Arts in the Family: A Family of Artists Just Trying to Make a Living in the Wilds of Texas


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Clown Gag Footage- 113th Edition Ringling Bothers Barnum and Bailey Circus 1983

Today's post is to share really wonderful footage of clowns on the Ringling show working the three rings during the course of the show back in 1983. That's back when clowns of the RBBBC had plenty of time to do their thing. It's a bit different these days. No offense intended to the current Ringling clown alleys on the road. They're a very talented group of performers doing the best they can given the changes that have been instituted in that circus during the last twenty or so years by the powers that be. 

Master Prop Builder George Shellenberger

In 1989, my wife got to be in the alley before such changes occurred. When I was on the road for the first time in late 1993, things were already changing but we still had Come-in, track gags, walkarounds and a couple of ring gags during the course of the three hour show. We also had master clown prop builders like Mr. George Shellenberger and others who produced many wonderful clown "goodies" during the summer at Clown College or at Winter Quarters if we weren't doing it ourselves. Times change.

The last time we were on the road in 2001,come-in was replaced by "The Three Ring Adventure" which I liken to a giant bazaar or circus market. It's a flurry of sound and activity and it's where we had one and a half minutes to perform a gag.

 It's so radically different today but it's nice to share this footage, courtesy of Mr. Nic Beery, who I've never had the pleasure of meeting,  to give you a taste of the fun they had when clowns were held in a little higher regard there. Enjoy!

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