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The Bonomo Magic Clown

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Zovello, the Bonomo Magic Clown


  • ?-?
  • Real Name: Sam Wishner
  • Birthday: ?
  • Birthplace: United States

Sam Wishner was an American magician and early television personality known as "Zovello", the Bonomo Magic Clown. In fact, Wishner was the first of the Bonomo Magic Clowns.

A clever product promoter from the start of his magic career in the late 1920's, Wishner had marketed his "Zovelloscopes" in 1936. The Zovelloscopes were tiny individually packaged flip books- you flipped the pages to see Zovello perform a magic trick. The set of Zovelloscopes is very rare and collectible today.

From 1949 to 1951, he appeared on his own weekly children's program on NBC-TV, sponsored by Bonomo Turkish Taffy. He was the first of four actors to play the Bonomo Magic Clown. Read more about the Bonomo Magic Clown

With his hand puppet partner "Laffy" (because it rhymes with "taffy"!), Zovello entertained a live gallery of about a dozen children, plus the viewing audience at home, with short segments of magic, comedy and games. Viewers were strongly and urgently prompted to order his own marketed magic tricks and gimmicks as well as the Bonomo candy. "Today! Don't wait! I can only offer these this week!". He left the show in 1952.

Two of the shows are included on a DVD called "Classic Game Shows", currently available on

Watch Zovello in this video:
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Credit: This biography originated on Please credit this source if you use this information.