To win honors of some sort is always nice but to win this particular award is something special. Even though you don’t sit up late at night to see the Clown Of The Year Award, it certainly doesn’t mean its not a super duper, fun filled and exciting title to call your own. This year Waldorf’s very own Bob Gretton took the trophy!
Mr. Gretton who is recognized better as the one and only Bunky the Clown has been making children and adults laugh for over twenty-three years now. He started out when his wife, Teresa, volunteered his services for a neighborhood block party. The clown that was originally scheduled to show up for the party called at the very last minute and bailed out. Instead of letting the kids down Gretton made the best of what he had with some old lipstick and a great since of humor. The fun he had handing out candy and joking his way through the crown was the beginning of a lifetime dream. He said it was the most exhausting gig he had ever pulled off but nonetheless, he loved it!
Before becoming Bunky, Gretton was the main provider in his home while working full time for Bell Atlantic so that Teresa could stay at home with their children. The idea to become a part-time clown was originally just a plan to bring in some extra cash. However, just like everything he does, he took it seriously and began to study at the Circus Hall of Fame in Sarasota Fl. He took some time to learn the tricks of the trade…pardon the pun. "There is a misconception out there that anyone can be a clown … all you need is some baggy clothes and lipstick," Gretton said. "But this is serious."
He says of all his fans his wife is his biggest critic “If I make her laugh, then I know I’m cookin” he said.
Clowning around with Bunky became a local cable show that from for six years in the mid to late eighties. That alone showed his true talents. The average clown show runs for about 5-10 quick minutes. On Bunky’s show he had to fill 52 long minutes! It was then that his family got in on the act as well. His wife was Blinky and his children were Birtha, Andy and Baby B.B.
"Clowning is a dying art form in the United States, it's scary," Gretton said. "It's live entertainment. Kids don't get that nowadays. But the simplest of magic tricks, kids love it.“
"Every day I still have that enthusiasm I had on my first job," he said. "And I treat every job like it could be my last. So why not go out and be the best? I'm going to enjoy the day."