Saturday, August 30, 2008

PAULINA SCHUMANN: From Raffaele de Ritis

From Raffaele de Ritis comes the following news...

The Cultural department of Catalunya in Barcelona has announced the 2008 winner of the National Culture Award Grand Prix.

It will be awarded to Ms. Paulina Schumann, Charlie Rivel's daughter and partner in the ring during his solo career.

The ceremony will take place next October 28. And we will be there, for sure.


Photos courtesy of All Star Talent's Talent Coordinator, Mr. Bryan Fulton

Andrew Scharff gets the traditional birthday pieing in the Myrtle Beach, SC kitchen of Stephanie and Bryan Fulton by the trio of Ryan and Romi Combs and Steve Copeland.

There's no other way to describe it, the man got totally Scharffed.

CIRCUS KNIE: Bellissimo, 2008

Friday, August 29, 2008

GENSI: Circus Roncalli

BIRTHDAY PRESENTS: From Chuck and Noriko

Photos courtesy of Chuck and Noriko Sidlow

Clowns always seem to know exactly what I want for my birthday: CLOWN PHOTOS!

Here is my birthday serenade from Chuck, Noriko and some of their friends...

Thank you guys!


Photos courtesy of Chris Shelton

Fellow Red Show and China Clown (as well as fellow Virgo) Chris Shelton was kind enough to send along these two shots of his walkarounds from back in his days on the Ringling Red Unit...


My present from Shane: a framed print of one of my all-time very favorite clown photos.

CHARLIE RIVEL: From Bill Strong

My present from Bill Strong: 4 photos of Charlie Rivel from the year that I was born... 1967. Here's 41 year old pix of Charlie from the 1967 Circus Schumann program...

Thank you Bill!

Thursday, August 28, 2008


I spent the day doing the things that I love, playing with Shane, taking calls from other clowns, planning shows, editing video and having dinner with Terry, family and friends. I checked my email before bed and had dozens of extremely thoughtful messages from friends around the world.

Thank you all very, very much.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Happy Birthday wishes go out today to my good friend, and the best comedy partner a guy could ask for, the hardest working man in show-business... Mr. Andrew Scharff.


The latest "Garage Sale" item on eBay is a Jackie LeClaire/Billy McCabe-style one piece jumpsuit. To take a look, please click here.


Other than the obvious fact that this is a Japanese comedy-magician, made up for a Japanese hidden camera television show, I know nothing about this other than I love it like a fat kid loves cake.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


After an email discussion about reviving the Dentist Gag for the upcoming Clown College reunion, Dean "Elmo Gibb" Chambers sent the following...

I always thought that the dentist gag was pretty stinky. If you don't have a good big-ass nurse it just dies. 

Buck Nolan, first-of-May "Omar Gosh" (Michael Ridenour) and I did it on Hoxie-Great American in 1983. Billy Martin would kibbitz on the microphone and Charly Moyer would pipe in from the bandstand whenever the mood hit him. Omar came in as a skinny nurse and Charly piped up, "What a face...what a figure...two more legs and she'd look like Trigger!" 

The gag became a masterpiece of verbal one-upmanship, once actually going on just over 20 minutes in Henderson, TN. At the end of the tour Jim Parker came and guest clowned with us. Lou came to visit the show that night; even Hoxie Tucker himself (hat brim up) came in to watch the gag. Parker was wearing one of Flo White's nurse drags. I'd call for the anaesthesia and he'd hand me the hammer. I'd call for the pliers and he's hand me the needle, and so on. I yelled, "Those aren't the pliers!" Parker responded, "Picky, picky, picky!" Buck fell out of the chair laughing, Billy Martin and Charly were about wetting themselves, and Lou was laughing his head off. 

There was no way to top Parker on that one. 

We couldn't lift Buck back into the chair, so we got a lot of business out of that for a while. We eventually got to the standard, unsatisfying blow-off. Lou came up at intermission and said to me, "Sometimes it's a lot better to be a big fish in a small pond," referring to the intimate size of the Hoxie show. That's the last time I ever saw Lou.

I was going to produce one hell of a dentist gag for Beatty-Cole one year. I made a revolving/tilting dentist chair that was strong enough for the dentist to stand on the arms while working on the patient. The patient had a coat on that had a celastic shoulders gimmick that would raise up over the patient's head, and a fake head put in place by the dental assistant. The dentist sticks a stick of dynamite in the patient's mouth, which blows the head off. Of course, it is quickly restored by hiding the fake head and dropping the shoulders back into place. I stored the stuff at Jimmy Douglas' place, went out doing advance for Beatty-Cole, Jimmy died and the estate people cleared the place out. 

What really ticked me off is that my miniature antique covered wagon from the Romig riding act was gone, too. I never could find out where the stuff went off to. 

Jimmy produced the alley for many years for the Shrine in Rochester, NY. Kodak would send a team of photographers every year to the show. Jimmy had an incredible store of big blow-up clown portraits stored under the bed in the guest room. Those disappeared too. 

What really, REALLY ticked me off was Jimmy's notebook disappeared as well. He promised it would pass on to me. In it was every version of every clown gag he ever saw. Lou Nagy had a similar notebook, too. His instruction to his sister was to burn it upon his death.


Props needed:
Dentist chair
Sign for the dentist: DR.I. PULLEM, DDS, DOA, DDT

Doctor's satchel containing:
Stethoscope (I know a dentist doesn't use one, but you can get some pretty good business out of one)
Giant tongue depresser and flashlight
Giant syringe
Stinky shoe (for anaesthesia)
Big drill
Hammer & Chisel
Corn for patient to spit out
Big pliers

Mirror for patient
Cloth to wrap around patient's head to hide fake tooth
Giant foam tooth

I'd make the dentist as demonic and sadistic as possible. Watch the WC Fields short to see some brilliant business on the chair. At the reunion, pull the tooth, turn to the patient and ask how he's doing, turn to the audience and say, "Everybody?" 

They will all say in unison, "Hey, Doc, you pulled the wrong tooth!"

Nurse Nummies: Elmo Gibb

Nurse Bella Bedpan: Sandy Kozik

Nurse Ditz: Chuck Meltzer (real good friend of Chuck Sateja and the best friend I ever had. Occasionally worked for Jimmy Douglas)

Nurse Jennifer Coldhands: Mike Snider

Nurse Sandy: Sandy Kozik again. He spent a week in the hospital recuperating from pneumonia and studied the nurses while there


For those of you who are unsure, the birthday boy is the one on the left holding Pee-Wee.


The first of the "Garage Sale" items have finally been listed on eBay. One is a Wayne Sidley agent suit from his days with The Greatest Show on Earth, the other is a tiny clown top hat that I don't remember how or where I got.

Look for them here and here.

Look for more later tonight or early tomorrow...


Monday, August 25, 2008


Thank you Joel Heidtman for reminding me that Happy Birthday wishes are in order for my friend and a truly wonderful guy,  Cowboy Mike Keever!



I'm not sure but I believe this is Ernie Wiswell and his Funny Ford.

FELIX ADLER: Felix, Modoc and Estelle Clark, undated

Felix Adler and Modoc pose with Estelle Clark on the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.

Clowns, elephants and pretty girls...

Sunday, August 24, 2008

ERIC BOO: Tennis From Different Countries

SHANE CASHIN: Stilt Walker!

Shane didn't learn to walk stilts at Michael Rosman's Circus Camp this past week but was greatly  inspired by what he saw. He got up on his Stiltz stilts this morning and made his way back and forth across the driveway a few times (with some assistance) and even let go long enough for Daddy to take a picture.


Not the entire film, just Laurel & Hardy's scene's from the star-studded film Hollywood Party.