Heavyweight boxer Mike Tyson, game show letter-turner Vanna White and talk show host Geraldo Rivera Friday were named "Bozos of the Year," a dubious annual honor bestowed on those with a talent for "Boz-osity."
The awards, presented for the sixth year by television's original Bozo the Clown, Larry Harmon, also went to former White House spokesman Larry Speakes, entertainer Cher and Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson, among others."These distinguished personalities showed us, through their attitudes and involvements during the preceding year, how their boz-dacity really sets them apart," Harmon said.
Tyson, the undefeated world heavyweight champion who recently separated from his actress-wife Robin Givens after a stormy marriage that lasted only months, was named in the Bozo award's newsmaker category for a union that Harmon said "is better suited for the boxing ring than the wedding ring."
In the "funster" category, the winner was the Rev. Jimmy Swaggart, the TV evangelist who lost his $150 million-a-year religious empire until he confessed to a "moral sin" after photos showed him with a prostitute.
Rivera earned his Bozo in journalism "for showing us that he has a nose for news after all," Harmon said, referring to an on-camera melee that left the host with a broken nose.
White, chief letter-turner of NBC's "Wheel of Fortune" who made an unwilling appearance in the nude in Playboy magazine, received a showbiz Bozo for "exposing herself to the letter in a page-turning men's magazine layout."
In the government category, State Department architects were named winners for designing and constructing a "bug-infested embassy in Moscow that cost $22 million to build and $160 million to banish."
The public speaking Bozo was awarded to sports commentator Jimmy "the Greek" Snyder for his "dubious analysis of black athletes."
Olympic sprinter Johnson, whose gold medal was taken back after he tested positive for steroids at the Seoul Olympics, won the Bozo in sports because he "started out a winner and ended up a sinner."