Ever notice a lot of the zaniest famous clowns have red hair?? It makes them stand out, look different, be noticed.
And let’s face it. Clowns make us laugh. The goofy and outlandish costumes, gags and stunts, and stylized makeup and hairdos, plus skilled mannerisms all come together to create a specific character.
Clowns not only can make people laugh (or cry) but also have their own clown creed, clown commandments, and even clown prayers. There’s even an "International Clown Hall of Fame" in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, dedicated to the ‘Art of Clowning.’ Many famous clowns were involved with Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus as well as their renowned Clown College.
According to clown-ministry.com and Wikipedia, several types of clowns include:
Sad Tramp or Happy Hobo -- (often dressed in baggy suit and hat, white lips with dark beard.
Harlequin - often black and white costume
Whiteface – oldest clown with all white face, white bald head, and a hat
Auguste – silliest, zaniest clown, not real intelligent with wild makeup and hair. (And the redhead clowns seem to be mostly this type!)
A CLOWN’S PRAYER (One of the famous ones)
As I stumble through this life, help me to create more laughter than tears, dispense more cheer than gloom, spread more cheer than despair.
Never let me become so indifferent that I will fail to see the wonders in the eyes of a child, or the twinkle in the eyes of the aged.
Never let me forget that my total effort is to cheer people, make them happy, and forget momentarily all the unpleasantness in their lives.
And in my final moment, may I hear You whisper: "When you made My people smile, You made Me smile." --(Anonymous)--
-- SOME REDHEAD FAMOUS CLOWNS INCLUDE...
Bozo the Clown Bozo typically had wild red hair that stuck straight out and up from both sides of his head. Originally created by Alan Livingston and Capitol Records around 1946. Bozo became popular in the US in 1950s and was played by several different actors. In the mid-1950s, one of the Bozo actors Larry Harmon , bought the licensing rights to the character, renamed him "Bozo, The World’s Most Famous Clown." Harmon changed the costume, laugh, and voice plus producing cartoons, Bozo Bop Bag, lunch boxes, cereals (Bozo's Little O's' and later Frosted Flakes and Honey Nut Toasted Oats ), and popular ‘The Bozo Show’ TV programs. Bozo said: "Just remember what your old pal Bozo says, 'Juuusst keep laughing!'" Pinto Colvig also played Bozo the Clown as well as being the voice for many Disney characters such as Pluto, Goofy, and Sleepy and Grumpy from ‘The 7 Dwarfs’. For many clown enthusiasts, however, Bob Bell was THE Bozo the Clown for many years and a favorite.
Bello Nock (Real name: Demetrius Alexandro Claudio Amadeus Bello Nock ) (born 1968). This vivacious 'comic daredeveil' is usually just known as "Bello" and 'Time Magazine' has called him "America's Best Clown" and "greatest athlete to perform in Madison Square Garden." This famous clown's trademark is his 8-inch-spiked strawberry blonde/red flattop hairdo. Bello says it's all his own hair that is held in place by just good spritzes from powerful unscented hair spray (amazing!). He also wears a zoot suit (or tuxedo), saddle shoes, white gloves, and bow tie. Interestingly, this skilled gymnast does not wear traditional white-face clown makeup, only adding black eyebrows and red cheeks. He is from a 7th-generation Swiss circus family. Early in his career, he performed with the one-ring 'Big Apple Circus' for 3 years. He joined the famous 'Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus' -- appearing in over 500 shows each season and no stunt doubles or understudies! This energetic guy reportedly speaks 5 languages and plays 12 musical instruments! He's apparently returning to the 'Big Apple Circus.'
Clarabell the Clown Several people played Clarabell the Clown on the old TV series ’The Howdy Doody Show’ and was Howdy Doody’s partner and never spoke. Bob Keeshan played Clarabell first (he later became ‘Captain Kangaroo’), followed by Bobby Nicholson , and then lastly by Lew Anderson. Unfortunately, Clarabell often was seen mainly in the old black and white TV shows, but actually had a red wig as well as being mute and communicating by honking a horn.
A SONG about Clarabell says:
"Who has fuzzy-wuzzy hair? Clarabell! It’s partly red but mostly bare. Clarabell!..."
Harpo Marx (Real name: Adolph Marx) (1888-1964) Part of the Marx Brothers comedy team, he played the harp (self-taught), never speaking and using a horn to communicate. This famous clown's trademark was his big old top hat, horn, and a curly wig (color varied). At the beginning his wig was pinkish, (looking blondish on black & white films), but he darkened the wig to reddish color -- often being called "Rusty" in the films. Most of their comedy films from the 1920s were black and white so couldn't see the wig color. (See a color film on YouTube of Harpo, wearing a red wig and playing the harp.)
Cousin Otto by Gene Lee - Clown name came from his character seeming like someone in your family and became known as 'America's Favorite Relative.' Performed in Ringling Bros. Circuses and others circuses for over 50 years.
Cooky The Cook Famous clown played by Roy Brown for 25 years on the old TV series ’The Bozo Show’ and notorious for his bad cooking skills.
Buttons Famous clown played by Leon McBryde. He was with Ringling Bros. Circus and taught in their renowned Clown College. He also helped create the ‘Ronald McDonald School Safety Show.’
Rebo The Clown Famous clown by Beverly Bergeron. He was a magician clown who costarred with magician Mark Wilson. Rebo was famous for starting the twisting balloons into animals gag. Performed at Florida Sea World.
Coco The Clown Famous clown played by Michael Polakov. He was famous in England, having been a 3rd-generation Russian circus clown. He worked with Ringling Bros. Circus.
T.J. Tatters Famous clown played by Steve Smith. He toured with Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus and later was the Director of their wonderful Clown College.
Mr. Noodles Goofy red-haired clown played by Bill Irwin. He is one of the human characters seen on 'Sesame Street's Elmo's World' segments. He uses slapstick comedy to demonstrate a specific activity that the youngsters view and correct. Bill is an actor as well with a degree in Theater Arts; he then completed the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Clown college in the 1970s, and thus being best known for his theatrical clown work. He's appeared in dramatic plays, TV shows, and films as well.
A Clown Lou Jacobs, who was born in Germany, is a clown legend. He performed in Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus for over 60 years!! His famous clown character is often seen on their circus POSTERS. Well known for pretty much inventing the ‘clown car’ after regularly stuffing his 6-foot body into a 2 x 3 clown car. In the Clown Hall of Fame. He also performed in the circus movie ’The Greatest Show On Earth’ (with Charlton Heston and Betty Hutton); the movie gives a Hollywood glimpse behind the scenes of the circus.
A Clown Arthur Pedlar performed several clown characters, in France/Belgium. One of his redhead clowns was called Vercoe and was an absent-minded musical old auguste clown.
A Clown Bobby Faye performed with Ringling Bros. Circus and also taught in their Clown College.
A Clown Cliffy the Clown American clown who first debuted on the hour-long, black-and-white ABC family TV show 'Super Circus' on Sunday afternoons. Cliffy had a balding head with what appears to be reddish hair on the sides, oversized shoes, red nose; fellow clowns on the show were Nick and Scampy. In 1953 Cliffy was an official mascot of the breakfast cereal 'Kellogg's Sugar Smacks' until 1956.
A Clown Felix Adler is often called the ‘White House Clown’ because he performed for 3 US Presidents (W.Harding, F.D.Roosevel, and C.Coolidge). He’s believed to have been the 1st clown to perform on TV. He joined Ringling Bros. Circus and was known for using little piglets in his gag routines and his tiny hats and umbrella.
A Clown Red Skelton Not only was he a natural redhead himself, Red was a talented clown, a mime, an actor, a comedienne, and more.... (Read more about Red on my 'Famous Actors' (redheads) page!)
A Clown Danny Kaye Talented singer, actor, and one of the world's best-known comediennes. And, apparently, he really was a natural redhead as well... (Read more about Danny on my "Famous Actors" (redheads) page.)
Ronald McDonald Mascot for the fast-food restaurant giant, McDonald’s. He wears a colorful yellow, red and white costume and huge red shoes. His bright red hair appears in different ‘hairdo’ styles, depending upon country or time line. There are conflicting reports about who actually ‘created’ the colorful Ronald McDonald character and include Willard Scott as well as the team George Voorhis/Terry Teene. Nevertheless, this redheaded famous clown is known around the world!
The Hamburglar One of the 'McDonaldland' fantasy world characters. He's a red head hamburger thief who wore a red cape and gloves, big black hat, and black-and-white shirt/pants - usually muttering something like "burger, burger" or other child-like gibberish. Charlie Adler, Howard Morris, and Carl Wolfe have been credited with doing the voice over the years. The Hamburglar was apparently 'retired' and only used briefly after concern that he might be a negative influence on kids (a thief, stealing hamburgers).