Saturday, September 01, 2007


The next step in the evolution of the Boxing Gag?

EMMETT KELLY: Ringling Museum, Sarasota, FL

"The" Clown
Emmett Kelly's Weary Willie costume on display at the John & Mable Ringling Circus Museum in Sarasota, FL.

POODLES HANNEFORD: Poodles and Gracie at Frontier Town

"In 1954, at the age of 63, Poodles Hanneford retired from performing his trick riding at the circus. He continued with his whip routine for a while, but eventually came to work at an amusement park in New York, called Frontier Town. Poodles played the part of the Old Prospector as well as clowning, his wife Grace run the frontier store, and their daughter Gracie performed there as well with a trained dog act.

Poodles Hanneford worked there until his death in 1967. He is buried in Glens Falls, New York, beneath a memorial that includes his famous step off. Grace, his wife of 48 years, died in 1984 and was buried next to Poodles."

As an addendum to the information on, Gracie Hanneford passed away in Glens Falls, NY in the fall of 2006.


Friday, August 31, 2007

CLOWN ALLEY: Clyde Beatty-Cole Bros.

Video courtesy of Dean Chambers

Dean "Elmo Gibb" Chambers and members of the Clyde Beatty-Cole Bros. Clown Alley perform and discuss their craft.


Slava Polunin is interviewed as he brings his SNOWSHOW to Israeli audiences.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

CLOWN ALLEY: Beatty-Cole 1985

The Beatty-Cole Alley always skewed towards neat whitefaces but, since an Alley with absolutely no augustes is unlikely, I'm going to guess that this is just the whiteface members of the 1985 Clyde Beatty-Cole Bros. Clown Alley.

Front and center, Sandy "Sandy K" Kozik with future Vidbel's Olde Tyme Circus star and Billy Vaughn partner Mike Snider directly behind.

CLOWN ALLEY: Survivor Gag, Ringling 2001

Video and comments courtesy of Larry Clark

This video is from the 131st edition of Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey's Circus (2001-2002).

It is Clown Alley's Spoof of the CBS show, Survivor.

This was filmed in Salt Lake City Utah in September of 2001.

The clowns in the gag here are:

Old Tribesman (Horn Blower) - Alan Ware
Ester (Big Mama) - Jay Stewart (Boss Clown)
Nanuk (Eskimo) - Albert Ramirez
Gilligan (Goofy Guy) - Darren Burrell
Bikini Model - Molly Pelley
Jungle Adventurer - Bryan Fulton
Latin Heart-Throb - Francesco Villares
Dr Flora Messenger (Dr Laura Schlessinger) - Pamela Ramirez
Host - Johnathan Lee Iverson (Ringmaster)

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

BOXING GAG: Poodles?

A 1934 photo, purported to be from the personal collection of Edwin "Poodles" Hanneford, of a Boxing Gag being performed on a closed off street.

I can't identify any of the clowns for certain but if it IS from Poodles collection he MAY be the clown on the left with his face obscured by a boxing glove. He looks to be about the right height and build and that certainly does look like his costume.

CLOWN ALLEY: Track Gag, Ringling 1969

George "Bumpsy Anthony" Hulme, Swede Johnson and Mark "Mark Anthony" Galkowski performing a "track gag" together on the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in 1969.

Not really sure of the gag since not all of the "beats" are here. It looks as though Bumpsy enters with a box, Swede comes along as the clown cop and tells him to move on, Mark enters as the tramp and sits on the box. Bumspy then lights a fuse attached to the box but when Mark stands up it snaps back on a bungee and hits the 102 year old Swede in the back.

I don't get it but, as I said, we have a couple of "beats" missing here.

Still, it's great to see all three of them in action, especially Bumpsy who has a great physicality to his character that isn't even hinted at in photos.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

OTTO GRIEBLING: Come In & Boxing Gag, Ringling 1959

Today I am 40 years old.

The other day I was given one of the greatest gifts I've ever received and today I'm sharing it with you. Here is Otto Griebling performing come-in on an outdoor date in 1959 with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.

Afterwards there is a few minutes of the Boxing Gag with Freddie Freeman on an idoor arena date from the same tour.

Monday, August 27, 2007


Photo courtesy of John Peters

Veteran of many shows and just about every facet of professional clowning, clown cop Jojo Lewis.

CLOWN ALLEY: The Boxing Gag, Ringling 1969

Danny Chapman (the man responsible for the creation of Clown College), Mark Anthony and Swede Johnson along with a crew of then recent Clown College graduates present the first Boxing Gag done on the Ringling circus after the retirement of Otto Griebling's longtime sparring partner Freddie Freeman.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

CHRIS SHELTON: Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday wishes go out today to Mr. Chris Shelton, an excellent clown who really knows how to rock an authenic hand made Chinese suit!