Home » Archive by categoryFamous Clowns

Pierre Étaix

Pierre Étaix (1928 – 2016) famous French clown and actor Pierre Étaix was born in 1928 in Roanne, France. He was trained as a designer and introduced to the art of stained glass by Theodore Gerard Hanssen. Etaix basically built his career around the comic. He settled in...
Continue reading

Johnny Patterson

Johnny Patterson (1840 - 1889) The Irish Singing Clown
Johnny Patterson (1840 – 1889) The Irish Singing Clown Early life of Johnny Patterson Johnny Patterson was a famous Irish clown, known for his original songs, singing style and rapport with his audience. He was born John Francis Patterson in 1840 in Kilbarron near Feakle, County Clare, Ireland. His parents...
Continue reading

Buster Keaton on the art of pie throwing

Buster Keaton’s Pie Throwing The art of making and throwing them as told by Buster Keaton. Ironically, even though most people associate pie throwing with silent film comedies, Buster Keaton never took a pie in the face in any of his silent films – and he only threw...
Continue reading

International Clown Hall of Fame inductees

Clown Hall of Fame
The International Clown Hall of Fame honors individuals  who have made a significant contribution to the art of clowning. There are three categories that a clown can be inducted into: Active Inactive Historical A minimum of 25 years of clown experience is required to be eligible for the...
Continue reading

George Carl

George Carl autographed photo
George Carl (May 7, 1916 – January 1, 2000) was a gifted pantomime slapstick artist and vaudevillian style clown. George Carl was born in Ohio, and started his comedy career traveling with a variety of circuses during his teenage years. In time, Carl would later become internationally famous...
Continue reading

Bob “Hambone” Hamilton (1929-1998)

Bob "Hambone" Hamilton
Bob Hamilton entered the clowning work in 1974 after becoming a Shriner. He maintained a strong association with the Shriners, but also became an influential role model in the Clowns of America organization and the Midwest Clown Association. His forte was in the crafting of clever parade props...
Continue reading

Billy Baker

From the foothills of the Arkansas Ozarks, Billy Baker ran away from a college scholarship to join the Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Clown College class of 1970. He hit the road with the Ringling Red Show, where he rose to be a featured member of Clown Alley...
Continue reading

Umberto “Antonet” Guillaume (1872-1935)

Umberto "Antonet" Guillaume
Born in Brescia, Italy, Antonet was the son of a famous family of Italian clowns. He followed in Footit’s tradition as an “authoritarian” whiteface clown. George Speaight credits Antonet with introducing the loose spangled dress, with calf-length trousers that became associated with the European whiteface clown. Antonet first...
Continue reading

Jimmy “Happy” Williams (1942 – 2015)

Jimmy Williams - circus photo
Jimmy “Happy” Williams was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In 1961, he landed his first job in clowning when he was hired to perform at Mayfair Mall in Milwaukee. He took his name “Happy” from his respect for tramp clown Happy Kellums. Chappie Fox went to Milwaukee to take...
Continue reading

Bill “Boom-Boom” Baily (1917 – 1990)

Bill "Boom-Boom" Baily
Bill began clowning while still in high school. For over seven years he appeared in his tramp character on the Sealtest Big Top and Mark’s Magic Midwest television shows, broadcast by local stations in New Jersey. He appeared on live television programs on CBS, NBC, and ABC including...
Continue reading

blog search directory