The Magic Clown

While ABC TV premired TV’s very first children’s circus variety series , NBC TV and The Bonamo Candy Co. created and produced their own circus program, that featured an enchanted buffoon.

“The Magic Clown” debuted on NBC TV as a Sunday afternoon series on September 11, 1949. Set against the backdrop of a traveling circus, illusionist, Zovella played the title role.

As he engaged his viewers and studio audiences in magic tricks, games for prizes,introduced guest performers and promoted”Bonamo
Turkish Taffy”.

The Magic Clown

The Magic Clown - A 1950s Traveling Circus

The series had a modest success on NBC TV..Zovella would play “The Magic Clown”, until he left the show in 1952.


He was replaced by Richard Dubois..who played the character from 1952, until he left the show in 1954.

NBC TV dropped the show..but the character would return to The NYC Airways in 1958 on WABD TV Ch.5.

Comic/chracter actor/magician/cartoonist and puppeteer: Doug Anderson became the third host/performer to play “The Magic Clown”.

Aided by his wife Gayle, the pair would entertain and inform their viewers and studio audience on sunday mornings for most of the 1958 tv season.

The series was dropped by WABD TV Ch.5 in NYC, it would later move to WNTA TV Ch.13 in The Newark N.J./NYC viewing area a year later.

Where it would be seen weekday mornings and saturday mornings during the 1959 tv season.

The Anderson version of “The Magic Clown”was a hit and the show became an even bigger succcess than the two previous formats.

Sadly, the show left the Newark,N.J./NYC airways following the 1959 season.

“The Magic Clown” made his last tv appearance in a limited syndicated format produced in Canada in 1970.

Magician and escape artist: “The Amazing Randi” would played the clown from 1970 to 1971.

7 thoughts on “The Magic Clown

  1. Sadly..Mr.Doug Anderson..the third host/performer to play:”The Magic Clown”on WABD TV Ch.5 in NYC and on WNTA TV Ch.13 in The Newark,N.J./NYC viewing area in the late 1950’s passed away.

  2. is this the doug Anderson who was a Magician, with a wife name Gale…if it is they were friends of my family and I have wondered how their lives turned out..

    • Yes! Mrs.Gayle Anderson was Mr.Anderson’s wife and she worked with him on”The Magic Clown”on WNTA TV Ch.13 weekday mornings and satuday mornings from 1958 to 1959.Sadly..Mrs.Anderson left us some time ago.

      • Thank you for the information on Gale and Doug Anderson Magicians. Do you have any more detailed information. when they died etc. In 1959 I started as a Freshman in College. My father worked with Doug on puppet animation series. MY fathers name is David Robbins.

  3. Dear Mr.Robbins,

    I don’t have the information in regards to Mrs.Gayle Anderson’s passing? I do know that Mr.Anderson left us on March 29,2014.

  4. I ment to say that I don’t have the exact information regarding Mrs.Gayle Anderson’s passing with me at the moment.

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