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History Trivia Quiz Part Two

These History Trivia questions were originally published in my Thought For The Week email newsletter.   

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After each question, click on the answer you believe is most accurate.


31.  Joseph Grimaldi is considered the Father of Modern Clowning.  Some people erroneously credit him with being the first Whiteface clown.  He was not the first to wear Whiteface make up.  However, he did introduce a new style of make up design and wardrobe.  He is important because he elevated the Whiteface clown from a supporting to starring role in nineteenth century British theater.  His father, Giuseppi Grimaldi, was a dancing master and pantomimist.  He appeared sometimes as a clown in British pantomimes.  Joseph began his performing career at the age of four by appearing on stage with his father.  His first role was



32.  The clown who wore the appropriate birthstone each month on the end of his nose was



33. Super Circus was a network television show broadcast from Chicago from 1949 until 1955.  The clowns on the show were Cliffy (Cliff Sobier), Nicky (Nicky Francis), and Scampy (Bardy Patton and then Sandy Dobritch).  While Kellogg’s sponsored the program they introduced a new product, Sugar Smacks, which had a clown on the cereal box.  The clown depicted was:



34.  When Red Skelton’s radio program debuted in January 1939 the vocalist on the program was




31. A. A miniature version of his father  False.  It common in the twentieth century for children to appear as miniature versions of adult entertainers.  However there is no evidence that Joseph performed as a miniature version of his father according to Grimaldi expert Richard Findlater.

31. B. A monkey  True.  In the nineteenth century young children served an apprenticeship in the theater performing “skinwork” portraying monkeys, dogs, and other animals.  This provided them an easy way to learn the basics of theater work without being required to learn a complete role.

32. A Felix Adler.  True.  During one period of his career, Felix, known as the King of the Clowns, would stick the appropriate gem into the putty he used to form his nose.

32. B. Paul Jerome.  False.  Paul Jerome embedded a flashlight bulb in the putty he used to form his nose.  A wire went up the center of his forehead, under his wig, and down to the pocket of his coat where he had a battery and a door bell button to turn it on.  Paul Jerome also wore a plastic heart on the breast of his coat.  The heart was filled with bulbs which would flash on and off when he gazed at a beautiful woman in the audience. 

33. A.  Cliffy wrong The Super Circus Clowns appeared on many licensed products including a plastic model circus.  They performed the middle commercial of the show advertising Kellogg’s products.  However, Cliffy was not depicted on Sugar Smacks.

33. B. Paul Jung correct  Kellogg’s ads in the RBB&B Circus programs showed the Paul Jung boxes of Sugar Smacks.  His picture was also included on the small Sugar Smacks boxes in the snack packs.   The Super Circus commercials also showed regular sized Sugar Smacks boxes with Lou Jacobs pictured on the front.

34 A.  Harriet Hilliard True.  The bandleader on the Skelton show was Ozzie Nelson.  His wife, using her maiden name, was the band’s vocalist.  In addition to providing the music for the show, Harriet performed the female comedic roles including the mother of Junior, the Mean Widdle Kid.  Ozzie played many of the male supporting roles.  When the show went on an extended hiatus because Red Skelton went into the military, the Nelson’s started their own show called the Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet. 

 34 B.  Marilyn Maxwell  False.  Marilyn Maxwell appeared on the Abbott and Costello show sponsored by Camel Cigarettes.  The show started with the anagram C is for Comedy, A is for Bud Abbot, M is for Marilyn Maxwell, E is for Skinny Ennis, and L is for Lou Costello.  (Skinny Ennis was the bandleader.)  C stood for comedy instead of Lou Costello, which would have been more logical since the last names of the other performers were used, because Bud Abbot was the straightman of the team.  In vaudeville and burlesque the straightman was considered more important than the comedian to the success of the act so their name was always listed first.  The straightman also received sixty percent of the team’s income.  That practice continued in radio and early movies.

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