Saturday, November 21, 2020

R.I.P Walter Galetti

I just heard from John Cooper that Walter Galetti passed away yesterday. I don't know any more than that but will update as soon as I do.

From Dominique Jando on Circopedia:

A popular figure in the European circus ring for twenty years, the clown and ropedancer Walter Galetti was born January 29, 1931 in Thayngent, in the canton of Schaffhausen in Switzerland. He was originally trained as a brick mason, but that was not the life he really wanted: At age twenty-one, he “ran away and joined the circus”—in his case, Switzerland’s premier circus, Circus Knie, where he found a job as an animal keeper.

His ambition, however, was to perform in the ring, and during his spare time, he trained on the bouncing rope. It was perhaps a little late for Walter to become a strong acrobat, but he had a cheerful nature, and he began to work as a clown. The very colorful costume and makeup he eventually developed would become as iconic as those of Lou Jacobs or Paul Jung, and the face of Galetti, the clown, would eventually grace anonymously many a circus poster!

In 1966, together with his wife Mary (who, like him, didn’t come from a circus family), Galetti developed a charming act, The Clown And The Ballerina, which was soon noticed by circus directors and agents. Thus Galetti (as he was billed, without first name) started a brilliant career that lasted two decades. He went on to work in practically every major European circus, and appeared many times on television shows. 

Galetti retired from the circus ring in 1986, but his performing career was not over. He settled in his wife’s hometown, Rankweil, in Austria, and developed a puppet show for children, which he still performs to this day (2013). In 2005, he published his autobiography, Ein Clown geht um die Welt. Walter and Mary Galetti have three children, Carmen, Maria, and Marco.

Friday, November 20, 2020

Winter Quarters: Clown Segment

The clown segment from the documentary Winter Quarters: The Circus Tradition featuring members of the Clyde Beatty Cole Bros. Clown Alley, Ann Coydel, and Bruce Warner.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Emmett Kelly: Keep Off The Grass

From Wikipedia: Keep Off the Grass is a musical revue with sketches by Mort Lewis, Parke LevyAlan LipscottS. Jay Kaufman, and Panama & Frank, lyrics by Al Dubin and Howard Dietz, and music by Jimmy McHugh. The choreography was by George Balanchine.

Produced by Lee Shubert and J. J. Shubert, the Broadway production, opened on May 23, 1940 at the Broadhurst Theatre and ran for a total of 44 performances. The cast included Jimmy Durante, Ray Bolger, Jane Froman, Virginia O'Brien, Emmett Kelly and Ilka Chase. O'Brien recorded four of the songs for Columbia Records in 1940 and they are included as bonus tracks on her CD "Virginia O'Brien Salutes the Great MGM Musicals". 

Man, oh man would I love to hear more about this show!

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Circus Flora: Adam Kuchler


Photo credit: Maike Schulz

Adam Kuchler performing in Circus Flora's production The Pawn in 2014.

Monday, November 16, 2020

Clown College: Joe Wesson and Jeff Wirth

Joe Wesson and Jeff Wirth perform in the Ringling Clown College graduation of 1978. Joe and Jeff both went on the Blue Unit, where they performed this gag in Come In. When Jeff left the show, Joe and Tom Dougherty performed it together.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

George Carl: Hollywood Palace 1969

George Carl and his wife performing an early version of his act on Hollywood Palace in 1969.