Tributes pour in following the death of Art Cervi, who played Bozo the Clown on television in Windsor and Detroit.
Art Cervi was Star Bozo’s big top. He died in Novi, Michigan, aged 86.
The show aired on CKLW-TV in the 1960s and 1970s and later from Detroit. It was broadcast live from the building where CBC Windsor is now located.
RIP Art Cervi .. BOZO for Windsor, Detroit Area. This picture is from AutoRama 2016 .. He is holding his book. Died on February 17, 2021 in Novi .. pic.twitter.com/VxvR96ZKWY
– @ Wraith196319
Bozo was a franchise and many cities had their own characters.
However, Cervi was the best of them all, longtime Windsor broadcaster and show announcer Marty Adler said on CBC Radio’s Windsor Morning.
“He really understood the children. You know what – the kids were kings, ”he said.
Just keep laughing … Thank you Art Cervi for all the smiles and fun you have given so many of us in Windsor and Detroit 🙌👏 #bozotheclown #cklwtv #artcervi # channel9 #DavidLPrinz #daveprinz #themusicofyourlife #DavidL pic.twitter.com/rn7PZ97ZSi
– @ john__fairley
News of Cervi’s death sparked a barrage of memories and condolences on social media.
The Facebook group “If You Grow Up In Windsor, ON You Remember …” had more than 100 comments on a post about Cervi’s death.
Many remembered meeting Cervi, appearing on the show, and the joy he gave them as a bozo.
“Just keep laughing … Thank you Art Cervi for all the smiles and fun you have given so many of us across Windsor [and] Detroit, ”said John Fairley on Twitter.
Cervi’s life and career were the subject of a book called I Did What? that was released in 2014.
“Bozo gets its personality from the person behind the makeup, and that’s what made our Bozo special for the Detroit and Windsor audiences,” wrote author Herb Mentzer in the introduction.
“He was a huge success in both cities and to this day the mention of his name brings a smile and usually, ‘I was on his show!'”