It's a beautiful thing.
Two pictures from the early Rastelli trampoline troupe from the 30's.
Alfredo is the first from left in the portrait, in "serious" gymnast attire.
They later started to add musical gag in the trampoline act, and developed a second act of musical eccentrics.
They developed the classic clown entree, with full clown make-up, only in the 40's with the early name of Chocolate and Co.
More to come.
I found this backyard picture of the alley Jerry's first year. Left to right are: Mark Myers, Jerry Nye, Larry Armstrong, Doug Keaty (sp?), Elmo, Buck Nolan, James Houser, ?(beats me--I really don't remember him, as I was only there the first weekend and didn't see the show again for a while). Dave Williams is stuffing Bobby Torres into the trash can.
This was the second year for the Recycling Machine gag, the only time Johnny Pugh asked me to repeat a gag. I'm guessing 1992, because the following year Bruce Feiler wrote his book and I turned the recycling machine into the stomach pump. See if you can locate a 1992 program to ID the mystery clown. It was also the year the show opened with the human cannonball and we followed immediately with the cannon gag.
In April you posted a cute picture of your son Shane at the Big Apple Circus with Grandma.
It reminded me of my son at Big Apple around 1994. I was teaching theater in Michigan when Big Apple came to the Detroit area. I'd told my boys about working with Barry on Ringling so we were all eager to see it.
During intermission, Barry came out to say Hi and joked with our boys. When he climbed into the ring, my younger son Will—obviously thinking Barry intended to keep playing—climbed in after him. This picture shows Barry doing his Egyptian dance-thing and Will following along.
Opening Title Card: Mr. Hardy's aesthetic nature thrilled at the beauties of circus life - Mr. Laurel never got any further than the monkey cage.
The legendary act of Karl Kossmayer, with his comedy mule, one of the funniest circus pieces of last century.
This is an unusual version from one of his performances during his many years with Holiday on Ice in the 60s.
The act in his original version was later filmed by Jacques Tati in "Parade" (1974).