Welcome to FamousClowns.org, a website dedicated to the history and performance of clowning. Famous Clowns is run by Tom Raymond, who performs as a professional clown as Raynbow the Clown in Madison, Wisconsin, U.S.A.
What can you do here? There’s a free tutorial on starting clowning, articles on topics such as the Clown Commandments, biographies of famous clowns(including Charlie Chaplin, Red Skelton, Bob Bell, WGN-TV’s Bozo the Clown, Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Emmett Kelly,Bob Keeshan,The Marx Brothers, The Three Stooges, and many others), reviews of books and movies on clowning, and much more.
Famous Clowns in history
Much of the information presented herein is borrowed shamelessly from the Clown Hall of Fame. Much thanks to them. If you’re ever in the neighborhood, drop by – you won’t be disappointed.A listing of some of the famous clowns of history. If you don’t see someone listed that you think is deserving, please add a note in the comments, or email us. (more…)
Jerry Lewis (March 16, 1926 – August 20, 2017)
Jerry Lewis, world-famous clown of stage, screen, television, and radio, is now best known for the annual Jerry Lewis Labor Day Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) Telethon.
his annual charity telethons for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA).
Jerry Lewis was born Joseph Levitch on March 16, 1926, in Newark, New Jersey to a Jewish American family (more…)
(thanks to Bruce “Charlie” Johnson and The Clown Hall of Fame)
The art of clowning has existed for thousands of years. A pygmy clown performed as a jester in the court of Pharaoh Dadkeri-Assi during Egypt’s Fifth Dynasty about 2500 B.C. Court jesters have performed in China since 1818 B.C. Throughout history most cultures have had clowns. (more…)
Never Give a Sucker an Even Break (1941), in which W. C. Fields, as himself, attempts to sell an “impossible, inconceivable, incomprehensible” screenplay to the studio.(more…)
Join The Honeymooners as they take their famous ‘Trip to Europe’… and this time they travel in color. Originally performed during the 1956-1957 season over eight shows, their journey now is introduced by the 1954 ‘Box Top Kid’ sketch, revamped as the new ‘In 25 Words or Less’ in which Ralph and Ed win their trip. The Jackie Gleason Show kicked off the 1966-1967 season by bringing back The Honeymooners, but with a few changes: the show was in color, musical performances were added and, in addition to Art Carney returning as Ed Norton, Sheila MacRae and Jane Kean joined the cast as Alice and Trixie. The Color Honeymooners Collection 1 includes nine, one-hour episodes of The Jackie Gleason Show digitally re-mastered and unedited. Included are Gleason’s glamorous Glea Girls, The June Taylor Dancers, Sammy Spear &His Orchestra and announcer Johnny Olson.(more…)
Larry Harmon had an undeniable genius in marketing Bozo the Clown, including TV shows, live appearances, lunch buckets, and literally hundreds of other items. Bop bags, comforters, tricycles, and the list can go on and on. Even today, 40 years later, with no Bozo show being broadcast, there is a sizable amount of Bozo paraphernalia available.(more…)
The entire Mr. Bean series (the whole bean), the British comic phenomenon created by Rowan Atkinson, is finally available in one complete package.
Editorial review of The Whole Bean courtesy of Amazon.com
Starring award-winning British comedy genius, Rowan Atkinson (Blackadder, Johnny English, Mr. Bean’s Holiday and Bean). The Mr. Bean internationally acclaimed TV series and two box office hit films continue to enthrall audiences worldwide and maintain his universal popularity. Remastered and included in this DVD set are all 14 episodes of the landmark original series that introduced Mr. Bean to an adoring, slap-stick awkward, world! Re-live the timeless Mr. Bean, the hapless, rubber-faced clown, who never fails to leave a trail of merry mayhem and side- splitting laughter in his wake.
Bean, Bean, maniacal nut / The more you watch, you bust a gut! First unleashed in 1989, this sketch series was embraced by PBS viewers in the United States. In the tradition of the great silent clowns, Rowan Atkinson created a character with universal and multi-generational appeal (the sketches have little dialogue and are driven by often ingenious physical comedy). Like Bart Simpson, the resourceful, mischievous, and sometimes malevolent Bean is the inner child incarnate who acts on the impulses polite society normally represses. Atkinson has described Bean as “a 9-year-old boy, with an apparent lack of worldly experience, but an ingenuity that is quite clever in dealing with problems presented to him.” These problems include not knowing a single answer on an exam, tactfully disposing of a revolting restaurant meal, changing into his swimsuit at the beach without first removing his pants, and, most hilariously, getting a turkey stuck on his head (a classic bit reprised in the ill-conceived 1997 feature film).
Atkinson has enjoyed some mainstream success stateside. He was the nervous minister (“…your awfully wedded wife”) in Four Weddings and a Funeral, and the voice of Zazu in The Lion King. But he mainly enjoys cult status among British comedy aficionados as a founding member of Not the Nine O’Clock News and the star of the Black Adder series. Bean is his crowning creation. In addition to all 14 episodes, this generous boxed set contains previously unaired sketches, Comic Relief appearances, and a segment about Bean’s creation, which serves as a nifty introduction for the uninitiated. It also contains a preview for the new Mr. Bean animated series. This seems redundant. As this collection hilariously demonstrates, Bean is already animated enough. –Donald Liebenson
Johnny English (2003) starring Rowan Atkinson, Natalie Imbruglia, Ben Miller, John Malkovich
Rowan Atkinson plays title role as the hilariously inept Johnny English. After unwittingly causing the deaths of England’s other secret agents … he’s the country’s only hope! May God have mercy on the UK.(more…)
The Banana Man was a vaudeville character created by Adolf Proper (November 27, 1886–December 17, 1950). He worked under the stage name A. Robins. The son of a Viennese textile manufacturer, he left home as a teenager to go into show business as a street performer. At that time he changed his last name to “Robins”. As he said, “Like Rubens, the painter”. He traveled through Europe in his younger days as a comedian who used musical instruments in his act. After coming to America he perfected his classic act(more…)
Sherlock Jr. (1924) starring Buster Keaton, Kathryn McGuire, Ward Crane
In Sherlock Jr., Buster Keaton stars as a movie theater projectionist who dreams of becoming a super-sleuth. In one sequence, he literally steps into the screen and brings his fantasies to life.(more…)