King Bozo is Here

by Gili Malinsky

On February 18th, 2013, New York experienced the first of King Bozo’s creations, a simple postcard stuck in a copy of Proof at a bookstore in midtown. It read, “Your Lyre Is Impossible To Tune. -37 points” (cryptic and weird and very handmade). And every day since he’s dropped off another colorful, jokey creation, handing them to people on trains or dropping them off at coffee shops all over the city. The reason being, he says, “I like making them.” The following is an interview with King Bozo himself, a.k.a. artist/comedian Tim Platt.  

So where did King Bozo come from?

My friend posted pictures of this game [based on magic cards] between him and his roommates. They’d leave cards for each other to find, like in their cupboard or on top of their pillow. “You found a knife under your bed, plus 3 points”… and I was like, this is so funny. I wanna do this with my roommates. But none of my friends would play this game with me except my friend Branson Reese. Then we wanted to turn it into a show, tried and it didn’t work. And I was like, at this point I’ve made these cards… Why don’t I just give them to strangers?

And it’s been three years! What do you like about doing it? 

I like having something that’s completely mine so if nothing happens in my life I can always make these cards.

How do people react when you give them these postcards? Is this a good way to engage with people?

A few people have found me through Tumblr and were like, “I thought that was cool.” I used to hand them to people and always do it while I was leaving. So I never stuck around to see the reaction. I stopped directly giving them to people because I felt like what I intended as a gift could possibly feel invasive. I started leaving them places (like in books or on the front of an advertisement or on a table) so the gifts could feel like discoveries. In that sense, I do think it is a good, or at least fun, way to engage with people. Honestly, I've stopped thinking about how people engage… It's the act of giving it away that is important to me.

So what’s the end goal?

I like making them… I hope people like them.

Why “King Bozo”?

I just thought it was funny. I didn’t want to have my name or face attached to it. I used to be very precious about that. I think it sounds cool. 

What’s in store for King Bozo? 

I just wanna keep on doing it.

 

To find out where you can get your own King Bozo giftcard, click here.