The MAB has learned that Art Cervi, who played children’s television show host “Bozo the Clown,” passed away February 15 at age 86. Cervi played the clown with a big red nose and red hair that protruded sideways on either side of his head, first on CKLW-TV from 1967 to 1975, then continued on WJBK-TV until 1980.
Cervi was born in Mount Pleasant, New York. He began his professional career as a manager of furniture stores in Redford and Garden City in the 1950s. He later took a job as a board operator at an area radio station, WKNR-AM. During his time at WKNR, he and a disc jockey developed “Swingin’ Time,” a teen dance show that aired six afternoons a week on CKLW-TV and featured top rock acts of the day. He later auditioned for the role of Bozo.
After his television career ended, Cervi hosted a radio show about cars. Survivors include his wife of 47 years, Suzanne; sons Mike, Nick, and Jon; and a daughter, Patricia.