Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Karen Bell: The Red Skelton Follies

Karen Bell performing at the 2010 Red Skelton Clown School Follies in Vincennes, IN, the birthplace of Red. 

Karen graduated from Ringling Clown College in 1985 and performed for many years with the Ringling Red Unit, as well as a year with the Gold Unit in Japan.

In addition to being a wonderful prop builder, she is also currently the Outreach Education Manager for the Circus Arts Conservatory in Sarasota, FL.

Friday, January 15, 2021

Annie Fratellini: Cirque Medrano


Annie Fratellini sitting among the ruins of the Cirque Medrano building in Paris, France in 1972. Both the building (before demolition) and Annie (in a segment about her family) can be seen in the Fellini film, I Clowns, just a couple of years before this photo was taken.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Clown College: The Pigeon

Josh Zehner and Todd Obuchowski perform "The Pigeon" during the graduation performance of the 1997 class of Ringling's Clown College.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Tommy Fossett: Great Yarmouth Hippodrome

I don't have much information on this video aside from it is Tommy Fossett as Professor Grimble. One of my guesses for the location is Blackpool Tower Circus since it is in a building, but I am open to the correct answer. 
The female announcer is his wife, Vera, but I do not know who the whiteface is.

Please help out with any details. You don't know what you don't know. Thanks!

Update from John Cooper: "It's Great Yarmouth Hippodrome rather than Blackpool Tower Circus. This video is from the 1972 summer season, at which Tommy and Vera did their juggling act too."

Saturday, January 09, 2021

Circus Vargas: Johnny Peers and Zapata

From the collection of Ralph Pierce. Zapata, Johnny Peers and Stephen Brennan on Circus Vargas in 1974.
Zapata and Johnny Peers met at Ringling Clown College in 1969 and performed together for several years on the Red Unit. Later in the 70s they became a renowned clowning duo on Circus Vargas and Gatti. They were in the midst of their season on Tihany when Zapata passed away way too young.

Friday, January 08, 2021

Yuri Nikulin

The extremely talented artist, Elena Zaïka, has had two of her paintings chosen to be used as celebratory stamps for the Monaco Principality. The first is of the well known Russian clown, Yuri Nikulin.

Born in Demidov in 1921, Yuri Nikulin is Russia's most famous clown. Demobilized in May 1946, with the rank of sergeant and several military decorations, he failed to enter several acting schools. He finally joined Clowns in the Moscow training studio graduating from 1950. He will work there for more than 50 years and from 1982 until his death in 1997 will be the Director of this circus which is named after it today. He also has a film career and offers remarkable performances both in Leonid Ga ddai comedies including Le Bras de Diamond (1969), a film that became cult for generations of Soviet people, and in the dramatic register like When Trees were Big ( 1962) by Andrei Roublev. TV man, he created and hosted the comedy show The White Parrot Club. His natural style, precision of his prestions and sense of timing have made Nikulin an outstanding artist whom some consider to be the best Russian actor of all time.

Tuesday, January 05, 2021

Clown College Audition 1985

Prospective students for the Ringling Clown College audition for Frosty Little on the Blue Unit in 1985.

Monday, January 04, 2021

Robin Eurich

Many of you that watched the Bozo Show in the late 90s until the show's end in 2001 will remember Robin Eurich, who played Bozo's sidekick, Rusty the Handyman.

Robin has had a long career of acting, clowning, and teaching, but due to recent health problems has fallen on hard times. Joey D'Auria, who played Bozo for the show's final seventeen years has set up a Go Fund Me page to help Robin during these tough times.

If you are able, please make a donation, or share this link on social media to help a man who has brought happiness to so many people. Thank you.

Link: Help Robin Eurich

Friday, January 01, 2021

Happy Lou Year!

Happy New Year from the International Clown Hall of Fame and Pat Cashin's Clown Alley! 

January 1st is not only the start of a new year, it is also the birthday of arguably the most recognized circus clown in the world, Mr. Lou Jacobs.

In honor of Lou's birthday and (hopefully) a much better year, we are proud to share with you some extremely rare photos generously sent to us by Gloria Wilkinson, long time Ringling Blue Unit head of wardrobe and friend of the clowns.

These photos were taken on Lou's birthday in 1990 when the Blue Unit was in Winter Quarters for the 120th Edition (the Flavio Togni show for you non edition-alists). Many thanks to Gloria for these wonderful moments from history, and many thanks to all of you who visit this blog and support the ICHOF.

And in honor of Mr. Jacobs, let there be no spaghetti served on this day!

Lou, Sean Conklin, and Ruthie Chaddock
Mike "Hillbilly" Weakley, Johnny Peers, Frosty Little, Dolly Jacobs, and Lou
Frosty, Dolly, and Lou