Bruce Johnson

Charlie The Juggling Clown

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Who Am I ?

by Bruce "Charlie" Johnson

How many clues do you need to guess the identity of this International Clown Hall Of Fame inductee?

1. My parents were both clowns.

2. At the age of eight, I joined my parents in their eccentric music comedy act.

3. From 1927 until 1938, my father, Jean Marie, and I were part of a trio of resident clowns at the Cirque Medrano in Paris.  Porto was our original partner.  When he left in 1934, my brother, Philip, took Porto's pIace. 

4. The Fratellini Brothers sent one of their daughters to spy on us and see what we were doing in our acts.  She and I eventually became married.

5. I appeared at the England's Blackpool Tower Circus from 1939 until 1979.  The only years I did not appear there during that time were 1944 and 1945 because the circus was closed due to the war.

6. I did two shows at the Blackpool Tower Circus each year.  One was a musical act, and the other was a "slosh" act involving water and soap suds.

7.  I played 30 different musical instruments, including a stirrup pump.  I could play top G after top C on the trumpet.

8. Sir MalcoIm Sargeant took his entire orchestra to the circus to study my musical technique and timing.

9. I performed 150 free shows each year at children hospital wards.  Each week I also wrote personal letters to hospitalized children urging them to be sure to take their medicine.

10. My make up was inspired by Charlie Chaplin.

11.  During my 40 years at the Blackpool Tower Circus, I worked with an elegant whiteface clown in a spangled costume.  My father was my first partner.  My next three partners were all named Paul.  They were Paul Freeman, Paul King, and Paul Connor.  My son, Charlie, was my last partner.

12. I was inducted into the International Clown Hall Of Fame in 2002.

Who Am I?


Copyright 2002 by Bruce Johnson. All rights reserved.

This information was excerpted from The Clown In Times Volume Six.

Information on publications, by Bruce "Charlie" Johnsonon publications, by Bruce "Charlie" Johnson



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