Bobo's famous worm.

Believe it or not, Bobo World is somewhat controversial because to some people, Bobo would appear to be a pervert, if sticking a green-and-red oversized rubber worm into a child's face - namely mine - is indeed perverted. Some would argue otherwise, saying just startling or even intimidating children with it like Bobo did is not perverted, and that the comical effect would be lost with a smaller worm. This clown trick was used by many clowns in the 1950s, and very few people thought there was anything wrong with it then, but today Bobo's device is viewed - by those who have seen the movie - in a decidedly different light. The thing that bothers most people about the worm in particular is that it seems to resemble a penis. In the small GIF movie, it appears to be a dark green, semi-rigid, wrinkled shaft with an indistinct red tip, but a close examination of the original 8mm home-movie (or the video master on a large-screen television) reveals a very well-defined penis-like shape, complete with a wrinkled foreskin and a distinct glans-shaped tip. Some of the wrinkles apparent in the GIF movie are actually the outline of the mechanism's spring. So if the worm looks like a penis, and Bobo is sticking it in kids' faces, does that make him a pervert? YOU decide!

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Bobo World is a good starting point for psychology classes and discussion groups. Several questions arise, such as: Was the Worm-in-an-apple trick just an innocent clown prank of a bygone era, or did only clowns with evil intent use it? If so, what would possess someone to dress up as a clown to scare young children or intimidate them with such a device as the Worm-in-an-apple trick? What differences are there in today's society and the world of the 1950s that would have kept this ancient clown prop in relative obscurity then, but bring it into the limelight today? When was the change in public awareness that began to make people question the use of this prop? Would you hire a clown for your child's birthday party if you knew he used the device? Is it any wonder that this prop is no longer offered by the novelty supply business as a part of their line of standard clown tricks? (Try calling a supplier and ask for the item. The response may prove interesting!) Bobo World has received a rating of "0" (zero) by RSACi, an independent rating service that identifies pages that are suitable (or NOT suitable) for viewing by children, and believe it or not, Bobo World is "squeaky clean" according to that agency (I can't imagine how Bobo's worm slipped by 'em)!

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