Frank Oliver Wiziarde
Frank Oliver Wiziarde
July 25, 1916
|Died||September 11, 1987|
Overland Park, Kansas
|Occupation||Actor and television personality|
|Years active||1953 - 1987, his death|
|Spouse(s)||Kitty Louise Handley (1923 - 1988)|
|Children||Laura Michele Wiziarde (b. December 1, 1946, d. May 2, 2009)|
|Parent(s)||Jack O. Wiziarde and Laura "Lulu" Baldwin|
Frank Oliver Wiziarde (died 1987) was an American actor and television personality who was known primarily for his performances as Whizzo the Clown in the Kansas - Missouri area from the 1950s through the 1980s.
Frank Wiziarde began performing in the "Wiziarde Trio" founded by his mother and father in the 1920s. The family called Westmoreland, Kansas home and opened a bakery and restaurant there as well during the period. Frank performed on the rolling globe act with his mother and Mamie Scott and appeared as principal in the wire act.
In 1930, the Wiziarde family created the Wiziarde Novelty Circus, a traveling circus that appeared at stores and county fairs, in which Frank performed until the act's disbanding at the end of the 1936 season, during the height of the Great Depression. After high school, Frank went to Hollywood and appeared in a few films.
Between December 15, 1942 and December 8, 1946, Frank served in the U.S. Army.
In 1947 Frank became a radio announcer for KFEQ in St. Joseph, Missouri, where he became known for his man-on-the-street interviews.
He began his television career in 1953 in Kansas City, Missouri, working for KMBC-TV. The station wanted to produce a children's program, and Wiziarde came up with the idea for Whizzo, based on his experience performing as a clown for his parent's circus acts. His show went on the air in 1954. He switched stations several times going to KCMO-TV in Kansas City and then WIBW-TV in Topeka, but kept his character of Whizzo the Clown.
Whizzo's last show was on May 20, 1987.
The Whizzo Song
Who's always smiling, never sad? It's Whizzo!
Who makes the boys and girls so glad, Whizzo.
He's a merry fellow with a big red shiny nose,
Dressed in crazy mixed-up clothes
From his head down to his toes.
He has a great big trunk of tricks, has Whizzo.
He'll sing a song or do a dance for you.
And when you're sad, he'll make you glad.
The very best friend you ever had.
Whizzo the clown, that's who.
- "A different kind of big top". Retrieved 2016-12-30.
- Beneficiary Identification Records Locator Subsystem (BIRLS) Death File. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
- "Frank Wiziarde - Kansapedia - Kansas Historical Society". www.kshs.org. Retrieved 2016-12-30.
- Abstract of archived papers (March 7, 2006). "Frank Oliver Wiziarde (1916-1987) Papers (KC322)". Western Historical Manuscript Collection-Kansas City (hosted on website of the University of Missouri-Kansas City). Accessed January 13, 2010.
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