Saturday, January 24, 2009


Evan sent more proofs from last week's photo shoot. Here's another of my favorites.

To find out about having your photos done by Evan Young just click here.


"We have to adopt a wider perspective, and always find common things between the people on north, east, south, and west. Conflict comes from the basis of differences."

PIC: Circus Roncalli, 2001

JOHN BELUSHI: National Lampoon's LEMMINGS 1973

John Belushi (pre-SNL) as Joe Cocker, Christopher Guest as Leon Russell and Chevy Chase on drums.

Friday, January 23, 2009


Until the finished high-res photos arrive I'm using this one as my new headshot for the fair convention here in Hershey, PA.

I'm updating my website this weekend and would appreciate quotes and blurbs that I could add from some of you folks.

ELMO GIBB: Hoxie's Great American Circus

Elmo with the Herriotts

THIS is a circus clown.

CIRCUS PRICE: 2007/2008

Tito Medina, Pipo Sosman Jr and Joan "Monti" Montanyes.


"Open your arms to change, but don't let go of your values."


I think I'm missing the humor in this. It's very well timed and choreographed, but it doesn't strike me as particularly funny.

Is there some cultural element to this that I not getting?


Thursday, January 22, 2009


Someone asked in the comments of a posting the other day something to the effect of "What gave me the authority to say what is and what isn't a clown?" I don't hve that authority. The audience does. They'll tell you loudly and clearly if you are making effective choices.

Unfortunately many entertainers either don't or won't listen to their audience.

I can't give anyone a magic pill (myself included) that will make them a better clown but I can give you this list of things that I notice that immediately tell me that the person standing in front of me in the clown suit is most likely not going to turn out to be the next Grock...

1) A name badge

2) A foam nose

3) A rainbow wig

4) Any costume items purchased from Party City

5) Poorly designed and/or applied makeup

6) Makeup applied over a beard or stubble

7) Cheap clown shoes

8) A whistle

9) A horn

10) Using store-bought toys for props (not always, but most times)

11) The spangled and/or sequined vest and bowtie combo

12) Any costume pieces from the Goodwill which have not been altered significantly in any way

13) Any costume pieces derived from a McCalls, Buttericks or Simplicity pattern

14) Rainbow striped anything

15) Balloons, hearts or other designs in their makeup

16) Stickers or balloons

17) A ProKnows nose applied with anything other than fishing line, Skin-Bond or ProKnows adhesive.

18) Generic "clown names" (Giggles, Huggles, Snuggles)

19) Magicians, Balloon Twisters or Face Painters passing themselves off as clowns

20) Afro wigs

21) Emmett Kelly Jr collectibles or any discussion thereof

22) Any patches on their costume telling me what organization they are with, what office they hold in the organization, what events they have attended or where they went on vacation

That's just 21 off the top of my head
Anyone else have any "pet peeves" that they'd like to add to the list?


and Christopher Nolan, Jonathan Nolan and David Goyer all got robbed.

Not up for Best Director.

Not up for Best Screenplay.

Not up for Best Picture.

R O B B E D !

(at least WALL*E looks like a shoe-in for Best Animated Feature,
but it REALLY should have qualified for Best Picture!)


"Hey Nerdlinger! I served with Harold Ronk: I knew Harold Ronk;
Harold Ronk was a friend of mine. You, you big doof, are no Harold Ronk!"


From Wikipedia...

Fred Andrew Stone (August 19, 1873 – March 6, 1959) was an American actor. Stone began his career as a performer in circuses and minstrel shows, he went on to act on vaudeville, and became a star on Broadway.

He was particularly famous for appearing opposite David C. Montgomery, a 22-year partnership, in shows such as The Wizard of Oz premiering in 1902, and the Victor Herbert operetta The Red Mill in 1906. In 1939, he appeared in a radio program promoting the new MGM film of The Wizard of Oz, in which he got to meet the actor who played the Scarecrow, Ray Bolger, who was a great admirer of Stone's work, and although Bolger was too young to have seen Stone play the Scarecrow in the stage play, he did see Stone in The Red Mill.

His feature film career began in comedy westerns, his first The Goat, was filmed in 1918. He starred in 19 feature films.

Stone received an honorary degree from Rollins College, a small liberal arts college located in Winter Park, Florida, in 1939. At this time a small theatre was named in his honor. The original Fred Stone Theatre—a smaller flexible space sitting adjacent to the College's larger principal venue, the Annie Russell Theatre, named after another great American Actor and benefactor—was a wooden bungalow that was razed in the early 1970s. A nearby wood and brick-faced Greek revival styled hall, converted into a 90-seat black-box performance space, was re-dedicated as The Fred Stone Theatre during this period, and although it has been moved to another location on campus, it still stands and is active as a performance venue for smaller experimental productions as well as student directed and choreographed works.

The Rollins Archives have extensive information on the career of Stone, including numerous photographs.

He is buried in Forest Lawn - Hollywood Hills Cemetery.

CONGRATULATIONS ALEX!: Another Big Announcement out of Hugo!

Thanks to Brandon Foster and Steve Copeland

Good news from the Winter Quarters of the mighty Carson & Barnes: Alex Acero, formerly with Ringling, has signed on to return to the C & B as a solo clown for 2009!!!

You might have seen his great trampoline act during pre-show of Bellobration. His brother, Yvinson, is still on the Red Unit.

Looks like the comedy out of Hugo is in good hands this year!


"If we examine ourselves each day with mindfulness and mental alertness, checking our thoughts, motivations, and their manifestations in external behavior, a possibility for change and self-improvement can open within us. Although I myself cannot claim with confidence to have made any remarkable progress over the years, my desire and determination to change and improve is always firm. From early morning until I go to bed and in all situations in life, I always try to check my motivation and be mindful and present in the moment. Personally, I find this to be very helpful in my own life."



People asked the other day what I have against Steve Martin.

I have nothing against Steve Martin. When he is good, he's the very best that there is. When he's great he's one of the best there ever was. 

Unfortunately, all too often Steve Martin takes on projects that are far beneath his considerable talents. We don't need Steve Martin for that. We don't need him to be in bad films. That's what we have Rob Schneider and Pauly Shore for.

We need him for the things like this. The things that he, and he alone, can do...

                                  "The Great Flydini"

                  "Steve Martin and His Singing Balls"

THE HUMPTY DANCE: Here's your chance, do the Hump!

One of the great clown characters of the 80s, Humpty Hump.

The 80s saw a rise of exaggerated comedy characters: Pee-Wee Herman, Judy Tenuta, Bobcat Golthwaite, Sam Kinison, Dice Clay, Steven Wright and Emo Phillips to name a few. Today the only strong character from era still in the limelight (thanks to reality television) is Flavor Flav.

Who is more a fool, the fool or the fool or the fool who follows the fool?

Even the Wiggles are spunky and like their oatmeal lumpy.

I, however, don't want to think about them getting "busy", in a Burger King bathroom or anywhere else.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

CLOWN ALLEY: Detroit Shrine Circus

Photos courtesy of Greg DeSanto

At it's peak, the Detroit Shrine Circus ran for 17 days and paid it's clown alley better than any other Shrine date in the country. As a result they had their choice of the best circus clowns in the country...

Everett Hart, Paul Jerome, Jo Jo Lewis and Charlie Bell...
and this was only PART of the Alley!

(I'm sure that there were Shrine clowns in Detroit at the time, but back then producers had some pride in the shows that they produced and only used the very best of the volunteer clowns to fill out the larger ring gags)

Felix Adler

Back then these men weren't good simply because they were Ringling clowns,
they were Ringling clowns simply because they were good.


"If one feels very profound compassion, this already implies an intimate connection with another person. It is said in our scriptures that we are to cultivate love just like that of a mother towards her only child. This is very intimate. The Buddhist notion of attachment is not what people in the West assume. We say that the love of a mother for her only child is free of attachment."


Would Carson & Barnes, the New Cole Bros. and other circus producers be more inclined to hire quality, professional clowns if we offered to sell tickets that allowed the kids to ride around the ring on our backs during come-in, intermission and blow-off?

Is that what it would take to make it worthwhile for them?

Otherwise 2009 is going to be yet another season of greasy jeri-curled mullets, lipstick smeared noses, costumes from TJ Maxx and, worst of all, whistles.

Boy do I hate the whistles.


More breaking circus clown news out of Hugo, OK: Culpepper & Merriweather has just announced that they have secured the services of Ms. Jessi Hoffschildt for the 2009 season.

I'm sure she'll be just adorable ; )

Ryan and Steve on Kelly-Miller, Jesse on Culpepper & Merriweather... Hugo clowning is comin' on strong this year! It makes me wish that I had good clowning news to report from the Carson & Barnes winter quarters.

I don't.

I don't think that I ever will.

(Prove me wrong, C&B! It's not too late! C'mon, prove me wrong!!!)

LES ROSSYANN: Musical Entrees and Reprises

SCOTT LINKER: Circus Circus

Mr. Linker warming up the crowd in Las Vegas, NV.



I hope you'll all join me in wishing a very Happy 29th Birthday to my twin brother from another mother, Mr. Ron "Toto" Johnson!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


"For a better, happier, more stable and civilized future, each of us must develop a sincere, warmhearted feeling of brotherhood and sisterhood."


"My fellow citizens:

I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. I thank President Bush for his service to our nation, as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.

Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath. The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because we the people have remained faithful to the ideals of our forebears, and true to our founding documents.

So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans.

That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.

These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our land — a nagging fear that America's decline is inevitable, and that the next generation must lower its sights.

Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America — they will be met.

On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.

On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.

We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.

In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of shortcuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted — for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things — some celebrated but more often men and women obscure in their labor, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.

For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life.

For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West; endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.

For us, they fought and died, in places like Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sahn.

Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction.

This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions — that time has surely passed. Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.

For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act — not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. All this we will do.

Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions — who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage.

What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them — that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works — whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. Those of us who manage the public's dollars will be held to account — to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day — because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.

Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control — and that a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous. The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our gross domestic product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on our ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart — not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.

As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our founding fathers ... our found fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake. And so to all the other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

We are the keepers of this legacy. Guided by these principles once more, we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort — even greater cooperation and understanding between nations. We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan. With old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming planet. We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.

For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus — and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.

To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West — know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.

To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds. And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to the suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world's resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.

As we consider the road that unfolds before us, we remember with humble gratitude those brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol far-off deserts and distant mountains. They have something to tell us, just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through the ages. We honor them not only because they are guardians of our liberty, but because they embody the spirit of service; a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves. And yet, at this moment — a moment that will define a generation — it is precisely this spirit that must inhabit us all.

For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies. It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours. It is the firefighter's courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent's willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.

Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends — hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism — these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility — a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.

This is the price and the promise of citizenship.

This is the source of our confidence — the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny.

This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed — why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent Mall, and why a man whose father less than sixty years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.

So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have traveled. In the year of America's birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river. The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood. At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:

"Let it be told to the future world ... that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive...that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet (it)."

America, in the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.

Thank you. God bless you. And God bless the United States of America."

Barack Obama January 20, 2009

And that, Charlie Brown, is the true meaning of Christmas!


FRED LANE: I Talk to My Haircut

There are DVD copies of volumes 1, 2 and the all-new soon-to-be-released volume 3 waiting for anyone who can get me copies of Fred Lane's two CDs!!!

MY FAVORITE COMMENT SO FAR... the person who told me that I look like Rocco Paris got hit with a Joel Jeske stick by Fumagalli in Bello Nock's closet ; )

Monday, January 19, 2009

FROM TODAY'S PHOTO SHOOT: My New 2009 Character

Photos by Evan Young

Evan Young is not only an amazing performer, he's an incredible photographer as well.

These are just a few of the shots that he took of me today.

To contact Evan about doing your promo photos, please click here.


"A truly compassionate attitude towards others does not change even if they behave negatively or hurt you. Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn't anyone who doesn't appreciate kindness and compassion."


Hi Pat!

Thank you so much... I don't know what and how you knew everything but yes, it was probabely nearly as they sounded...

December 4th , in the morning, I had a trouble with my vision and I feel my muscle leasy, I drank water and suffocate. I went to the hospital with the ambulance. I did a lot of test and in the afternoon they told me that they wanted to intubate myself because all my vital organism will stop to work by themself. They told me:'' Maybe we will make you sleep for 6 mounth and make you awake only 1 houre by day.'' It was like a slap in my face! The doctors didn't know if I would survive. They didn't knew if it was the botulism or miller fisher. ( Both was maybe finish with dead!) During 3 days I declined until I can't moove my body exept my hand and the buttom of my leg. I communicated with writtind some words on a paper that one of my family member mooved for me. the 7th, I tought it was the end and I accepted it. And in a awake dream, I decided whit the univers that I wanted to continue to enjoy people and make the earth more beautifull again and I sais to the univers:'' stop to make us afraid, stpo to play this game ; you know that it's not a good moove for you to lost someone like me: you'll need me again!''. After that, I stopped to decline and start to improve each day at a speed that the doctors didn't understand... After 10 days, they unplug me and I breathed by myself. 3 days after, I started to drink a little bit and two days after, I started to eat a little. Slowly, I put my clothes by myself, go two the bathroom, washmyself, eat by myself, walk and now, I'm at home and I continue to improve....
I'm a kind of miracle on to legs...

I don't know if it's because of that but I received so much love and prayer (it's incredible!!!). I received hundreds of love and encouragement words from friend and clowns from everywere and a big part was come from the fact that you tell the news... I have a clown friend in quebec that she did the same as you and collect messages to do a big card (like a book!) I knew that prayer group was also on my case!!!

You were right: I received a big wave (no deluge) of love... ( More then I would never imagine!!!)

So thank you so much for what you created and transmit the good news and my deep thanks to everyone...

I wish to see you again soon somewere around to do what we success: bring joy and laughing!

Big hug from Quebec, ;o)

BERT WILLIAMS: Natural Born Gambler (1916)

CHUCK BERRY: You Can't Catch Me

LOUIS JORDAN: Is you Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby, 1944

WILLIE DIXON: Bassology (1966)

HOWLIN' WOLF: Smokestack Lighting (1964)


LOUIS ARMSTRONG: With Johnny Cash (1970)

One of Mr. Armstrong's final television appearances.

CAB CALLOWAY: With The Nicholas Brothers; Stormy Weather (1943)