July 14, 2001
YOU KNOW who the guy in that picture is? That's Vance "Pinto" Colvig, a clown and cartoonist who became famous — or,
at least, his sound did — when he supplied the original voice of both Bozo the Clown and Walt Disney's Goofy. Matter of fact, he
not only spoke for Bozo when the clown debuted on Capitol Records, but also donned the make-up and played Bozo for personal appearances and on some
early TV shows. Later on, dozens of different folks — including the Today Show's own Willard Scott — played Bozo but Colvig
was the first.
(In Los Angeles, our local Bozo, on KTLA from 1959 to 1964, was Vance Colvig, Jr. — Pinto's son and a pretty decent cartoon voice
actor in his own right. He was Chopper the Bulldog on Hanna-Barbera's Yakky Doodle cartoons.)
Anyway, if you're interested in Bozo lore, the Chicago TV station that hosted his antics for four decades, ending only months ago, has
set up a fact-filled on-line shrine. It includes some nice biographical material on Pinto and on Alan Livingstone (the Capitol writer-producer
who concocted the character), among others involved with that there clown. Here's the link...and keep laughing!
Oh, by the way: If you'd like to see an example of Pinto Colvig's work as a cartoonist, there's one to be seen at this link.
IN OUR PREVIOUS News page, I gave some tips for enjoying the impending Comic-Con International. Jim Guida writes to remind
me to remind you that there's a very large, well-stocked Ralph's Market just a couple of blocks from the convention center...good place to grab a
bottle of water or something to eat. Also, if you're still deciding how to pack for the con, you might note that AccuWeather has dropped its
predicted high temperatures a bit. Here's the link for the latest San Diego forecast.
NEWS OF ME: I dropped a hint about this a few weeks ago but I think it's safe to announce now. One of my great
heroes, Stan Freberg, has asked me to serve as producer of his forthcoming CD, Stan Freberg Presents the United States of America, Volume
3. We record it in a few months and the tentative release date is July 4, 2002...again, from Rhino Records (or Rhino CDs or whatever they
call the company now). Needless to say, I am still pinching myself over this one.
THE COLUMN I posted here about Barry Manilow has just been reprinted — with my permission
— in the current issue of Rainy Day Rhythms, the organ of the officially-recognized Barry Manilow Fan Club in Manchester, England.
Eat your heart out, Tony Isabella.
YEARS AGO, one of my favorite columnists, Jack Germond, was on a TV show and he said something to the effect of, "The problem
with the press today is that we aren't paid to say, 'I don't know,' so we have to say something, even when we don't know." I keep thinking of
that as I see reports on the Gary Condit/Chandra Levy matter. Everything that the press really knows could probably be summarized in about 90
seconds...but CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, etc., have kicked into "All Condit, All the Time," recycling rumors and speculations, and giving it more air time
than the Gulf War, the Olympics or even Regis Philbin.
It also strikes me that there is more interest in learning where Mr. Condit's genitalia has been than in where Ms. Levy might be.
By virtue of being that rarest of oxymorons — a conservative Democrat — Condit has managed to get everyone in the public arena against
him: Conservatives are hoping he goes down because he's a Democrat and liberals are hoping he goes down because he's a Conservative. He
may well deserve to be ostracized and punished for his conduct (especially not being candid and forthcoming immediately upon his friend's
disappearance) but there will be plenty of time for that. At the moment, I am annoyed at the rampant rumor-mongering, especially by talking
heads who want to spin this possible-tragedy for ratings or to slam their political opponents. They can't even do a good job of pretending they
really care about what happened to Chandra Levy, aren't loving the scandal...and aren't praying that, if and when she turns up, it's in some manner
that makes the story juicier and longer-lasting. No wonder Bozo was so popular...
Click here to read the previous NEWS FROM ME