Howard Johnson's never really caught on out here in the West the way it was on the East Coast. I remember them as a child with their blue and orange color scheme. I also remember them along turnpikes when we travelled coast to coast.
When I lived outside DC we used to go to a place called Hot Shoppes, or something like that, that as I recall had the same color scheme. We preferred Hot Shoppes food. No idea if they're in business anymore. I'm remembering back to the 1950s.
As far as the clown in this ad, he's probably the least creepy of all I've posted lately. Sure, his eyes are crossed and he's got a really wimpy feather in his hat and now that I think of it he's got a Halloween pumpkin nose...yeah, he's creepy too. But I really like the rendering of the ice cream cone.
As to the salivating dog...really? They needed to draw drips of saliva?
Click on image to see it larger.
(SOURCE: Ringling Bros and Barnum and Bailey Circus Magazine and Daily Review, 1940)