Emmett Kelly, Jr. : Travels Through American History With the World’s Most Famous Hobo Clown by Nicholas J. Croce, Susan Burke, Thomas Burke (Editor), Emmett Kelly
There are three basic types of clowns: The Whiteface clown is the oldest and most well-known of the clowns The Auguste clown is the least intelligent, and zaniest of the clowns The character clown is most commonly represented by the Sad Tramp or Happy Hobo Special thanks to Jim Howle, for the graphics of the clowns found on these pages.
Harold “Happy” Kellems (1905-1987) 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.
JIM HOWLE (1939 – ) Jim Howle is one of the most versatile clowns performing today. In addition to his performing skills, which are finely honed, he is also a famous artist and expert on clown make up. Jim is a native of Darlington, South Carolina, where his mother was an artist, and Jim was […]
Clown Tutorial – creating your clown face – clown makeup introduction There are many things to be said about clown makeup – however, there is one thing that must come first. Ignore what you’ve heard — your clown face is not a mask! It’s entirely the opposite — rather than hide your features, it should […]
Let’s talk about some of the specifics of your clown costume. Keep in mind a few basic guidelines: Colorful – you want to be seen from a distance Large patterns – you need to be seen from a distance; as well, this visually establishes your ‘clownishness’ Contrast, not conflict – you want to have physical […]
Emmett Kelly, Sr. (December 9, 1898 – March 28, 1979) – Weary Willy Emmett Kelly Sr., the most well-known of the tramp clowns of the circus. His character, Weary Willy, was the perpetual underdog, who never gave up – and, because of it, occasionally won. He was inducted into the Clown Hall of Fame […]
Happy hobos and sad tramps – Character of the tramp and hobo clown The character clown is widely thought of as the tramp or hobo, but it can encompass many other things. For instance, a cowboy clown, virtually all of Red Skelton’s TV characters (Sheriff Deadeye, Clem Kaddiddlehopper, the mean widdle kid, Cauliflower McPugg, etc.), […]
Don Burda, Homer the happy hobo (1935 – 2008) Don Burda grew up in the small town of Friend, Nebraska, and married his high school sweetheart, Delores (better known as “Dee”), in 1956. In 1960, he moved to California to pursue a theatrical career, and during a period of 15 years was cast in thirty-eight […]