Friday, September 04, 2009

IN MEMORIAM: Jimmy James Plott

Sad news comes from Michael Rosman... Jimmy James Plott, longtime Clyde Beatty-Cole Bros. Circus clown and ringmaster passed away today.

Jimmy was a wonderful person, an excellent clown (and mentor to younger clowns) and one of the best ringmasters that I've ever had the pleasure of working with.

He will be very sorely missed.


Unknown said...

A razor wit and a heart of gold, Jimmy was a very, very funny man. Always a total class act.
We'll miss ya, Jimmy.

Mat Coes said...

ugh. my heart hurts.
a good, good man.

Gary Payne said...

Please, say it isn't so....
Thank you Jimmy, for all the memories. You set the standard for clowning and for ringmastering too... You will never be forgotten.

Gary Payne, Circus Fan

Anonymous said...

Warm. thoughtful, generous, kind,
you can't say enough good things about this good and talented man.
One of my all time favorite lines
spoken by Jimmy...."Ladies & gentlemen, experience an earthquake: the Clyde Beatty-Cole Bros walking long mount." Rest in peace dear and wonderful soul.

Paul G. RCD

Mark Lavender said...

I am saddened to hear of Jimmy's passing.
He was a good boss clown.
I always found him to be a thoughtful and patient man with a good sense of fair-play.
Such a clear, clean voice as ringmaster!
Always a gentleman.


So sorry to hear of Jimmy's passing. I always enjoyed Jimmy's Clown Production numbers with Clyde Beatty/Cole Bros. Jimmy was first class all the way! He will be missed.

Elmo Gibb said...

I first saw Jimmy clowning in the spring of 1969, forty years ago. I still have memories of Jimmy, Bernie Kallman, Kenny Dodd, Shorty Hinckle and Lou Nagy burned into my memory. I had seen plenty of clowns while a kid, but the Beatty-Cole clown alley was magic.

I first met Jimmy in 1978 when I was looking for a job after leaving the Blue Unit. He convinced me that I needed to be the next Beatty-Cole advance clown. Jimmy is one of the main reasons that I have always clung to the time-honored traditions of full make-up and wardrobe.

Over the years Jimmy managed to guide a congress of newbie clowns through grueling seasons of mud, heat, crappy lots and stranded vehicles, instilling in them the mission to do a professional job in the ring. He mentored many of my personal favorite clowns, like Mike Snider, Sandy Kozik, Tom Weiss and many others. He is pretty much responsible for keeping alive the tradition of the neat whiteface, since the Ringling show pretty much dropped the ball on that one.

Jimmy made the overnight transition to ringmaster after Trevor Bale (Elvin's father) became too ill to complete the 1979 season. He had the gift of the big, booming voice, and always brought a great deal of polish and elegance to the microphone. He will be listed right alongside Harold Ronk as one of the all-time greatest announcers.

I always enjoyed my visits to Jimmy in the years since he retired. He was always ready with a story about some old-timer or the other. He was invaluable to me as someone to bounce ideas off of when I was producing the ring gags on Beatty-Cole. He helped quite a few performers polish their acts when all they had was a string of tricks or the germ of a comic idea.

Saddest of all--the passing of Jimmy James breaks our contact with the past. I am incredibly lucky to have worked with the likes of Prince Paul, Mark Anthony, Buck Nolan, Jim Douglas and Jimmy James. Without them I could never have become the clown I am today.

See you on the big lot, Jimmy!

Elmo Gibb

Anonymous said...

Never having the honor and privledge of working with Jimmy was always a regret of mine. He was truly a dear friend of which I adored and respected highly for his love of the circus and knowledge of clowing. He always brought a smile to my face whenever I paths would cross on the road. Jimmy could dish with the best. His wonderful memory will never leave my mind and heart.
Thank you Jimmy for all the love and laughter.

Dale A. Longmire

Unknown said...

I miss my uncle jimmy alot over the years. He was an awesome person both in and out of the circus!!!