Regarding the Gene Lewis picture:Did any of those promotional walkarounds have a gag behind them, or were they simply blatant advertising?
Advertising!I remember seeing the AJAX White Knight on his horse charging into the arena at MSG.
From what I've seen,some of the products presented the opportunity for the clowns to do something funny with them. Frankie Saluto always had an oversized loaf of wonder Break on his head, Duane Thorpe had a Norelco Razor, Owen McQuade and Jack Cooper rode a tandom bike, etc. I've never seen Lou Jacobs or Otto doing anything with the commercial props. Paul Jung built them for extra money and the clowns used to get paid a flat fee at the end of the season (Duane Thorpe said it was like 50 bucks). I think Harry Dube, a marketing guy on the show payroll, arranged to tie in the products with ads in the circus program. The practice ended in the late 60's. Thou I just saw in the 2011 "Fully Charged" Ringling program a big ad for Campfire marshmellows, and I seem to remember the clowns doing a bit with the audience, tossing them or something.-Greg DeSanto
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