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Happy Kellems

Harold “Happy” Kellems (1905-1987)

Harold “Happy” Kellems
Harold “Happy” Kellems

Happy Kellems was a tramp-character clown, minstrel, and vaudeville performer. A native of Evansville, Indiana, he began his entertainment career in medicine shows, joined by longtime partner, Van Wells. Together they moved to vaudeville and burlesque and then turning to minstrel shows, which became their great love. Kellems supposedly produced the last minstrel show in the U.S. Beginning with a Shrine Circus in 1933, Happy developed a comical character, which brought laughter from audiences throughout the country. He toured with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, Clyde Beatty Circus, Cole Bros. Sells-Floto and many other circuses.

Happy Kellems was inducted into the 2002 Clown Hall of Fame.

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