Thursday, August 04, 2011


Number Two In a Series 

Why are clown "walkarounds" referred to as "walkarounds". The term most likely has its origins in the pre-three ring circus minstrel show days...


Rik Gern said...

I know the cakewalk or "cakewalk dance" was a part of minstrel shows, but I've never heard the term "walkaround" associated with them. Are you speculating that the walkaround is derived from the cakewalk, or something different?

Anonymous said...

why looking so far and trying to find an complicated explication:
just cut the word in two: walk around. And what is a walkaround? And act where you walk around!! could it be assimple as that?

Pat Cashin said...

What's complicated about noticing that an earlier show business tradition used the same unique term?

There's a reason for that particular phrase and it may be linked to riverboats and minstrel shows, a place where many of the early three ring clowns would probably have come from.

It's not a "pass bye" a "hippodrome stroll" or a "move along gag", it's a walkaround in the circus and a walkaround on a riverboat.

That doesn't seem to me to be too much of a stretch.

David Carlyon said...

Actually, circus clowns preceded the riverboat shows and minstrelsy. (Minstrelsy grew out of circus and its blackface clowns.) I'm just adding that as a historical point. It probably doesn't affect the use of "walkaround," which likely didn't come into play, as you suggest, Pat, until the later three-ring circuses.

justlarry said...

Love this Pat!

I too would like to know the real answers to these phrases!
American circus clowns call them certain things but others call them something else.

lets make a list!