Sunday, September 07, 2008

COUNT POPO DE BATHE: From Verne Langdon

Photos and comments courtesy of Verne Langdon

Count PoPo De Bathe at the 1955 San Mateo Fair by Ansel Adams

Besides nurturing some of the finest puppeteers in America (Bob Mills, Jerry Juhl, Luman Coad and Tony Urbano just to name a few), the little kiddieland park in Oakland, California known as "Oakland's Fairyland" harbored a grand traditional whiteface clown who quit the road to settle down in Herb Caen's Bagdad-By-The-Bay.

Count PoPo De Bathe was a fixture not just at Fairyland but various San Francisco department stores of the day, including Macy's and The White House.

He was a veteran UNICEF entertainer whose Punch & Judy work was second only to the legendary Jay Marshall, who incidentally built PoPo's set of P&J puppets.

I had reason to do some background on PoPo, and received immeasurable help from Fairyland's resident Archivist Randal Metz. Here for you and your readers is PoPo's obituary plus a few photos of Count Popo De Bathe (he looks familiar, doesn't he?)

I've seen him in several pics on your site, albeit unidentified.

Now you know who he is!, meet Count PoPo!

- Verne Langdon

PoPo with Mrs. Morris' Monkeys

Count De Bathe out of makeup

Count De Bathe with Michu

A 1973 article stating that his props were sent to the Barnum Museum in Bridgeport, CT.

His 1981 obituary.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Count PoPo De Bathe!

1 comment:

Lynne Bell said...

I have posted a video of Popo with Mr. Morris's Monks on Youtube. The video was given to me by his dear friend Adonna Houston, The Old Woman in the Shoe at Fairyland.