Saturday, March 07, 2009
Friday, March 06, 2009
Shaw and Lee in their 1928 film debut, the Vitaphone one-reeler The Beau Brummels...
Shaw and Lee, “The Beau Brummels”
B&W : One reel
Directed by (unknown)
The Vitaphone Corporation production; distributed by [?] Warner Brothers Pictures, Incorporated? / Standard 35mm spherical 1.37:1 format. Western Electric Vitaphone sound-on-disc sound system. / Vitaphone production number 2686. / Full-sound film.
Survival Status: Print exists in the UCLA Film and Television Archive film archive [35mm preservation positive].
Keywords: Synchronized sound film
Vaudevillians Al Shaw and Sam Lee take to the stage in identical ill-fitting suits with bowlers and bow ties. Standing shoulder to shoulder facing the camera, they begin and end with comic songs; between the songs is a string of jokes and quips. The first song is a parody of "In the merry, merry month of May" and the concluding song is a song about a song. At the end, they throw in a bit of tap dancing. The camera doesn't move.
And in 1949 in Hollywood Varieties.
Thursday, March 05, 2009
From the Wikipedia entry on "jester"...
In societies where freedom of speech was not recognized as a right, the court jester - precisely because anything he said was by definition "a jest" and "the uttering of a fool" - could speak frankly on controversial issues in a way in which anyone else would have been severely punished for, and monarchs understood the usefulness of having such a person at their side. Still, even the jester was not entirely immune from punishment, and he needed to walk a thin line and exercise careful judgment in how far he might go - which required him to be far from a "fool" in the modern sense.Jesters could also give bad news to the King that no-one else would dare deliver. The best example of this is in 1340 when the French fleet was destroyed at the Battle of Sluys by the English. Phillippe VI's jester told him the English sailors: "Don't even have the guts to jump into the water like our brave French."The position of the Joker playing card, as a wild card which has no fixed place in the hierarchy of King, Queen, Knave etc. might be a remnant of this position of the court jester. This lack of any place in the hierarchy meant Kings could trust their councel more. They had no vested interest in any region, estate or church.
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
1) The CLOWNALLEY.NET AWARDS are given to American circus clowns or foreign circus clowns working in the United States of America between January 1st and December 31st, 2008.
2) American circus clowns performing abroad between January 1st and December 31st are eligible for a 2009 "Felix".
3) BOTH editions of the Big Apple Circus that appeared during the calendar year 2008 are eligible.
4) Ballots for the 2009 CLOWNALLEY.NET AWARDS will be tallied by the accounting department at Mformation Technologies of Edison, NJ.
At :45 in you'll see our old friends Charlie Bell and Peanut.
Tuesday, March 03, 2009
Early post-tent show era Ringling in NYC. The clip starts with Jackie LeClaire at the elephant walk and ends with Coco doing the painters gag.
This film is labeled as being Ringling 1958 but I would dispute that. When I spoke with Coco he told me that he didn't start with Ringling until 1960 and performed the soap gag until 1965 when he took the Advance Clown job.
Monday, March 02, 2009
Michael "Coco" Polakovs and Leon "Buttons" McBryde, two old friends and two of the best Advance Clowns in the history of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus together at Leon's Advanced Studies program in the summer of '08.
Sunday, March 01, 2009
If you've seen the movie I'm sure that you'll agree, it's MUCH better this way!