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The Man behind the Nose: Assassins, Astronauts, Cannibals, and Other Stupendous Talesby Larry "Bozo the Clown" Harmon and Thomas Scott McKenzie
Synopses & Reviews
Did you hear the one about when Bozo the Clown ran for President and two assassination attempts were made on his life?
How about the time Bozo flew into the perilous jungles of New Guinea to see if he could not just survive but actually bond with dangerous cannibal tribes?
Well then, you must know about the time his size 83 AAA shoes saved him from being swallowed whole by a giant, murderous python in Thailand, right?
Then I guess you might not know as much as you think about the world's most famous clown. Sure, you know the giant shoes, the red bulbous nose, the big ruby smile, and the twin shocks of red yak-hair bursting from the sides of his head. And obviously you know the many clowns inspired by him, from Ronald McDonald to Krusty the Clown.
So perhaps it's time you learned about Bozo, and the man behind the nose. Because the wild, inspirational stories in this book are all true. As real as the nose on your face.
One day, Larry Harmon, a World War II private harboring dreams of becoming a doctor, met the most famous entertainer of the time, Al Jolson. After seeing the young man on stage, Jolson told him he shouldconsider a career change.
"Being a doctor of medicine is honorable," Jolson advised. "But you'll touch so many more lives as a doctor of laughter!"
A decade later, Jolson's prophecy came true when Larry Harmon, trying to make it as an actor in Hollywood, auditioned to portray a character named Bozo the Capitol Clown.
The character spoke so much to Larry that he simply became it—overnight. He soon turned Bozo into a cultural icon, creating one of the biggest children's television franchises in the world. But that was only the beginning.
In this unputdownable book, which Harmon completed just before his death at age eighty-three, are far more incredible stories of astronauts, cannibals, celebrities, assassins, and deep-sea divers—all encountered in full Bozo regalia, and with photos to prove it.
Not only is Harmon's life by turns incredible and hilarious, it's also an inspirational testament to the power of one man's positive attitude, dedication, and work ethic—and how he changed the world.
The surprising autobiography of the world's most famous clown. Larry Bozo Harmon was the face, laugh, and sole proprietor of Bozo the Clown from 1956 until his death in 2008. This is the surprising story of the world's most famous clown.
The Man Behind the Nose is the autobiography of the man who was Bozo. For 50 years Larry Harmon was the face—and the nose—of Bozo the Clown, the most well-known, beloved clown of them all, the precursor for every successful modern-day harlequin to come, from Ronald McDonald to Krusty. A warm, surprising, and endlessly entertaining life story filled to the brim with “Assassins, Astronauts, Cannibals, and Other Stupendous Tales,” The Man Behind the Nose is a rollicking ride through the world of a true American icon in greasepaint.
About the Author
He was literally the world';s most famous clown.
From 1956 onward, Larry Harmon was Bozo the Clown: the face of fun and childhood in America, the jolly and ubiquitous presence who dominated everything from shopping-center grand openings to TV shows to international tours. As a young man, Al Jolson told him he was destined to become a world-famous entertainer. In 1963, President John F. Kennedy called personally to name him as an international ambassador for safety. In 1984, he ran for president himself. He was a bridge from the age of vaudeville and the Big Top to the age of Suburban America. From Ronald McDonald to Krusty the Clown, every clown who followed him owed something to him.
He was the Forrest Gump of clowns, the most colorful Zelig we ever knew.
Shortly before his death in 2008, Harmon finished writing this unique autobiography. It is charming, friendly, wise, and full of laughter, as you would expect. It's also full of stories you would never expect: of choreographing a dance routine with Fred Astaire; of training for space flights at NASA; of decorating Clark Gable's house; of searching for the cannibals of New Guinea; of surviving two assassination attempts.
But always it is animated by that Bozo spirit. There is never a frown behind the smile, just another smile, another laugh, another story.
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