The European style of presenting wild cat acts was developed by the Hagenbecks in Germany near the end of the 19th century and was soon followed by most trainers in Europe. Many circuses responded to such charges by claiming that the days of training animals through punishment (à la Beatty) were long gone; instead, they insisted, the humane techniques of such trainers as Gunther Gebel-Williams, a German trainer who became famous with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, had become the norm. These shows placed figures from Mother Goose stories in wildly varied settings, always finding an excuse to transform them into the clown characters of traditional commedia dell'arte (Harlequin, Columbina, etc.). There are subtle differences in the American character clown types. Tom Belling senior (1843–1900) developed the red clown or Auguste (Dummer August) character c. 1870, acting as a foil for the more sophisticated white clown. Grimaldi was known as a master in the use of expressions of the body and face, unique sense of comic timing, imaginative byplay, and his overall comic abilities. As the circus developed in the 19th century, the clown came to play a definite role in it. The thrill and inherent danger of performing with wild animals has kept big cat acts around for decades. (April 20, 2015), Jando, Dominique. Most circus performances maintain a seemingly perpetual flow of music, signaling the changes of emphasis among simultaneous presentations as one event after another is highlighted. At a time, Dan Rice was more of a household name than Abraham Lincoln.

He is the more intelligent and sophisticated clown, contrasting with the rude or grotesque Auguste types. Gags can use many different types of blow-off (ending), but some of the most popular are the confetti bucket, the long shirt, a trousers drop or the time-honoured "all clowns exit running" although contemporary indoor shows may end a clown gag with a simple blackout.

With changes in circus and popular culture after the Civil War, his legendary talents under the big top have gradually slipped into almost total historical obscurity; biographer David Carlyon (2001) called him "the most famous man you've never heard of". Originally, Harlequin's role was that of a light-hearted, nimble and astute servant, paired with the sterner and melancholic Pierrot. (Note: Nowadays,[when?] Circuses in the United States were sometimes attached to “Wild West shows,” which emphasized displays and events of the Old West.

Frank Oakley, also known as Slivers (1871–1916) was the most popular circus clown of his generation. Shows are the overall production that a clown is a part of, it may or may not include elements other than clowning, such as in a circus show.

Other dramas performed in theatres and circuses about this time featured elephants, bears, monkeys, and horses in starring roles.

Is the 'Lovely Assistant' the Real Magician? The Guardian. This style of comedy has a long history in many countries and cultures across the world. The last Wild West show was Colonel Tim McCoy’s Wild West of 1938. In addition to his 'clowning' talents, he was an animal trainer, songwriter, commentator, political humorist, strong man, actor, director, producer, dancer, and politician. "Circus." Popular songs were loosely inserted whenever the audience needed a breather. A clown is a comic performer who employs slapstick or similar types of physical comedy, often in a mime style. Clowns have been associated with the circus since the late 18th century. His makeup is white, usually with facial features such as eyebrows emphasized in black. Talkers—often associated with the phrase “Step right up!”—were called “grinders” or “spielers.” As the 20th century progressed, attitudes changed toward the political correctness of such exhibitions and this caused the decline of the sideshow. The wild character of the animals, however, is revealed just often enough to remind the spectator that what was seen was indeed the result of skillful training. During the 19th century, his name was synonymous with theater. American comedian George L. Fox became known for his clown role, directly inspired by Grimaldi, in the 1860s.

When working in a traditional trio situation, the character clown will play "contre-auguste" (a second, less wild auguste), siding with either the white or red clown. He committed suicide, dying by gas asphyxiation, on March 8, 1916 in his room in New York City.

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His pantomimed act featured strong interaction with the audience, even bringing audience members into the ring to become an important part of the show. Many native tribes have a history of clowning. You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website.

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