Pat Valdo

Pat Valdo (1881-1970)

Pat Valdo, in whiteface clown makeup, entertaining a group of children with a toy

Pat Valdo had a long career with the American circus.  He became one of the iconic clowns, and later became director of personnel at the Ringling Brothers circus. Continue reading

Dead and Alive

Dead and Alive clown skit

Clowns Steve Smith and Jeffrey Steele perform the ‘Dead and Alive’ clown skit from the ‘Clown Gags’ section of the ‘Be A Clown’ video from Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey, 1987.  Clown bits include walking into a missed handshake, alternating hat tip and offered a hand, dealing with moving an apparently unconscious clown and a dropping hat routine. Runs whole skit, then discusses some performance aspects. Continue reading

Delivery running gag

The delivery running gag is a classic clown routine — I first heard of it with Otto Griebling, where he would wander through the stands of the circus carrying a small plant, calling out the name of a fictional person to deliver the plant to, such as Mrs. McGillicuddy-Smythe. He wouldn’t find her, of course, and leave …

Only to return later with another, larger plant again being unsuccessful, and left again … Continue reading