Ringling Brothers

Pat Valdo's famous whiteface clown on a Ringling Brothers poster

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. (more…)

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Dead and Alive clown skit

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. (more…)

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Close up of Ron “Toto” Johnson’s auguste face

Toto Johnson photo gallery

Toto Johnson photo gallery, former Ringling Brother clown – a talented Auguste. (more…)

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Color photo of Paul Jung - face

Paul Jung photo gallery

Paul Jung photo gallery – famous producing whiteface clown, best known for his time with the Ringling Brothers circus – and for his face on Kellogg’s Sugar Smacks! (more…)

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Swede Johnson “salutes”

Swede Johnson photo gallery

Swede Johnson photo gallery, famous circus clown and animal trainer. After coming to the United States, Swede took the first job that he could find – as a rodeo clown, afterward becoming a circus clown. He then had a long career in the circus, working at different times and circuses as clown, animal trainer, and other things. Some of the circuses that he performed in include the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey, Bradley & Benson Circus & Rodeo, C. R. Montgomery Circus, Elks Circus, Shrine Circus, Biller Brothers, Rogers Brothers, Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus, Paul A. Miller shopping center circus.

Many of these photos are courtesy of the Clown Hall of Fame – they have our thanks. (more…)

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Frankie Saluto and bunny

Frankie Saluto photo gallery

Frankie Saluto photo gallery – Frankie Saluto was a famous circus clown and little person, who became famous with the Ringling Brothers Circus as the whiteface dwarf with the large live rabbit. His career also included an interpretation of a miniature Charlie Chaplin and he was a member of the Ringling Giants, a midget baseball team that promoted the circus.

Several of these photos of the International Clown Hall of Fame our thanks to them. (more…)

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Bill Ballantine, dean of Clown College

Bill Ballantine photo gallery

Bill Ballantine photo gallery – Bill Ballantine, illustrator and writer, traveled with the Ringling Brothers circus during the 1946 tour, caught the bug and become a professional clown the following season.  From 1969 through 1977, Ballantine served as dean of the Clown College. (more…)

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Paul Wenzel, color photo from the International Clown Hall of Fame

Paul Wenzel photo gallery circus clown

Paul Wenzel photo gallery circus clown – Professor Paul Wenzel was born in 1878 and performed as a circus clown for over 60 years throughout the United States of America. Paul Wenzel appeared with large and small shows before finding a permanent home with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.

Many of these photos are courtesy of the International Clown Hall of Fame our thanks to them. (more…)

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Priscilla Mooseburger and Frosty Little

Video tribute to the Ringling Brothers clowns

Video tribute to the Ringling Brothers clowns – After the final performance of the Ringling Brothers circus, this video was posted on YouTube celebrating many of the clowns from the Greatest Show on Earth.  With music from the Muppets – enjoy. (more…)

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Face of Glenn Frosty Little

Frosty Little photo gallery

Frosty Little photo gallery dedicated to Frosty Little, “Boss Clown” of the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey circus for several years. (more…)

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