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Bonamo The Magic Clown


Original Air Date:
Prod. Co.:
NBC TV Network
Live Action

Characters & Voices
The Magic Clown - Zovella (1949 to 1952)
The Magic Clown - Richard Dubois (1952 to 1954)
Bonamo The Magic Clown - Doug Anderson (1958 to 1959)
Bonamo The Magic Clown's assistant, Gayle - Mrs. Doug Anderson
The Amazing Randi - James Randi (1970
Announcer (During The NBC TV Network run of the show) - Andre Baruruch
Puppet Character: -
Laffy The Genii - Dick Dubois, Doug Anderson).
This comedy/ variety magic tv series made its debute on The NBC TV Network in 1949. Starring magician Zovella, the show was set against the backdrop of a traveling circus where "The Magic Clown" would engage his studio audiences and his viewers in games, comedy skits, puppet skits, magic tricks and interviews with guest performers and personalities.

Zovella would mc the program until he left briefly due to an illness. He was eventually replaced by Richard DuBios. DuBios would entertain and inform his viewers and more often than not use his announcer (veteran radio broadcaster Andre Baruruch) as his foil for comedy skits until the show was cancelled in 1954.

The series was picked up again, four years later with another entertainer playing the title character. Puppeteer/ cartoonist/ comic/ character actor and dialectician Doug Anderson had hosted his own popular children's radio series featuring swing jazz records and puppets on local NYC radio and he and his wife Gayle had performed with their puppets at NYC nightspots during the 1940's. Anderson had also tried to create, produce and mc his own kids tv shows "Mr.Crackerjack" etc., but Network execs seemed uninterested in his programming concepts. Until they revamped Anderson's ideas for other kids tv mc's ("Mr.Crackerjack would later become WJZ/ WABC TV Ch.7 NYC's "Tinker's Workshop!" with Bob Keeshan, Henry Burbig, Gene London and Dom Deluise).

Neverrthless, Anderson was hired to become "Bonamo The Magic Clown". Again working against the backdrop of a traveling circus and aided by his wife Gayle, "Bonamo" would entertain and inform his studio audiences and his viewers on the show which was seen Sunday mornings on The DuMont TV Network during the 1958 season.

The show later moved to WNTA TV Ch.13 in Newark,N.J where it was seen weekday afternoons (At peanut butter and jellytime) and on Saturday mornings from Monday September 29, 1958 to Friday July 24, 1959 and on Saturday September 27, 1958 to Saturday January 3,1959. Unfortuneately, the series fell prey to an unscrupulious talent agent and producer who interfered with the show's budget and and created friction with the station execs. The show was cancelled and The Andersons went onto other ventures (Doug Anderson would return to kids tv in the fall of 1962 as one of the clowns on NBC TV's "Marx Magic Midway!")

"The Magic Clown" would not reappear until two decades later as a nationally syndicated kids tv show, produced and taped before a live studio audience in Canada. Magician/ escape artist and magic historian "The Amazing Randi" (James Randi) would entertain and inform his viewers and studio audiences. The nationally syndicated version of "The Magic Clown" was not as successful as the NBC TV/DuMont TV Network and WNTA TV versions and it left the air after one season.
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In 1933, cartoonist Noel Sickles assumed authorship of Scorchy Smith, replacing creator John Terry.