Saturday, January 05, 2008


Young Jeremy Soames (aged 3) and his sister Emma (aged 6) are introduced to the world-famous entertainer Coco the Clown at an opening luncheon given by the Bertram Mills Circus. They are accompanied by Viscount Montgomery and cabaret star Connie Moore.

Coco the Clown performs a stunt where he appears to be sitting in a basket on a woman's back. However, the woman is just a dummy.

Coco the Clown and his associates from the Bertram Mills Circus put on a matinee performance for the children from the local hospitals, orphanages and children's homes.

Coco the Clown, the Bertram Mills Circus' world-famous entertainer, paints the face of his son Michael, watched by two of his daughters, Alexandra and Helen.

Coco the clown presents his little grandson, Graham, with a clown's wig which he himself and his son, Michael, both wore when clowning for the first time. The family are hoping that Graham, for whom the wig was a birthday present, will carry on the clowning tradition.

CLOWN ALLEY" Sumo Clown Car

Video courtesy of Super Steve Copeland

From Steve...

"Hey, it was funny on paper."

Friday, January 04, 2008


Happy 29th birthday wishes go out today to my very favorite costumer in the whole wide world, Ms. Mary Derosier!

Mary made costumes for the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College for many years, still makes them for several folks and has made all of mine for the last few years including the beautiful Ringmaster jacket that I wore in the photo to the right from New Year's Eve.

If you've seen THE INCREDIBLES, she's like the Edna Mode of American circus clowning : )

She's unbelievably gifted and one of the very nicest people it's ever been my pleasure to know.

Happy birthday, Mary!

NICOLAI "COCO" POLIAKOFF: Bertram Mills Circus

Nicolai Poliakoff OBE, reading his fan mail,

Combing out his flip-top wig,

Putting the finishing touches to his famous face

And entertaining audiences at the Bertram Mills Circus at Olympia where he was featured for decades.

Thursday, January 03, 2008


Photo courtesy of Greg DeSanto

Legendary comedianne Lucille Ball accepting an honorary degree from the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College in this undated photo.

From Greg...

Not quite sure....ran across this in an old unnamed file. It looks like Kenneth Feld presenting Lucy with the diploma on some TV show (Good Morning America?). I've never seen or heard of this before.

Anyone out there have any more information on this one?


Pipo Sosman, Jr. The very picture of a classical white clown and, while extremely underutilized during his time here in America, a great pleasure to watch and study.

The Fool Time Circus blog had the following...

Born and raised in Paris, France, he began clowning at age 14 in Cirque Medrano, working side-by-side with the man who inspired him - his father Gustave Sosman. “A clown does not play a character - a clown is the person himself. I am a perfectionist in everything I do. My father told me, ‘Practise erases practise, work erases work.’ I try to live by that,” says Sosman Junior. Today, Philippe enjoys the same recognition and adoration as his famous father. He has starred in the Cirque Bouglione (France), Cirque de Paris, Cirque Knie (Switzerland National Circus), Circus Nock (Switzerland), and Circus Roncalli (Germany). Sosman lives in Paris with his partner, ex-Bluebell dancer Judy Benson. His hobbies include collecting old musical instruments and circus photographs.

CLOWN ALLEY: Dentist Chase Ringling, 2004

Video courtesy of Steve Copeland

Gregory Parks (Dental Hygienist) and Steve Copeland (Mouth) performing the Dentist Chase on Ringling in 2004.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008


As of tomorrow morning CLOWNALLEY.NET will begin accepting advertising and sponsorship. Banner ads will now appear on the top of the right hand side of the page.

If you have a circus or clown-related business and are interested in buying or bartering for ad space, please contact me at


Buzzy Potts in spec wardrobe on the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in the 1940s.

LEE MARX: Shrine Circus, 1982

Photo courtesy of Larry Clark

Lee Marx, son of Carl Marx, who, like Joe Jackson Jr. and Emmett Kelly Jr., adopted his father's makeup, costume and material.

Lee also did Rolling Globe and a bit of juggling.

He toured with the Hubert Castle Circus for many years working with with Rex "Boxcar" Young, Gene Randow, Harold Simmons and Chester "Bobo" Barnett. Lee also did halftime shows for the Harlem Globetrotters.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008


Photos courtesy of Shane Cashin

Last night Andrew Scharff and I performed our two-man show (some material from our shows in China, a lot of new stuff) to two SRO audiences at the Citizens Bank Downtown Theater as part of First Night State College, PA.

Here are some photos from the shows...

Monday, December 31, 2007

ANDREW SCHARFF: With Pope John Paul II

My friend Andrew Scharff, during his tenure with Circo Americano, entertaining Pope John Paul II.

Andrew and I will be appearing at the Downtown Theater in State College, PA today at 3:00 and 8:00 PM as part of First Night State College.

CHARLIE CHEER: March 27, 1954

The story that accompanied this AP photo...

Victim of one of his own tricks, circus clown Charlie Cheer has a built-in expression of woe to go with the hand injury he suffered at the Shrine Circus in Indianapolis last night. He suffered a broken finger and burns when a blank cartridge in a trick mechanism on his accordion exploded accidentally. Nurse Judy Vandeiver gives first aid.

TOM DOUGHERTY: "Baby, It's You"

We close out 2007 with the winner of the Otto Griebling Award for Solo Clowning at this year's Felixes, Tom Dougherty.

Thank you all so very much for a truly wonderful 2007.

Let's make 2008 even better.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

SUNDAY MORNING ART GALLERY: Lou Jacobs by Cowboy Mike Keever

Photos and comments courtesy of Cowboy Mike Keever

Jean & Dolly Jacobs with Cowboy Mike Keever, Oct 2007 Sarasota Florida

I just thought I would finally get around to sending you this is my wedding gift to Dolly and Pedro....I made it down to Sarasota, thanks to Chuck Sidlow for the Circus Wedding of the Century...that of Dolly deliver it myself.

It is a figure of Dolly's Papa, Lou Jacobs, about 3 months of carving a block of basswood then hand-painted and to capture that special sparkle always in Lou's eye(s) I placed a diamond in one eye.

The piece is on a base with a plaque showing the title......."Lou Friend" 2007 by Cowboy Mike Keever.

(No it's not a lamp ...the light is just above it in this photo)

I hope this finds you well,my friend. Happy New Year!!!

Your Friend,
Cowboy Mike Keever

For more information on Mike's artwork, please click the title of this post.


BOZO AUDITIONS: Los Angeles, January 13, 1993

Larry Harmon conducting Bozo auditions at the Laugh Factory in Los Angeles, CA January 13, 1993.

Top photo: Bozo with Heidi Karp-Briggs

Middle photo: Larry Harmon with Tuba Heatherton in the background

Bottom photo: Harmon and Bozo (most likely portrayed here by Kevin "Roofus T. Goofus" Bickford) surrounded by Bozo hopefuls including Tuba, Heidi and Jimmy Graham (checkered nose).

CIRCUS CIRCUS: Huel Speight and Benny Schultz

It looks like this video starts off with Huel Speight and Benny Schultz performing their comedy juggling as a "come-in" at the Adventuredome at Circus Circus in Las Vegas to "Hot, Hot, Hot" by Buster Poindexter.

It then switches to Huel's solo skill act, accompanied by the Charlie Brown music of the Vince Guaraldi Trio.