Peppy the Clown
Retro Coin Op Synopsis
Let’s face it, an hour or two in the arcade can take it out of a person. Flashback to the 1950’s: If you found yourself worn down by hours of foosball[ and skee-ball and pinball—with all their demands on your coordination and your concentration—maybe it was a good time to take a break. Oh, go ahead. Make a cute clown sing and dance for a little while—let Peppy cleanse your arcade palate.
Williams’ 1955 animated marionette Peppy the Clown was designed specifically for kids, and the kids, as was hoped, ate it right up. After a coin was inserted, Peppy talked and sang to calliope music, moving his head from side to side. And as if that wasn’t enough, a player could up the dance ante by pressing buttons on the front console, which controlled Peppy’s arm and leg movement.
It wasn’t long that other game companies came out with knock-offs. United’s version featured a clown named “Bimbo,” who was Peppy’s identical dancing clown twin. Other marionettes and coin-op puppet theaters made the arcade scene as well, but make no mistake—Peppy was the original, a smile-inducing clown like no other.