My younger children (ages 11 and under) are big fans of the Disney Channel’s tv series, The Suite Life of Zach and Cody — which I have to admit, I’m not. However, I’ve long been a fan of Brian Stepanek, who plays the custodian/inventor/geek Arwen on the series — he plays his part as a true clown, and he’s very funny to watch. He’s now starring in a series of silent short (5 minutes) episodes called Brian O’Brian, about a well-intentioned goof who gets in (and out) of trouble. It’s non-speaking, allowing him to communicate visually, as well as having the benefit of allowing Disney to show the episodes in America, Italy, Japan, etc. on their various cable TV properties without the need for translations or subtitles.
The episode that I saw was based on an older clown skit, and Brian Stepanek was very funny doing it — he’s a clown who doesn’t wear makeup. In the 5 minute short, Brian O’Brian is a janitor, sweeping up a stage, and starts picking up imaginary musical instruments, and playing them to comedic effect. There’s no spoken dialog, but the audience hears the music that he makes with the imaginary instruments, as well as other things — such as playing the slide trombone, and sliding too far, sending part of the trombone flying into the “audience” where we hear a crash while he reacts.
Brian O’Brian is worth watching if nothing else to take notes on how to clown with your body instead of your voice.