Saturday, November 25, 2006

Rivel in Vienna


Charlie Rivel in Vienna 1940, the moment just before he yells, "Hey you dang kids! Get off of my lawn!" ; )

If you could judge a clown based on nothing more than the snug fit of his skullcap Rivel would STILL be legendary. Just look at that fit!


Friday, November 24, 2006

And Then There's Maude

Photo courtesy of Robin Estes, from the Estate of Harold Ronk


Ms. Maude Flippen

Right On, Maude!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The Beatles and Cirque




If you aren't familiar with the Beatles, this is a good introduction.

If you are, the production quality of this is absolutely amazing. It's incredible how far we've come in terms of digital technology in that we can now take 40 year old masters and make them sound as though they were recorded this morning.

AND it's the soundtrack to a circus!!!


Cirque at the Garden Beginning In 2007




In a season filled with big circus news, this story is easily the BIGGEST!!!

Click the title of this post for the link to the story.

Rex "Boxcar" Young

Photo courtesy of Bill Strong


Rex "Boxcar" Young, a man I tried to call yesterday but wasn't home and didn't have an answering machine to leave a message on. If he's still in Holland, MI (there IS a Rex Young still listed there) somebody let me know and I'll send ol' Boxcar an answering machine for Christmas ; )

"Smiley" Daly

Photos courtesy of Bill Strong


John "Smiley" Daly from the program of the 1971 Ararat Shrine Circus in Kansas City MO.



Smiley a few years later (with a look that's a few years ahead of it's time) at Circus America with John McKay

Smiley's makeup and costume here remind me of Mike Smith, one of my Clown College instructors and a very funny person.

Larry Cross

Photo courtesy of Bill Strong




George LaSalle

Photo courtesy of Bill Strong




Click the title of this post to visit Bill Strong's circus blog YESTERDAY'S TOWNS


Monday, November 20, 2006

Slapstick! on eBay



Clicking the title of this post will link you to an eBay auction (if you don't win don't worry. The book comes up pretty regularly)for Tony Staveacre's book SLAPSTICK!: THE ILLUSTRATED STORY OF KNOCKABOUT COMEDY, a great book featuring some of the giants of physical and visual comedy; circus clowns are discussed side-by-side with stars of stage and screen from both sides of the Atlantic.


Sunday, November 19, 2006

He's Just a Gigolo...

Photos courtesy of Ron "Toto" Johnson



Apparently Rocco Paris wasn't only married to Dana Nelson (as seen in our photo from the Red Show's Clownbusters gag the other day) but has, in fact, been married several times. Here we see a pair of photos from his brief May/December marriage with another wife, Ron "Toto Johnson.

From the 2nd photo I think it's obvious why they split ; )

Paul Jerome and Company



Paul Jerome, in his "happy hobo" makeup and "Janitor" hat, accompanied by an unidentified but similarly garbed "Boss".

All Hail the King



Who is the King?

King Kong?

Burger King?

King Crimson?


Nope!


The King of Rock and Roll?

The King of Pop?

The King of All Media???


Brother, the only place that they all rule is in Squaresville, man!


They all pale before the one true king, the King of Clowns, Frank B. "Felix" Adler!


Long live the King!

Felix and Lola


Felix Adler with, I believe, Lola Dobritch

Lone Ranger and Popeye



Once upon a time in America, a much less litigious time, a trip to the circus meant seeing your favorite cartoon and radio stars brought to life. This was before the age of the theme park, where costumed characters are a now common sight. Even Cecil B. DeMille's GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH contains scenes of Paul Jung's "big head" mascot costumes of famous Disney characters included in Ringling's spec.

Try that today and a team of corporate copyright lawyers would eat you alive in ring two.

Oh, you might meet an unlicensed Spiderman or Spongebob at intermission on some shows, but you'll pay $10. a Polaroid for the privilege.

Here we see the Lone Ranger and Popeye happily rounding end track. It would be nice if we could still do stuff like this. I wish Shrine shows still had appearances by TV celebrities like they did in the 60s where you might see the Three Stooges, the Munsters, Bozo or Batman and Robin. Nowadays all we get are the morning zoo team from the local radio station.

"Moo-Head Manny" and "The Poo Guy" are no Batman and Robin. Believe me. What kid cares about morning zoo radio?

Sunday Night at the Movies: Curly Howard and Lou Costello

Two of the all-time great American screen clowns face off against oysters...



Jerome "Curly" Howard battles an oyster in the Three Stooges short DUTIFUL BUT DUMB (1941)





Lou Costello seems to have ordered the exact same stew a few years later in Abbott and Costello's HERE COME THE COEDS (1945)


Curly Howard and Lou Costello: Compare, contrast and discuss.

Sunday Morning Art Gallery w/ Bill Ballantine

Photo courtesy of Robin Estes


Felix Adler and one of his many performing pigs by former Ringling clown and later Clown College dean, Bill Ballantine

Sunday Morning Art Gallery w/ Mike Keever

Artwork, photo and memories courtesy of Mike Keever


Cowboy Mike Keever sez: "This very near and dear to my heart..."Eye of the Clown". It is the painting that I did from my logo that I had designed...as in I want to show everyone... the view of the world....through....the...Eye of the Clown."




"Baby Cowboy Mike...my first season...'77-'78 I later came out of the clown car with this hat on and would lasso Lou. It was fun everyday because Lou would for real try to make me miss him, which I did some. He always had that sparkle in his eye...that of a big kid out there playing...which I could also see from Ring 1 (Mule Gag) all the way down to Ring 3 (Hunting Gag)...Eric Braun between us in Ring 2 (Comedy Dog) It was a game for both of us. When I would catch him...and I would see him at the back curtain as we exited, backstage...Lou would say...

'Oh Jeez, Ya' got a lucky shot!'. and we would both smile and laugh. Good time!!! Very Good Times!!!"

__________________________________________

Thanks for sharing, Mike!


Clicking on the title of this post will take you to more info on Mike's artwork from the Cel-Ebration Art Gallery in Red Bank, NJ