“The Making of Bozo, Gar & Ray: WGN-TV Classics” An Original Behind-the-Scenes Documentary Streaming Now on WGNtv.com
The Making of Bozo, Gar & Ray, a short documentary produced by the Museum of Broadcast Communications (MBC), is now streaming online at www.wgntv.com/documentary and at www.museum.tv through December 25, 2009. The documentary chronicles the creation of the now-classic television special Bozo, Gar & Ray: WGN TV Classics — a happy trip down memory lane that revisits three legendary WGN programs, Bozo’s Circus, Garfield Goose and Friends and Ray Rayner and His Friends. The special first aired on WGN-TV December 24, 2005.
The new MBC documentary is an entertaining behind-the-scenes look at how the popular holiday television special came together. It examines the production process, the gathering of props, key editorial decisions and includes program footage not seen in more than 40 years, including scenes that hit the cutting-room floor. The Making of Bozo, Gar & Ray also includes interviews with host-producer Dean Richards, producer Jeff Hoover and executive producer George Pappas, each sharing their enthusiasm for the project, along with commentary by MBC Founder & President Bruce DuMont and David Plier, MBC Board Vice President.
“The MBC documentary reveals the sense of passion and love for this period of Chicago TV and also for the talented people and hard work that went into putting this two-hour special together,” said Dean Richards, entertainment reporter for WGN-TV and WGN Radio and host- producer of the original special. “If you enjoyed watching the original shows growing up and watching the special that has become a WGN holiday tradition, you’ll enjoy taking a peek backstage,” Richards added.
During the shows’ heydays, in the 1960s through the 1980s, most programs at WGN were rarely recorded or the tapes were quickly recycled. So although popular for decades, very few original episodes were saved. But because of the shows’ enduring popularity, especially Bozo the Clown which aired until 2001, Richards, Hoover and Pappas hunted down and gathered all the available content to create Bozo, Gar & Ray: WGN TV Classics. Included in the special are Bozo’s Circus (1961–1980), The Bozo Show (1980–1994), The Bozo Super Sunday Show (1994–2001), Garfield Goose and Friends (1952–1976) and Ray Rayner and His Friends (1962–1981).
David Plier, the documentary’s executive producer, said that “after providing all the original WGN props from the museum archives and then observing the passion that fueled the production team, especially George Pappas, the MBC was inspired and decided to document the production process.” Plier added that “the museum is pleased to present The Making of Bozo, Gar & Ray, which underscores the MBC educational mission for students, scholars and fans of these classic programs.”
The Making of Bozo, Gar & Ray is the perfect companion to Bozo, Gar & Ray: WGN TV Classics, which will be rebroadcast on WGN Chicago and WGN America and on Christmas Eve, December 24 at 9:30pm (CT) on WGN Chicago.