“Formerly of Sha Na Na – Born to Hand Jive”
“ELEVEN STRAIGHT YEARS HIGHEST RATING! EXCELLENT!!”
The stunning disparity between mild-mannered Jon Bauman and his creation and alter ego, the inimitable “Bowzer”, has raised a lot of eyebrows in the entertainment industry. That’s because Jon’s portrayal of “Bowzer”, leader of “Sha Na Na” for fourteen years, was so convincing that the casual observer was certain this hilarious, gangly greaser actually stalked the streets of Brooklyn when he wasn’t appearing with the group. Later, when Jon Bauman washed the grease right out of “Bowzer”‘s hair, he surfaced as one of the most multi-dimensional performers in show business today, with careers as host, producer, writer, performer, actor, musician and social activist!
Jon, like “Bowzer”, was born in Brooklyn, but there the resemblance ends. Jon was something of a child prodigy at the piano, and started classical lessons at age seven. He attended the Juilliard School beginning age l2 and ultimately graduated Magna Cum Laude from prestigious Columbia College in New York.
In l969, Jon joined several of his Columbia classmates in “Sha Na Na” and created the character of “Bowzer”. With “Bowzer” the dominant character on stage, Jon was a major force in leading the group to their successful TV series. At its peak, “Sha Na Na” was the #1 syndicated show in America, and was also seen in 32 foreign countries. The series ran for four years first-run and another three in syndicated strip.
“GREAT FUN! HAD THE AUDIENCE INVOLVED FROM START TO FINISH. THEY LOVED IT! A REAL PRO!”
New York State Fair
While remaining the star of “Sha Na Na”, Jon branched out on his own and made over l50 solo appearances. He guest starred on programs ranging from “The Barbara Mandrell Show” to “Super Password”, and guest hosted such shows as “An Evening at the Improv”. He also appeared with the group in the phenomenally successful movie, “Grease”, and sang the “Born To Hand Jive” number on the “Grease” album, then the biggest selling soundtrack album of all time.
When Jon left “Sha Na Na” in the mid-80’s, he began to explore his many talents even further. In a l80-degree turnaround from “greaser” to game show host, he hosted the “Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour” on NBC, the nationally syndicated “Pop ‘N’ Rocker Game” and the ABC prime-time reality series “We Dare You”. Jon then spent two years as one of the original “VJ”‘s on the music channel, “VH-1”. Jon next wrote and hosted LBS Comunications’ twelve-part series “The Story of Rock ‘n’ Roll.” The following year, he became co-host of KHJ’s “L.A. In The Morning”, having broadened his skills to an issue-oriented talk show! He then hosted “Karaoke Showcase”, an hour-long syndicated series shot at Universal Studios, Florida and distributed to over 100 stations.
On the acting front, Jon has appeared on several episodics such as “Miami Vice” and he’s also active in voice-overs for animated series such as “Animaniacs” and feature films, including “My Little Pony” and “The Jetsons.”
And Jon has successfully added the producer’s and writer’s caps to his versatile career picture. Jon Bauman Productions followed “The Story Of Rock ‘n’ Roll” with “The Golden Age Of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” a ten-hour series for A & E.
Jon also served as executive producer, writer and host of “Bowzer’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Party” (Jon Bauman Productions in association with Tribune Entertainment). This 2-hour New Year’s Eve special aired on l20 stations. The same year, Jon produced, wrote and hosted “Blast to the Past!”, a one-hour special based on the Disneyland 50’s promotion of the same name, shot at the Magic Kingdom.
“BOWZER’S ROCK ‘N’ ROLL PARTY IS THE MOST EXCITING ACT WE’VE HAD AT MICHIGAN STATE FAIR DURING MY TENURE!”
Michigan State Fair
Finally, Jon’s live show, “Bowzer’s Original Doo-Wop Party”, was the most successful production show ever at Atlantic City’s Trop World Hotel and Casino.Jon has been performing ever since with his group, Bowzer and the Stingrays, at fairs, amusement parks, cruise ships and conventions all over the country and the world! Jon Bauman freely gives what’s left of his time to several charities, notably Cerebral Palsy-Spastic Children. He recently started the Truth in Rock Association, and is spending a lot of time in Washington with the Intellectual Properties Subcommittee of the House of Representatives. They’re working to change the law to better protect real artists from the 50’s and 60’s from knockoff impostor groups, and Jon is currently writing a book on this subject.
Jon lives in Los Angeles with his wife of 31 years, Mary, and their two children, Nora, 23, and Eli, 21. Nora just graduated and Eli is a sophomore at Columbia, where Jon went to college.
There’s no telling where the multi-faceted Jon Bauman will turn up next, but one thing’s for sure- he’s going to be a major force in the world of entertainment for a long time to come!