Bim Bom was a Moscow circus clown duo consisting of IvanSemenovich,Radunsky(1872 – 1955) (as Bim) and various “Boms”, active intermittently from 1891 up until at least the World War II. Their clown act was enormously popular, but often banned or censored due to its satirical political content. Each act would begin with an original song and dance performed by Bim. The duo has been called “the most popular entertainment in Civil War Moscow”.
Bim was always played by Radunsky, but Bom was played by several different individuals, among them Vitaly Lazarenko, Cortesi (a Russianized Italian), Stanevsky (a Pole), an accomplished musician Wilczak and Kamsky (a Russian).
Radunsky had been a member of the Bolshevik Party and was a pledged member of the Futurist movement early on. However, after the October Revolution in 1917, the duo turned their wit against the new power. Bim Bom desisted from mocking the Bolsheviks only when their couplets so offended Latvian Riflemen in the audience that they shot up the circus and threatened to do the same to the clowns.
Warning! The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.
a musical duet sung by slapstick clowns from 1891â1946. I. S. Radunskii (1872â1955) wrote the duet and played the role of Bim. Over the years, his partners in the role of Bom were F. Kortezi (1891â98), M. A. Stanevskii (1901â20), N. I. Vilâtzak (1925-36), and A. P. Kamskii (1936-46). They performed in Paris, Berlin, Prague, Budapest, and other cities. The performances of these artists evoked a number of imitations, including “Bib-Bob” and “Rim-Rom.” The “Bim-Bom” act focused on evils of the day and combined clever dialogue with gay, sometimes satirical songs and the playing of unusual musical instruments. After the October Revolution the repertoire of Bim-Bom tended to be sharply publicistic.