Friday, July 14, 2006

Mike Coco: Painters Gag

Though he is best known today for popularizing the "Busy Bee" gag in the United States, Mike produced and performed a painters "slosh gag" on Ringling so successful that it was used almost annually from the late 50s through the mid 60s.

Mike didn't invent the slosh gag (and the American circus clowns back to the 20s and 30s are rumored to have done them, although I have no photographic evidence) but he can be credited with creating, honing and popularizing the slosh gag format that served, and continues to serve, the Ringling show from that time to this day.


Anonymous said...

According to Ringling research (?),
the first soap entree was presented on RBBB around 1949. Mike Coco's would be about 1962 or so(I seem to remember Mike telling me he did it on the Mills show in the late 50's)The Brizio's performed it around 1970. Mark Anthony/Swede Johnson, Dougie Ashton, Lazlo Donnert and Prince Paul did a bakery soap gag on the Blue Unit in 1972. The Blue unit clown alley did a statue soap act with Billy Vaughn, Chris Bricker and Prince Paul in the mid 70's, and Duane Thorpe produced a Barber shop entree in 1984 on the red unit. In 1988 the Blue unit clown alley did their version of Mike Coco's act.


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Unknown said...

That's BILL LEVISOHN (from So. Africa) who joined RBB&B about 1957. He lives in SO. California. He's realy a great guy, has a wonderful family (2nd wife) and just lost his oldest son to cancer.
Chuck Burnes