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June 29, 2017

The First Ronald Clown for McDonald’s, 1963

Back when McDonald’s was a startup, Coca Cola was releasing its first diet drink, and clowns were not scary.

Willard Scott was the personality behind Bozo the Clown on WRC-TV in Washington DC in the early 1960’s. At the time clowns were a fun and energetic, happy and carefree character, perfect for creating a fun filled atmosphere for children, and Bozo the clown was the most popular children’s show on TV.

McDonald’s approached Scott and he performed three television acts as Ronald McDonald the clown. The character grew to be McDonald’s mascot and even had a whole animated TV series about McDonaldland, though McDonald’s has since relegated Ronald to just a mascot with no TV show, and now focuses on Ronald McDonald housing for parents with critically sick children.


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