Saturday, May 07, 2011

8 RULES FOR CLOWN GAGS: Paraphrased from Kurt Vonnegut

  1. Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.
  2. Give the audience at least one character he or she can root for.
  3. Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.
  4. Every moment must do one of two things—reveal character or advance the action.
  5. Start as close to the end as possible.
  6. Be a Sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your character, make awful things happen to them—in order that the audience may see what they are made of.
  7. Perform to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your clowning will get pneumonia.
  8. Give your audience as much information as possible as soon as possible. Your audience should have a complete understanding of what is going on.

Friday, May 06, 2011

COCO & COMPANY: Cocotina at Bertram Mills (1961)


Nikolai "Coco" Poliakoff showing his 16 year old granddaughter, Valentina "Cocotina" Rowlands the ropes with the help of Bertram Mills alleymates Jimmy Scott, "Little Billy" Merchant and Nicholas "Little Nicky" Needleman.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

CLOWN ALLEY: RBB&B, Bellvue Hospital (1931)


I've posted some of this footage before, but this is SOUND footage. In it we see Ernie Wiswell performing his Comedy Car act, a pre-Otto and Freddie Boxing gag and Felix Adler performing the Hair Grower as Jack LeClair looks on.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

ARNAUT BROTHERS: Nightingale Entree, Admiral Broadway Revue (1949)


After watching the above video please click the title of this post to be taken to video from NBC and the DuMont Network's Admiral Broadway Revue starring Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca in 1949.

Starting at the 8:00 mark, please enjoy Rene and John Arnaut's presentation of the Nightingale Entree, the only version that I've ever seen that doesn't make me cringe.