Saturday, May 29, 2010

BOOK EXPO in NYC: Me as Bobo Barnett

That's me playing Bobo Barnett (in Bobo's actual costume) at the Javits Center in NYC last week, helping to promote Bonnie Barnett Murphy's new book "Bobo's Daughter" at the Book Expo.

I was the only costumed character making an appearance when all of the sudden in walked Darth Vader and a battalion of stormtroopers. I fell into line behind them and marched with them across the trade show floor. When the powers that be finally noticed me I tried to explain to the rep from Lucasfilm that I was "Bobo Fett" and I was supposed to be there. They weren't buying it ; )


I've got an idea and I'd like to gauge everyone's reaction to it...

What do you folks think of clown pin-up calendar? Not a "Naked Clown" calendar but a classic Alberto Vargas-style cheesecake calendar of tastefully photographed cutesy girl clowns looking pretty and goofy boy clowns in outrageous drag? Or is it funnier the other way around?

If the response is positive enough we can follow it up with a hunky guy clown calendar for the ladies (and 11% of the men) next year.

All proceeds would go to the International Clown Hall of Fame.


Neal Skoy speaking with ICHOF inductee Jimmy "Happy" Williams. Unfortunately, Neal made the mistake of actually touching Jimmy during the conversation and Jimmy ordered that he immediately be punished for his transgression. As an inductee, it is his right and privilege to do so.

ICHOF inductees may not be touched. Ever. It is the law.

You might remember Gene "Cousin Otto" Lee caning the entire Joyful Joeys Clown Alley of Waukegan, IL after a photo op at the 1986 Milwaukee Great Circus Parade.

Karen informed Neal that it was now his duty to go out back and drink his own nose glue.

Deeply repentant, he complied without hesitation.

Karen and Greg assured Jimmy that Neal had done the honorable thing, we were all very sorry and that nothing like this would ever happen again. Unfortunately, as they did, they too touched Jimmy and were also ordered to drink their own nose glue.

The rest of the clowns spent the remainder of the Grand Opening ceremony with their hands folded and at a very respectful distance from Jimmy.

A council was hastily convened and it was decided, in light of all their hard work and dedication to the art of circus clowning and to the ICHOF, that Greg and Karen should be allowed to say a little something before the went outside.

It was both emotional and tearful.

They will be missed.

Afterward we all had cake.

And that made Sandy feel a little bit better.

THE NEWSPAPERBOY: Marco Carolei and Max Soggiu

Link courtesy of Jango Edwards

DAVID LARIBLE: Dishes; Monte Carlo (1999)

MITCH FREDDES: Table Rock Act (Early 1980s)

Thursday, May 27, 2010


Photo courtesy of Diane Bauer, grandniece of Harry & John Nelson

ICHOF:More Grand Opening Photos

People have asked for more photos of the displays but I don't want to post photos of the displays.

We want you to go to the International Clown Hall of Fame and see the displays for
yourself and come back often to see how those displays have changed.

Karen DeSanto leading the Opening Day crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Neal Skoy then sang "America the Beautiful" quickly followed by "Memories" by Andrew Lloyd Weber in a throaty, Eartha Kitt-like voice all the while strutting around and licking himself like a cat. Toto Johnson accompanied him on Hawaiian nose harp. By the time they were finished there wasn't a dry seat in the house.

Greg and Karen talking with the NBC affiliate in Madison, WI.

Karen spoke eloquently on the many similarities between the Brooklyn, NY and New Orleans, LA dialects but NBC chose only to air information that related to the Grand Opening. Stupid mainstream media!

Among those singled out for recognition, Mr. Sandy Weber. Sandy created the new ICHOF logo and website and did all the graphic work for the Hall's new displays. After being singled out he was recognized immediately when Jessi Hoffschildt called out, "Hey, that's Sandy Weber! He created the new ICHOF logo and website and did all the graphic work for the Hall's new displays!"

Sandy refused to sit back down until Greg threatened him with a very sharp pair of scissors.

A lot of clowns smile for a photo; few choose to channel Charles Nelson Reilly.

I shall take the road less traveled.

The clowns with ICHOF inductees Jimmy "Happy" Williams (30 years at the Circus World Museum) and Dr. Richard Snowberg, the founder of Clown Camp.

And the ceremony ended with Greg, is his best Jackie Gleason, telling Karen that she was
"The Greatest". Then the two of them made out in front of us for almost 20 minutes.


SLAPPY & MONDAY: Cigar Box Routine; Circus Sarasota (2008)

NY Goofs Tiffany Riley and Dick Monday

BUSY BEE: Bernhard Paul, Angelo Munoz & Francesco Caroli on Circus Roncalli

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


"...and THAT is why all the bathtubs are red in Possum Hollar, Texas!"

FRANCESCO CAROLI: At Circus Roncalli

ICHOF GRAND OPENING: The Baraboo News Republic

Click on the word "share" to be taken to the Baraboo News Republic interview with Greg DeSanto and Sandy Weber as they prepared for the Grand Opening of the International Clown Hall of Fame in Baraboo, WI last week.


Without the help and hard work of people like Sandy Weber, Ralph Pierce and the many Baraboo residents who donated their time and talents, last week's opening would have been absolutely impossible.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

JANGO EDWARDS: Workshops in Barcelona


... and very soon we will inform you about the next seasons
3 professional Master Classes
at the "Nouveau Clown Institute"

The art of the clown is not just a profession, but a lifestyle that demands an understanding of emotion, sensitivity, passion, pathos and heart. Jango Edwards.

May 27th, 28th, 29th and 30th (CLOWN THEORY -1ST LEVEL)
June 24th, 25th, 26th and 27th (CLOWN THEORY -1ST LEVEL) NEW GROUP!
July 22th, 23th 24th and 25th (COMIC FORMULAS 2ND LEVEL) NEW GROUP!

From 5pm to 10pm

180€ each workshop

Contact to reserve place: Cristina (

WHITE TOPS: January/ February 1966

If anyone out there has a copy of the January/February 1966 issue of the White Tops, could you please scan Dick "Rocko" Lewis' article on the Art of Clowning for me?



CLOWN GAGA & CO: Cirque Amar (2010)

Monday, May 24, 2010

IRV ROMIG: February 1, 1920 - May 23, 2010

Irvin Romig: Ricky the Clown made generation of kids smile


Irvin Romig, better known as Ricky the Clown to baby boomers who grew up in metro Detroit, died Sunday of congestive heart failure at Henry Ford Macomb Hospital Warren Campus. He was 90.

Mr. Romig was born in Detroit into a circus family; his father was a horse trainer and his mother, a slack-wire walker. Together, they would eventually open their own show, the Romig and Rooney Circus. He debuted as a clown at age 5 and later worked with his two uncles, also clowns, and his calliope-playing aunt.

During World War II, Mr. Romig, who had limited formal education, served in an Army K-9 land mine-searching unit and as a bugler. He also formed an informal clown troupe to entertain the troops; he called it the Section 8 Gang after the type of military discharge given to people deemed mentally unfit.

Mr. Romig worked for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey in 1946-1950 and appeared in the 1952 movie "The Greatest Show on Earth" about the famous American circus.

The following year, Mr. Romig started performing on WXYZ-TV (Channel 7) -- and at a programming director's urging, changed his clown name from Irvie to the easier-to-remember Ricky. Over the 12 years he was a Detroit TV fixture, he was on "Tip-Top Fun," "The Ricky the Clown Show," "The Robin and Ricky Show" and "Action Theater."

"He really loved to see the children happy and smiling," his son, Christopher Romig, said Sunday. "He worked very hard to make new gags and routines to keep it fresh. He didn't rest on his laurels."

His other clowning work included 22 years with the Shrine Circus and teaching a clowning class at Oakland Community College with his wife, the former Rose Dobo, who died in 2002 after 52 years of marriage. Mr. Romig -- who lived in Troy, Southfield and for the last nine years, in Sterling Heights -- was inducted into the International Clown Hall of Fame in Wisconsin in 2001, the same year as Charlie Chaplin.

His hobbies were making ventriloquist dummies and clown props, watching cowboy movies and thinking up skits.

"He stood out -- not because he's my father. I've seen many clowns that are blah," Christopher Romig said. "He developed a clown personality, so he was a definite character, not just a guy without tricks in a suit."

In addition to his son, Mr. Romig is survived by his sister Fay Romig and his adopted sister, Grace McIntosh, both of whom were circus performers and trainers.

Visitation is 1-9 p.m. Tuesday at E. J. Mandziuk & Son Funeral Directors' Sterling Heights Chapel, 3801 Eighteen Mile, with a scripture service at 7 p.m. Mr. Romig will lie in repose at St. Jane Frances de Chantal Parish, 38750 Ryan, Sterling Heights, from 9 a.m. until the 9:30 a.m. mass on Wednesday. Burial will follow at White Chapel Memorial Park Cemetery in Troy.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

IN MEMORIAM: Irv "Ricky" Romig

Sad news today as word reaches us that we've lost ICHOF inductee, Mr. Irv Romig.

From Michelle Romig via Ed Golick:

This is Michelle Romig, Irv's daughter-in-law. I'm sorry to tell you that Irv passed away early this morning.

Viewing will be at Mandziuk & Sons at Ryan and 18 mile, it's right on the north west corner.

That will be Tuesday from 1:00 pm until 9:00 pm

The funeral will be on Wednesday, we are not quite sure of the time yet.


After the ribbon was cut...

It was time for the throwing out of the first pie. The selected recipient was Mr. Pete Premo, President of the Baraboo Chamber of Commerce.

The Maestro winds up...

And POW... right in the kissah!

Our pie shell was supplied by our pal Jeffrey "Bungles" Potts. If you'd like to get one just like it, please visit his website by clicking here.