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Dec 16, 2022

People Who Bring Us Joy – Ozzy the Clown

It’s the season of joy and we went looking for the people that are front and center in the holiday season. Sure, you have Santa Claus at the top of the list with his provision of gifts, but Sabreena stumbled on a man who works all year round in spreading joy. In this week’s on the Bright Side, she found out that there’s more to what meets the eye with Ozzy the Clown.

Sabreena Daly, Reporting

In Belize, when we think of people who bring us joy, an honorary mention goes to Javier Canul, professionally known as Ozzy. It’s not every day that you hear of career clowns saving lives, but Ozzy will have you doing a double take. He’s a career white-face clown and has been in the business for twenty-six years. Before that, he was an army man in the Belize Defense Force.


Javier Canul

Javier Canul, Ozzy the Clown
“You have different types of clowns. You have the white face clown and that is separated into two. There is the European white face clown and then, there’s the white face clown like me. European white face clown is a perfectionist; he dresses in glamour and glitter. Now, I don’t dress in glamour and glitter, I dress normal, but I am a white face. The theory behind them is that they are always perfect at anything they do; even if they don’t know, they will pretend that they know. You have to look at your character. Remember I was in the military, B.D.F.  Because of me being a soldier, I am not as funny as I would like to be. But as a white face clown, it tends to be more elegant, and always respectful, so to speak.”


But how does a serious army man, choose to change his career path in the service of joy? He stumbled into his profession unexpectedly.


Javier Canul
“I left the Belize Defense Force because I had sons, male sons and I wanted to be with them to make sure they were on the right path. I then didn’t have a job. I came out and applied for jobs all over the country in physical education but didn’t get any. So, I decided to go to the States by road and I accidentally ran into a clown and that was it.”


Sharing joy with children is not the only passion for Ozzy, he is also the first responder in a medical emergency. Javier is the man you meet in a health scare, but Ozzy the friend you encounter when laughter is the only thing left to lift the spirit.


Javier Canul
“It was a little hard at first to make people know that I was a clown. Up to today, there still exist a stigma that clowns are the last prong on the ladder. That’s the reason why I became a paramedic as well. Paramedics helped me to elevate the clown role, so, I would help to take care of patients, carry them into the hospital and then later on I would dress as the clown and go and entertain them to see them out of the hospital. But it’s been a while that I’ve done that because of COVID.  All the children know me as this clown people as I said, think that you’re the last prong on a ladder, so being a paramedic compliments me. So, people can say, hey, you see that man, he’s a clown yes, but he’s also a paramedic. I look at myself as somebody who goes to the hospital and cheer up the sick. I don’t really look at myself as somebody that brings joy to homes. I look at it as, hey, you’re a paramedic, you need to heal people. But you are right, I do bring joy to people.”


Sabreena Daly

“Would you say laughter is also healing for people?”


Javier Canul
“Oh, yes, it is. But you can’t let them laugh to hard, especially after they have had an operation.”


Looking on the Bright Side, I’m Sabreena Daly.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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