Black, white, and red illustration of Koko the Clown on a red background
|© K.F.S. INC./FLEISCHER STUDIOS, INC. EPHEMERA 541-553-4195
Animator Max Fleischer initially created Koko the Clown to showcase his Rotoscope, a device that allows animators to trace over live-action footage. The Rotoscope allows for smoother, more life-like animations with the added bonus of speeding up the animation process. Koko was modeled after Fleischer's younger brother, Dave, who worked as a clown at the Steeplechase Amusement Park in Coney Island. Towards the end of his fifteen-year run as the star of Fleischer's cartoons, Koko the Clown would be eclipsed in popularity by another Fleischer creation: Betty Boop.