Saturday, November 01, 2008

CHARLIE BELL: Ringling, circa 1930s

That's Charlie in the center. I'm not sure who is on the left but that's a young Lou Jacobs out of makeup on the right.

MYSTERY CLOWN: Ringling, undated

I know that Greg DeSanto knows who this guy is but I always blank on his name. He had a really interesting auguste makeup at a time when the only augustes on the Ringling show were him, Lou Jacobs, Chesty Mortimer and Gijon Polidor.

KEITH OLBERMANN: October 30, 2008

For those four people who wrote me to say that they strongly objected to seeing links to political videos on Here's something to like even less... Keith Olbermann's comments for Oct. 30, 2008.

If you don't want to hear what Mr. Olbermann has to say about John McCain's own ties to William Ayers or Rashid Khalidi, the computer works just like the TV or the radio... don't click the link.

To those four, and anyone else who dearly loves free speech but only under the condition that it aligns perfectly with their own political point of view... we'll miss you. We really will.

For the rest of us, this will all be over, one way or another and for better or worse, on Tuesday.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Link courtesy of Mike and Lara Smith

POODLES HANNEFORD: Boston Children's Hospital, circa 1915

PEDRO PEDRO & TIN TIN: Circo Arlechino

It's good.

I think it just needs some "Kulki Taka".


CLOWN COLLEGE: Memories of 1985

Photos by Barry Phillips

Lou Jacobs addresses the class of '85...

...and "wows" them with his Jackie Mason impersonation.

(In all the time it took to elaborately paint that prop no one thought to check the correct spelling of the word "accurate"?)

Lou and Circus Sarasota's Robin Eurich 

Two "Master Clowns" discuss their art

An important moment for the class of '85: Frosty Little gathers the 
students outside the arena to explain the birds and the bees:

"Well kids, it's like this... sometimes when a Mommy Clown and a Daddy Clown love each other very much..."

Budgets were tight that summer, George Shellenberger and Frosty Little had to 
take part-time jobs as school crossing guards in the early morning hours to bring
in a little extra cash for the program.

Another important moment: "Greg DeSanto Discovers Soap"!

Have you ever seen someone so happy? So totally, malevolently happy?

Mike Hinman seems sheepish and uncomfortable to be in the 
presence of DeSanto in his full blown Berserker Rage.


Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Um... "Kuliki Taka" must be Spanish for "stretch".

EMMETT KELLY: Dodger Mascot

Los Angeles Times file photo

Emmett Kelly, right, in an undated photo, with a mystery guest. The picture was apparently a publicity photo for the Jan. 21, 1962, television program "Project 20," which featured the Clyde Beatty-Cole Bros. Circus.

By Keith Thursby
Times Staff Writer

It was an unlikely sports story—a clown announcing the end of his connection with the Dodgers.

Emmett Kelly said the Dodgers had failed to renew his contract for the 1958 season. Kelly, a longtime performer with Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus, was no mere clown act. He had performed on Broadway and in movies and had taken off the 1956 season to serve as the Dodgers’ mascot in Brooklyn. (You can still find Dodger pennants from that era with Kelly’s portrait.)

The Associated Press story noted that Kelly’s "glum face had been a source of laughter to millions of children."

Photograph by Art Rogers / Los Angeles Times

Emmett Kelly cleans his plate--in this case home plate--during a Dodgers-Braves game on April 15, 1962, for Senior Citizens Day at Dodger Stadium. 

He blamed the Dodgers’ selection of the Coliseum for the decision. He said the team’s first home in Los Angeles was "too big for one clown."

The story said Kelly was returning to his first love, the circus. He died in 1979.

Photograph by Art Rogers / Los Angeles Times

Emmett Kelly jokes with an umpire at Wrigley Field in a photo published June 30, 1957. 

Los Angeles Times file photo

Emmett Kelly, possibly in Vero Beach, Fla., in a photo dated June 27, 1957.

ONIONHEAD: Loves His Mac

I do too, most of the time.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Based on Neil Brand's critically acclaimed radio play of the same name, the drama follows Stan Laurel's last visit to his dying friend and comedy partner Oliver 'Babe' Hardy and Stan's subsequent coming to terms with the ghosts of his past. Written by Garrett Fallah...