Bill Ballantine photo gallery – Bill Ballantine, illustrator and writer, traveled with the Ringling Brothers circus during the 1946 tour, caught the bug and become a professional clown the following season. From 1969 through 1977, Ballantine served as dean of the Clown College. (more…)
Coco photo gallery, a third generation Russian circus clown, who achieved his fame in England where the family came while he was a youth. Also included are photos of his father, Nicolai Polakovs, who originated the name Coco as a famous clown in Europe. He developed several classic clown routines, including Busy Bee. He later became an independent working clown, sometimes acting as an advance performer in small shows.
Photo gallery of Bert Lahr, movie and stage clown – a Tony Award-winning American actor and comedian. He is best remembered today for his role as the Cowardly Lion and the farmworker Zeke in the classic 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz, but was well known during his life for work in burlesque, vaudeville, and Broadway. (more…)
review of the Laurel and Hardy short film Beau Hunks (1931) starring Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy
Beau Hunks begins with Oliver Hardy singing “The Ideal of My Dreams“, as Stan Laurel cuts an advertisement for fertilizer out of the newspaper and unintentionally cuts the fabric out of Oliver’s upholstery, exposing a spring, which causes Oliver to do massive damage to his room later. First, however, Oliver is planning on marrying his sweetheart, “Jeanie Weanie”, who’s signed photograph he carries with him. The mail comes, with a letter from Jeanie-Weanie, which Oliver is too upset to read, so Stan reads it to him – where Jeanie-Weanie, who has traveled all around the world, is breaking up with Oliver and never wants to see him again. Broken-hearted, Oliver decides to “go where men go to forget” – the French Foreign Legion. And he takes Stan along with him. (more…)
A Night in Casablanca (1946) starring the Marx Brothers (Groucho, Chico, Harpo), Sig Ruman
A Night in Casablanca is the last Marx Brothers movie, and I’m happy to say, one of their finest. The Marx Brothers had officially retired by this time. However, they reunited on screen for the financial benefit of their brother Chico. And I’m very glad they did. (more…)