Thursday, June 15, 2006
Flippo the Clown--Bob Marvin--Has Died
Michael Meckler writes of the death of a Central Ohio legend, Bob Marvin, who for many decades was Flippo the Clown on WBNS-TV in Columbus.
Meckler is obviously younger than me, only remembering Marvin as the host of afternoon movies that aired prior to the 6:00 local news. But I remember a long period before that, when Marvin was on the air for only one hour, from 5:00 weekday afternoons, hosting 'Popeye' cartoon shorts.
Marvin was one of those TV characters who could be appreciated by adults as well as children, the clown costume notwithstanding.
He had been a mainstay in the Columbus area for years before donning the make-up, having played in the Big Band of my grandmother's cousin, Chuck Selby (an unsuccessful candidate for Franklin County commissioner one year, by the way).
Marvin's wise-cracking goofiness was a part of my childhood through college years in Columbus. I met him several times, usually at personal appearances he traveled to in his Isetta, a small car that had one door that opened where the windshield and the steering column were. As a child, I lived for hearing him announce my birthdays on his show or watching him showcase my crayon-drawings of him, no doubt among hundreds of thousands of such portraits he received through the years. I never liked clowns, but I loved Flippo!
A friend of my mother-in-law, a man who was a personality on WBNS during Marvin's long era, went to see the former TV clown at the care facility where he lived before his death. Predictably, the spontaneously zany Flippo chafed under doctor's orders and confided his intentions to eat whatever he wanted once he got out of that place. It wasn't to be.
[See these reports from The Columbus Dispatch and from ONN as well.]
[Thanks to Michael Meckler for linking to this post.]