Saturday, September 08, 2007


La Preghiera del Clown

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"The Prayer of the Clown" from the film "The Most Comic Show In the World"


Slapstick music hall tumbling act from 1945. This footage is from a Mancunian Film's short called 'Randle and All That'.

THE CRAZY JOKER SHOW: Jacket and Thai Required

Video courtesy of John Hadfield

Jeff "Le Clown Gordoon" Gordon (of Big Apple Circus fame), Will Shaw (famous NYC juggler) Chris Shelton and John Hadfield (The Crash Brothers) and Rob Zeiser (former Ringling clown) appear in this ad for the Crazy Joker Show at Dan Neeramit (Magic Land) in Bangkok Thailand. There is no word for "clown" in Thai, so they were called "The Crazy Jokers."

Friday, September 07, 2007


Photo courtesy of John Peters

Famous riding clown, Kochmanski.


Video courtesy of John Hadfield

Wenesday October 14, 1987: Shot during the Clown College 20th Anniversary Reunion in Venice, FL, here is Master Clown Glen "Frosty" Little schooling Charles Gibson and Joan London in the proper method of throwing a pie on "Good Morning America".

This event was certified by the Guinness Book of World Records as "The World's Largest Pie Fight".

Thursday, September 06, 2007

GROVER NICHTMAN: Cole Bros. Circus 1948

LITTLE TICH: Little Tich es ses "Big Boots" (1900)

"I like big boots and I cannot lie..."

I have seen snippets of this for years but this is the first time that I've seen this film of British Music Hall legend Harry "Little Tich" Relph in it's entirety.

For more information on Little Tich please click the title of this post.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

CLOWN CAMP: Coco, Lou & Mark

Last photographed together in 1968, Michael "Coco" Polakovs, Lou Jacobs and Mark Anthony, all three former giants of the Ringling Alley and all three future International Clown Hall Of Fame inductees, demonstrate how they apply their make up and tell stories from their combined 200 years of experience in the field of circus clowning at Clown Camp La Crosse, WI in 1987.

For more information on Clown Camp, please click the title of this post.

CLOWN ALLEY: The Diner Gag, Ringling 2007

The soap gag from the current Blue Unit "Circus of Dreams" at the Times Union Center (Formerly The Pepsi Arena) in Albany, NY, April of 2007.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

LES FRATELLINI: "Come To the Circus" circa 1945

Extremely rare film of the Fratellini trio of clowns (not the original trio, as this footage is from after Paul's death in 1940) from the short film "Come to the Circus", shot in performance somewhere between 1940 (after the death of Paul) and 1951 (the death of Francois).

Has anyone else ever noticed that Paul, Francois, Albert and Annie all passed away in June? Kind of weird.

Monday, September 03, 2007


CLOWN ALLEY: Bakery Gag, Garden Bros. Circus 1986

Roger "Rumpy the Clown" Prystanski and company perform a Bakery Gag based on the humor of "escalating reciprocal violence" (or "tit for tat"), similar in structure to the Washer Woman Gag and the basis for many of the best Laurel & Hardy shorts, on the Garden Bros. Circus in 1986.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

SUNDAY MORNING ART GALLERY: "Backstage: Myron Orton, Paul Jung, & Prince Paul"

Link courtesy of Rick Whelan

"Backstage: Myron Orton, Paul Jung, & Prince Paul" an original oil painting by American artist Margot Clark, who painted under the name, "Veres.” Margot Clark was married to film actor Dane Clark, but chose to paint under the name, "Veres,” meaning, "Red Head" in Hungarian. Veres developed a passion for the theatrical world of famous clowns and they quickly became the primary subjects of her paintings. As the reputation of her quality increased, Veres was invited to exclusively paint some of the world’s most famous clowns, which included Emmett Kelley, Paul Jung, Harry Nelson, Prince Paul and numerous others.

The detail and use of color, combined with the realistic, American social realist style of painting became the trademark of Veres. Her paintings are completely theatrical, depicting not singularly the clowns, but the real men themselves as they transition into character, portrayed through various stages of costume and make up. The paintings by Veres are American works of theatrical social realism of the late 1940's and 1950's.

Veres exhibited extensively including major exhibitions at Hammer Galleries in New York , Galerie R. Creuze in Paris, France both in the 1950's. The original paintings by Veres are now exhibited exclusively by Trigg Ison Fine Art, West Hollywood, California.

TITLE: Backstage: Myron Orton, Paul Jung & Prince Paul
WORK DATE: circa 1949
CATEGORY: Paintings
MATERIALS: Oil on Canvas
MARKINGS: signed
SIZE: h: 50 x w: 40 in / h: 127 x w: 101.6 cm
REGION: American
STYLE: Modern
PRICE*: Contact Gallery for Price
GALLERY: Trigg Ison Fine Art 310-274-8047 Send Email
ONLINE CATALOGUE(S): Inventory Catalogue

For more information on this piece, please click on the title of this post.


Buster Keaton performing a baseball pantomime which seems to be heavily inspired by Frank "Slivers" Oakley's "One Man Baseball Game" in his first feature film for MGM, which was his last true silent (SPITE MARRIAGE was without dialogue, but was a "sound" film). The scene is one of the last that Buster was allowed to completely improvise in front of the cameras before MGM forced him to completely change his method of filmmaking and strictly adhere to tightly written scripts.

THE CAMERAMAN was feared lost until a print was discovered in Paris in 1968 and finally made available on video in 1991 when an incomplete master positive was found and merged with the inferior 1968 print. The master positive used as the basis for the VHS release was missing the entire first reel, plus eleven "gags" ranging from the entire "One Man Baseball Game" sequence to simple three second reaction shots. When the stock suddenly changes from crystal sharp and clear to washed out and grainy, it makes a very strong statement for the importance of film preservation and in classic Buster Keaton fashion, makes it absolutely silently.

The film was recently re-mastered and is now on DVD as part of "TCM Archives: The Buster Keaton Collection" featuring a new score by former Frank Zappa band member Arthur Barrow.

And as for Buster's respect for Slivers? I re-post the following article (written in 1946 when Buster was 51) sent to me by Gene Wolande...