Wednesday, August 13, 2008

CLOWN ALLEY: Cole Bros. Circus, 1947

Freddie Freeman, Bagonghi (reclining in Otto's throne from the opening number "The Clown is King") and Otto Griebling relaxing in their private Alley on the Cole show in 1947.

According to Frank Cain's I Never Went to Clown College, Freddie, Bagonghii, Otto and Frank got dressed in a different tent from the rest of the Alley that year but he never explains why.

My guess? Bagonghi farts.


Raffaele De Ritis said...

The correct name of the little clown on the throne is Bagonghi, but this is not the original one: .“bagonghi” is the popular circus jargon name in Italy used for the little men in the circus.
The first, whose family name was probably really Bagonghi, appeared around 1890 at Circo Guillaume. Another famous “bagonghi” was Andrea Bernabe, in the same years.
Then, the Bagonghi name was made famous in the world by Giuseppe Bignoli (1889-1939): this one is the Bagonghi that arrived at Barnum and Bailey around 1910 (as a trick rider), and stayed with the Ringling bros. until 1926.
Finally, the last one in this picture, came along from Italy with the Cristiani family, that christened him Bagonghi too: but I ingnore his real name.

Anonymous said...

The MDR and LDR [men and ladies] occupied the round end of the Pad Room, Wardrobe and Ring Stock tent and did not have enough room for general clowns and ballet girls, so two tewnts were set up to accomodate them. Now to be politically incorrect I would suggest that those clowns were of a different sexual persusian. So Otto, Freddie and Bagonghi would also be termed as performers would be in the MDR. Now Horace Laird, who was also the mail agent did have his trunk in the MDR. A few star performers dressed in empty trunk wagons.

W. Freeman said...

Wondering if Bagonghi is the clown that was the referee in the famous boxing skit Freddie and Otto did. If not can anyone tell me who it was? Thnx