Wednesday, October 17, 2007

CHESTER "BOBO" BARNETT: Polack Bros. 1950

Whenever I ask old showfolks who is the best circus clown that they ever saw, the answer always comes back one of two people: Otto Griebling or Bobo Barnett.

The only footage that I have found so far of Chester "Bobo" Barnett, one of the biggest stars of the Shrine Circuses from the 1940s through the 1960s, is this brief snippet from an outdoor date with the Polack Bros. Circus in 1950.

Bobo's act consisted of a midget car entrance, a powerhouse comedy dog act and closed with Bobo's virtuoso trumpet rendition of either "Am I Blue" or "Peg O' My Heart", heard here as performed by Miff Mole and his Nicksieland Band.

"Peg O' My Heart" was also the song George Carl played on harmonica in his act for many years.

Clicking the title of this post will take you to the page for Bobo's daughter's recent book, entitled (appropriately enough) BOBO'S DAUGHTER.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I had the profound pleasure to have worked with and to have made friends with that true master of Clowns, Chester "Bobo" Barnett.

The year (I believe) was 1970 on Louis Stern's Polack Bros. Circus.

What a professional, dedicated circus star he was in every manner of speaking. From the impossibly small car he managed to fit his enormous frame in and out of, to a masterpiece on the trumpet, to an entertaining dog act....he was so much more than a clown, he was a real Circus Super Star!

I was just a young lad, a single trapeze artist....and now I'm old....and a circus owner in a far away land, but the memory lives on about actually seeing this great legend perform and to have been in his grand company.

It was an honor and I salute the wonderful memory of Chester "Bobo" Barnett.

Tupa'i Bruno Loyale
The Magic Circus of Samoa