Saturday, April 07, 2007


Photo courtesy of "circusbutterflygurl"

One of the most enduring clowning partnerships on the Shrine circuit was that of Gene Randow and Harold Simmons.

They dressed alike and most of their gags centered on their identical appearances but disparate proportions with tall Gene Randow carrying a small potted plant and little Harold Simmons carrying an enormous one or Gene smoking a tiny cigar and Harold with one twice his size.

Friday, April 06, 2007

LES FRATELLINI: Paul and Albert

Sketches of Paul and Albert Fratellini from the book CLOWNS de PARIS by SERGE and illustrated by ALDEN.

It looks like a really great book and a copy is currently up for auction on the French eBay site but the seller doesn't accept PayPal and, for me, it's just too big a hassle to deal with paying for auctions the old-fashioned way. Especially when I don't read or speak any French.

I don't have that much faith in Alta Vista's Babelfish translations.

If you are fluent and French and interested in the book, please click the title of this post to be linked to the auction.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

DENIS LACOMBE: The Mad Conductor

I'd hoped to be able to post some video that I have of the Fratellinis performing after the death of Paul (or Paolo, if you prefer) today but I can't locate the video at the moment.

In the meantime, let's all enjoy a few minutes with Denis LaCombe, The Mad Conductor.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

LES FRATELLINI: Another Postcard

I wonder why Paolo and Alberto's names got "anglicanized" to "Paul" and "Albert" but Francois never became "Frank"?

Probably because "Frank" sounds like the first name of an overweight plumber from Staten Island and "Francois" sounds more like an elegant whiteface clown and star of the Cirque d'Hiver.

Just my guess.


Very sincere thanks go out to former Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus clown of the 50s and 60s, Mr. Chuck Burnes for his extremely kind words about CLOWNALLEY.NET in his column in the latest issue of Circus Report!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007


As a compliment to yesterday's individual postcard photos of Francois, Paolo and Alberto Fratellini here's a group photo along with autographs.

For those so inclined, you may compare and contrast Lou Jacobs' makeup in the photo below with the photos of Alberto's seen here and yesterday.

LOU JACOBS: For Paul Gutheil

Since Paul Gutheil enjoyed the previous pictures of Lou so much, here's one more. I don't know the identity of the person Lou is shaking hands with but this one looks to have been taken in the late 30s/early 40s.

I always enjoy the chance to catch up with Paul and Diane and look forward to seeing them again next week when the mighty Hamid Shrine Circus makes it's way to beautiful Wilkes-Barre, PA where I'll be working with friends Shane and Alecia Hansen, Adam and Eric Burke, musician Larry Rothbard and scores of other circus luminaries.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Les Fratellini

Photos courtesy of circusbutterflygirl

No, I have not been made Executive Director of the International Clown Hall of Fame and no, it is not moving to Long Branch, NJ, the birthplace of Dan Rice.

I got back to my hotel room last night after a two show day as Comedy Ringmaster of the Hamid Shrine Circus in Greenvile, SC to find all of my e-mailboxes jammed with congratulatory messages about yesterday's ICHOF message that I posted.

Thank you to everyone who sent one, but it was just an April Fool's joke.

Now, if someone would like to actually offer me the position of Executive Director of the ICHOF I'd love to talk to them but no, it's just a joke. If you click on the link in the original post it will take you to the Wikipedia entry for April Fool's.

Thank you once again and I hope you'll forgive me. I'd like to begin to try to make it up to anyone who is upset at being "punk'd" by posting these three postcard photographs of the immortal Fratellini Trio, Francois, Paolo and Alberto...

Sunday, April 01, 2007


Ladies and Gentlemen, I am extremely proud to announce that I have been offered and have accepted the position of Executive Director of the International Clown Hall of Fame and, thanks to an very generous grant from an anonomous benefactor, the International Clown Hall of Fame will be moving to the campus of Monmouth University in Long Branch, NJ with an expected opening date of August 28, 2007.

The International Clown Hall of Fame comes to New Jersey from it's original home in Wisconsin and includes scores of the world's greatest clowns of the past and present among it's honorees.

The ICHOF will now be housed in the former Lauren K. Woods Theater building which will be renamed the Dan Rice Center and will house not only the extensive collections of the ICHOF and very generous donations from the Circus World Museum in Baraboo but also a world class "theater-in-the-round" that is absolutely perfect for the staging of theaterical circus productions.

In addition to entertaining and educating area school children as well as the the general public about the art and craft of circus clowning, the Dan Rice Center will be an essential component of Monmouth University's new course in classical circus clowning which we expect to be able to expand and offer as a four year, fully accredited major by the fall of 2010.

An announcement of our amazing faculty will be made very soon. I think we've put together the greatest assemblage of international clowning instructors possible without the aid of a time machine.

To find out more about the new facility, the International Clown Hall of Fame, Monmouth University's new course in circus clowning and how all of these will be intergrated with CLOWNALLEY.NET and the Felix B. Adler Awards just click on the title of this post.