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Wheeler the Clown Wheeler the Clown                      Presents . . .

  Expert Clown Quiz

(for those who really know their Clowns)

The Answers


  1. Which is not one of the  four categories of rodeo clowns?
b. Clown Matadors are sometimes found in countries with bullfighting is popular (i.e. Mario Reyes; not in the (American) rodeo.
   2. Which clown has entertained people at the circus, on Broadway, in the movies, at baseball games, and on television?
c. Emmett "Weary Willie" Sr.Emmett "Weary Willie Kelly" Sr. delighted audiences in all of these entertainment mediums
  3. KarandashMichael "Karandash" Rumyantsev was a famous Soviet auguste clown. What does Karandash mean?
d. Karandash is Russian for Pencil
  4. In the 1964 movie, Circus World," who played a superstitious performer whose heritage and head were in the clouds on a trapeze, but whose feet were kept firmly on the ground by a stepdad who kept the performer playing such parts as a sharpshooter and a circus clown?
e. Claudia Cardinale
  5. Pinto Colvig Sr., the original Bozo the Clown, also did voiceover work for Walt Disney animated cartoons and features. Which of the following was not one of the characters he voiced?
e. Pinto was never the voice of Donald Duck    

  6.

Walt Disney and what famous clown were at one time co-workers at the same advertising company?
c. Emmett Kelly, Sr. and Walt Disney both worked in the early 1920s for the Adv. Film Advertising Agency.
  7. Who has been called, amongst other titles, "the White House Clown?
e. Felix Adler, the White House ClownFelix Adler  was called  the White House clown because during his long career, he performed for U.S. Presidents Calvin Coolidge, Warren G. Harding, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
 8. Who was the first person to be appointed Boss Clown of both the red and blue units of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus?
c. Glen "Frosty" LittleGlen "Frosty" Little
  9. What British location is the current site of an annual service honoring the great clown Joseph Grimaldi?
e. The annual service is now held in Clowns Church, the Holy Trinity in Dalston, London (but it was originally held in St. James Church; burial place of Grimaldi)
 10. In 1956, several Clowns, including Emmett Kelly Senior, Otto Griebling, and Poodles Hanneford, resigned from the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus. What was the most likely reason for all of these resignations?
a. They resigned in support of a strike of the circus's non-performing personnel.
11. Who was the  first clown known by name to perform in an American circus?
c. British clown  Tom Sully was brought to the United States 1793 by John Bill Ricketts to perform for the Rickett's circus.
12. In 1980, Peggy Williams left clowning to pursue another career. What was her new job?
d. Peggy WilliamsPeggy Williams left clowning to accept a position with the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey circus education program.
13. JoJo Lewis, a circus clown and contemporary of Emmett Kelly Sr., is credited for being the first to portray what clown character type?
b. JoJo is credited as being the first cop clown
14. Joseph Grimaldi's final clown performance was to raise money for a specific purpose. What was it?
a. Grimaldi needed the money for his own upkeep, as physical problems were forcing him to retire. Grimaldi was so weak he sat in a chair during his appearance on stage.
15. Historically speaking, which of the following is not a specific clown type?
c. Bozo was originally a term used to mean any circus clown; now is it is associated with one specific clown character, not a specific clown type.
16. Which of the following clowns was never a part or full owner of a circus?
b. Albert Fratellini was a theatrical clownAlbert Fratellini performed strictly on the stage with two of his brothers, Francois and Paul, and had no connection whatsoever with the circus.
17. Which of the following is not the child of a circus clown?
c. Annie Fratellini descended from a theatrical clownAnni Fratellini is the granddaughter of theatrical clown Paul Fratellini; not the child of a circus clown.
18. Thomas Belling is the man who is usually credited for creating the original Auguste clown. Belling was not very successful as a clown, however, and soon chose a different profession. What did he become? 
d. After failing as a clown, Belling became a professional magician
19. Early 20th Century Russian Clowns / comics freely lampooned important public figures and events in their acts. (Kind of like Jay Leno and David Letterman do today). Sometimes the public figures ignored the barbs; sometimes not. On one of the NOT situations, Vladimir Durov was banned from a European country after he compared a well know public figure to a warmonging pig. Who was the public figure, and from what country was Durov banished from?
b. It was Kaiser Wilhelm who was insulted when Vladimir Durov's trained pig marched around the ring wearing the same headgear that the Kaiser always wore, and dragging a sword. Durov was, of course, banished from Germany.
20. R'izhii was a specific and popular clown type in Russia in the 1800s and 1900s. What does the word R'izhii mean?
d. In Russian, R'izhii means Red-haired
21. In 1944, the famous Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus's famous grand spectacle featured famous clown Emmett "Weary Willie" Kelly, Sr. What was this spectacle called?
b. Panto's Paradise
22. Which of the following is a famous rodeo clown?
c. Quail Dobbs (Poodles Hanneford did portray a clown prospector in a wild west show, though)
23. Some authorities claim that the present-day auguste clown (and certainly Albert Fratellini's makeup) was inspired by which earlier clown type?
e. R'izhii. As far as Albert Fratellini's makeup was concerned, this is probably true. Albert was born in Russia, so easily could have been influenced by the R'izhhi.
24. John Ringling, one of the famous Ringling Brothers, bequeathed a diamond stickpin to the one clown chosen most popular by fellow members of the clown alley. Who received the stickpin?
d. Frankie Saluto, most popular amongst his peersFrankie Saluto was unanimously voted to receive the pin.
25. Which of the following was not a standard part of Emmett "Weary Willie" Kelly, Sr.'s widely recognized costume and/or makeup?
b. a big white frown, contrary to general conception, was not part of Weary Willie's look. Emmett surrounded his lips with an almost perfect white oval, which allowed his own facial expressions to shape Willie's appearance.
26. Which of the following was not one of Emmett Kelly Sr.'s early circus occupations?
b. a comic equestrian is one of the few occupations that Emmett Sr. did not perform for the circus. (but another famous tramp clown, Otto Griebling did).


Score 1 pt. for each correct answer. How did you do?
 0-5 pts. Do you even know what a clown is? You need to get out more.
 6-10 pts. You have seen some clowns in your coloring book.
11-15 pts. You must have read several books about the circus and clowns.
16-20 pts. You must attend a lot of circuses and watch the clowns closely.
21-26pts.   Congratulations! You have greasepaint for blood and are truly an intellectual clown!

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   This Website was updated on: 07/21/2004