The Sherman Brothers


JOE VANI (1913 – Present)

The Sherman Brothers
The Sherman Brothers

Nineteen year old Joe Vani answered an ad looking for an experienced acrobat to fill an opening in the Kenneth Waite Trio. The other members of the trio were Kenneth Waite and Chester Sherman. As part of the trio, Joe spent 18 years watching, learning and developing his skills as a performer. When Kenneth Waite retired, Joe and Chester formed a partnership that became known as the Sherman Brothers. So closely were the men identified as brothers, that many newspaper articles identified Joe as Chester’s “baby brother”. The Sherman Brothers entertained circus audiences across the United States for over 43 years (1932-1975). They toured with the Howard Circus, the Pollack Brothers Circus, Carden-Johnson, and The Orrin Davenport Shrine Circus. The Sherman Brothers performed in over 139 different Shrine Circuses. Joe and Chester worked with all of the greats: Otto Griebling, Emmett Kelly, Sr., Felix Adler, Shorty Flemm, The Black Brothers, Jimmy Davison, Bobby DeKoe, and many others. While they learned from those wonderful clowns, they also developed their own classic routines. They remained active partners until Chester passed away in 1976.

Sherman Brothers paintingThe Sherman Brothers were inducted into the Clown Hall of Fame in 1995.


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