Art Cervi, Windsor’s Bozo The Clown, dead at 86
Tributes are pouring in following the death of Art Cervi, who played Bozo the Clown on TV in Windsor and Detroit.
Art Cervi was the star Bozo’s Big Top. He died in Novi, Mich., at the age of 86.
The show aired on CKLW-TV in the 60s and 70s, and later from Detroit. It was broadcast live from the building that is now home to CBC Windsor.
RIP Art Cervi.. BOZO for the Windsor, Detroit Area. This pic is from the 2016 AutoRama .. He’s holding his book . Passed away February 17 2021 in Novi .. pic.twitter.com/VxvR96ZKWY
Bozo was a franchise and many cities had their own character.
Cervi, however, was the best of them all, said longtime Windsor broadcaster and announcer for the show Marty Adler on CBC Radio’s Windsor Morning.
“He really understood the kids. You know what — the kids were kings,” he said.
Just keep laughin… Thank you Art Cervi for all the smiles and fun you provided to so many of us throughout Windsor & Detroit 🙌👏 #bozotheclown #cklwtv #artcervi #channel9 #DavidLPrince #daveprince #themusicofyourlife #DavidL pic.twitter.com/rn7PZ97ZSi
News of Cervi’s death prompted an outpouring of memories and condolences on social media.
The Facebook group “If You Grew Up In Windsor, ON You Remember…” had more than 100 comments on a post about Cervi’s passing.
Many remembered meeting Cervi, appearing on the show, and the joy he brought to them as Bozo.
“Just keep laughin’… Thank you Art Cervi for all the smiles and fun you provided to so many of us throughout Windsor [and] Detroit,” John Fairley said on Twitter.
Cervi’s life and career were the subject of a book called I Did What? that was published in 2014.
“Bozo got his personality from the person behind the makeup, and that’s what made our Bozo special to Detroit and Windsor audiences,” author Herb Mentzer wrote in the introduction.
“He was an enormous success in both cities and to this day, the mention of his name brings a smile and usually ‘I was on his show!'”