Jon Bauman

Jon "Bowzer" Bauman (born September 14, 1947) is an American singer, best known as a member of the band Sha Na Na, and game show host. Bauman's Sha Na Na character, "Bowzer", was a greaser in a muscle shirt.

Jon "Bowzer" Bauman
Jon Bowzer Bauman by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Bauman in April 2018
Born (1947-09-14) September 14, 1947 (age 73)
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
OccupationSinger, game show host, political spokesman, actor
Years active1969–present
Mary Ryerson
(m. 1978)

Biography and careerEdit

Bauman with Peggy "Sue" Papadonski in 2000

Bauman was born in Brooklyn, New York. He started attending The Juilliard School at age 12 with an expertise in piano playing,[1] and is a 1964 graduate of Martin Van Buren High School in Queens Village, Queens. He then attended Columbia University, graduating in 1968.[2] Bauman was a member of the band Sha Na Na between 1970 and 1983. He was featured in the television comedy/variety show Sha Na Na from 1977 to 1981. In his "Bowzer" persona, Bauman became instantly recognizable for his "greaser" clothes and hair, his muscular pose with his arm, and his catchphrase "Grease for Peace!". In the late 1970s, Bauman appeared as "Bowzer" (loosely in-character) on many game shows, including Match Game and Password Plus. After his heyday with Sha Na Na, Bauman was a VJ on the music channel VH-1 during its first two years. He has appeared on many television series, such as Miami Vice, and has also done voiceovers for animated series, such as Animaniacs, and animated feature films, including My Little Pony: The Movie and The Jetsons Meet the Flintstones. He also hosted the Hollywood Squares half of the Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour. Bauman also hosted The Pop 'N Rocker Game, a weekly syndicated rock 'n' roll game show, which launched a few weeks before the Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour premiered.

Jon Bauman Productions produced The Golden Age of Rock 'n' Roll, a 10-hour series for the A&E Network.

Bauman tours extensively with his Bowzer and the Stingrays group at fairs, amusement parks, cruise ships, malt shoppes and conventions all over the world. They headline "Bowzer's Ultimate Milkshake Party".

Personal lifeEdit

Bauman lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Mary, and two children, Nora and Eli; the latter two are graduates of Columbia University. His nephew is Eric C. Bauman, former chairman of the California Democratic Party.

Bauman has spoken on behalf of musicians who are upset about contemporary groups who use classic groups' names even though none of the members performed on any of the albums. Supporters include Charlie Thomas of the Drifters and Mary Wilson of the Supremes; before their deaths, Carl Gardner of the Coasters and original Drifter Bill Pinkney were also supporters. Bauman has also helped pass legislation that would compel any group using the name of a classic group to have at least one of the original members. The measure is known as the Truth in Music Act.

Bauman regularly campaigns for Democrats in special elections, including Mark Critz in 2010, Kathy Hochul in 2011, David Weprin in 2011 and Elizabeth Colbert Busch in 2013. He endorsed Barack Obama for President in 2008.[3] He has also worked as a spokesman for the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare and recorded wake-up calls for employees of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.[4] He is also a co-founder of the group Senior Votes Count, which is a political action committee designed to elect leaders to protect and advance the rights of elderly Americans.[5] In the 2016 presidential election, Bauman endorsed Hillary Clinton, campaigning for her across the country, including in Iowa and Ohio.[6]

He is currently president of Social Security Works PAC, a national organization working to elect candidates who support protecting and expanding Social Security benefits.[7]

In popular mediaEdit

Bauman is referenced in "The Chanukah Song" by Adam Sandler, "Parents Just Don't Understand" by DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince, the NewsRadio episode "Chock", and the sixth episode of the tenth season of The Simpsons, in which Grandpa Simpson is shown at Woodstock carrying a "Bowzer for President" sign and heckling Jimi Hendrix with the shout "Bring on Sha Na Na!".


  1. ^ Password Plus, episode that aired August 22nd, 1979
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Jon "Bowzer" Bauman". YouTube. 25 August 2008. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  4. ^ "Crooner Jon 'Bowzer' Bauman hits trail for Colbert Busch". Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  5. ^ "Our Mission - Senior Votes Count". Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  6. ^ Johnson, Ted (1 February 2016). "Hillary Clinton Closes Iowa Campaign With Contrast to Bernie Sanders". Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  7. ^ "Social Security Works PAC backs Randy Bryce for Congress". The Wisconsin Gazette. Retrieved 10 June 2018.

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Peter Marshall
Host of The Hollywood Squares
Succeeded by
John Davidson