YESTERDAY'S TOWNS

HOWDY, MY NAME IS BILL STRONG, I'LL BE YOUR "24 HOUR MAN", ROUTING YOU INTO THE PAST TO SEE WHAT THE CIRCUS WAS IN DAYS GONE BY. IF YOU'RE LIKE ME, AND MISS WHAT IT USED TO BE, THEN COME ON ALONG AS WE GO DOWN THE ROAD FOLLOWING THE ARROWS BACKWARDS, TO "YESTERDAY'S TOWNS"! IF YOU HAVE CIRCUS RELATED PICTURES YOU WOULD LIKE POSTED, SEND THEM TO,,,,yesterday1@verizon.net,,,,AND WE WILL TRY TO FIT THEM IN. "24 HOUR MAN" WILL HAVE THE FINAL DECISION ON POSTING.

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Location: GIBSONTON, FLORIDA, United States

Three years at CWM made me a real traditionalist, and I keep remembering Bob Parkinson saying, "I want the people to see what the circus used to be, not what it is today. That's what this site is about!

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

HOW OLD IS THAT GAG????


While on circus Krone, in 1999, I watched The Jose Mitchell Trio, musical clowns, tear the house down doing a gag with a funnel, & a bucket of water, and I'm sure they are still doing the gag today. Here is a young clown by the name of Dime Wilson, with his father Gil,(left)& an unidentified clown, on Sells-Floto in 1929, and guess what gag they are doing. That's 77 years ago & I'll bet on it being older than that.

5 Comments:

Blogger Pat Cashin said...

That same gag was taught to me as a "classic of Russian clowning" by Yuri Belov at Ringling Clown College in '97.

He seemed kind of crestfallen later than night when I confided in him over a cigarette outside the Sarasota Opera House that the same gag was a well known standard at clown conventions, had been done on TV by Abbott and Costello and had appeared years before in John Wayne's film CIRCUS WORLD.

He told me that he'd dig out one of the real little known gems of the Russian circus for the next day's class.

The next day he taught us "The Busy Bee"..."Honey Bee, Honey Bee give me some honey...".

I said nothing.

5/31/2006 6:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember a hot water bottle with a leak that made a similar gag even more fun! cc

5/31/2006 10:19 PM  
Blogger 24-HOUR-MAN said...

The version I first saw was one clown suckered another into putting the funnel in the front of his pants, after the water is poured in, naturally he wants to pull the gag on someone else, but that someone else is wise and has the water bottle inside his pants to catch the water, as I remember it, that was the blowoff, I might be wrong.

6/01/2006 9:30 AM  
Blogger Pat Cashin said...

The way I learned it, Clown One bets Clown Two that he can't drop a quarter from his forehead and get it in the funnel stuck in his belt.

Clown Two takes the bet and as he looks up with the quarter on his forehead Clown One pours water into the funnel and down his pants.

Clown Three enters, action is repeated as Clown Two wants to soak Clown Three.

Clown Three pulls water bottle from his pants and beats Clowns One and Two over the head with it as, say it with me...

ALL CLOWNS EXIT RUNNING!

6/01/2006 11:18 AM  
Blogger 24-HOUR-MAN said...

Thanks for adding the details. That's it exactly. The Jose Mitchell version is different, the Whiteface clown, naturally all prim & proper holds the funnel over,(in this case), her head, and a chair is placed behind her, the laughs come in by the fact that every time one of the other clowns gets up to pour the water, she turns around to ask a question, and naturally the one with the water has to hide his intentions. One time he drinks from the bucket, naturally spilling most of it all over himself, another time setting the bucket on the chair, and splahing water on himself pretending to take a bath. I'm sure it loses a lot in the telling, but it is all done on a dead run in & out of the ring and is quite funny.

6/01/2006 12:27 PM  

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