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Chuckles the Clown - The star of THE CHUCKLES THE CLOWN SHOW that aired on the fictional Minneapolis television station WJM-TV Channel 12 on the sitcom THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW/CBS/1970-77. His real name was George Bowerchuck.

The Chuckles character - who debuted episode No. 8 "The Snow Must Go On"  - was a running gag on the program. He was rarely seen, but periodically mentioned by Lou Grant, Murray Slaughter, Mary Richards or news anchor, Tex Baxter who dated George's daughter, Betty Bowerchuck, for a while.

On episode "Chuckles Bites the Dust" Chuckles was killed off by the script writers who had Chuckles being trampled to death by an elephant in a parade. It seemed that Chuckles, as the parade's grand marshal, was dressed in a giant Peter the Peanut costume and was quickly shelled by a hungry pachyderm. At his funeral the minister said:

"Chuckles the Clown brought pleasure to millions. The characters he created will be remembered by children and adults alike...Peter Peanut, Mr. Fee Fi Fo, Billy Banana and, my particular favorite, Aunt Yoo Hoo. And not just for the laughter that he provided. There was always some deeper meaning to whatever Chuckles did. And what did Chuckles ask in return? Not much. In his own words-'a little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pant's."

Mary Richards (Mary Tyler Moore) the station's news producer began to laugh violently during Chuckle's funeral when the silliness of the whole situation finally hit home.

TRIVIA NOTE: The website The Dark Side of the Net lists 30 ways to be offensive at a funeral, including these pranks:

  • Punch the body and tell people that he hit you first.;
  • Ask someone to take a snapshot of you shaking hands with the deceased;
  • Tell the undertaker that your dog just died and ask if he can sneak him into the coffin;
  • Use the deceased's tongue to lick a stamp;
  • When no-one's looking, slip plastic vampire-teeth into the deceased's mouth;
  • Toss a handful of cooked rice on the deceased and scream "MAGGOTS! MAGGOTS!" and pretend to faint.

See also - FACELESS FAVORITES: "The Mary Tyler Moore Show"

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