David Arquette Buys the Rights to Bozo the Clown

The 'Scream' star is the children entertainment icon's first new owner in 65 years

BY Megan LaPierrePublished Oct 11, 2021

Ahead of reprising his role of sheriff Dewey Riley in next year's Scream reboot, David Arquette plans to clown around a bit. The actor has acquired the ownership rights to Bozo the Clown.

The "World's Most Famous Clown" character was initially created by Alan W. Livingston for a children's storytelling record and illustrated read-along book in 1946 via Capitol Records. Bozo went on to take over the television world beginning in 1949 with numerous franchised programs, including The Bozo Show, which aired from 1960 to 2001.

Arquette is a longtime Bozo fan. Appearing on Chicago's Channel 9 WGN Morning News, he opened up about the decision to buy the rights to the character from Larry Harmon Pictures (who'd bought them from Capitol in 1956) and become the beloved clown's first new owner in 65 years.

"I fell in love with Bozo when I was a kid living in Evanston, Illinois," Arquette explained. "Bob Bell's portrayal of Bozo was always my favourite. It really just lit my heart up, and I want to bring that kind of joy to the people of the world — and Chicago specifically," where he plans to establish a Bozo museum.

But he's also thinking beyond the regional: the actor really wants to build a diverse, worldwide "family of Bozos." 

"At one point there were 200 Bozos throughout America and Mexico and Brazil, so we really wanted to sort of replicate that," Arquette continued. "You have to kind of think of it as Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse."

He added: "There's a lot of rebuilding we have to do for the love of clowns in general," acknowledging that Bozo might possibly be scarier than Scream's Ghostface.

The Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett-directed fifth instalment of the film franchise is set to hit theatres on January 14, 2022. Arquette will reprise his iconic role alongside Neve Campbell, returning as Sydney Prescott, and Courteney Cox as Gale Weathers. Campbell, Arquette and Cox have starred in all four instalments since the late Wes Craven's first Scream film hit theatres in the late '90s. 

Watch Arquette's jubilant morning show interview discussing acquiring the rights to Bozo below.

Arquette is also currently hosting the Scream house on Airbnb.

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