang around with ‘Bozo’s’ that can’t deliver – you shouldn’t keep hanging around them…If you pick ‘Bozo’s’ over and over again to work with that makes you a ‘Bozo’!” Questions: Who are you picking to run with you? Who are you talking too? Who are you hanging with? Try this: get two “bozo buckets” (they don’t have to be actual buckets – think cups or jars) and play your own grand prize game. Label one bucket “keepers” and the other “bozos”. Now, take time to write the people you want in either the “keeper” bucket or “bozo” bucket. Next, take the appropriate actions to lose the “bozos”.

For Fun: Check out The Bozo Show:


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