September 1, 1987 |
Francis J. "Frank" Stermel, a Mummer for 61 years whose expert clown strut was photographed for an exhibit at the Mummers Museum, died Sunday. He was 71 and lived in South Philadelphia. Stermel, known as "Mr. Clown" in Mummer circles, nearly didn't make it up Broad Street for the 1987 Mummers Parade because of failing health. But his spirits were lifed and he made the trip, a cane in one hand and parasol in the other, after seeing his photograph on the cover of a Mummers Parade brochure.
December 23, 1987 |
For several years now, a sad-faced, dark-eyed, heavily bearded, clown- hating clown calling himself Avner the Eccentric has been silently roaming America balancing 100 paper cups on his nose, eating his own face and surviving a near-fatal attraction to juggling baseball bats. As a 39-year-old, mayhem-prone mime who is continually in danger of drowning in his personal ocean of disaster, Avner has earned waves of raves from unlikely sources - like the highbrow New York Times ("A lovable fool!
August 12, 1989 |
Remember A Thousand Clowns, the Broadway hit of years ago? Well, the folks who run the Route 30 auction in Clementon could use that title for their sale this evening, at which more than 1,000 clowns and clown- related items will be sold, starting at 6. Clowns are popular subjects for porcelain collectibles and are made under a variety of brand names, including Ron Lee - which features limited-edition figures - and the mass-produced Circus...
December 6, 1991 |
Peterhoff is a clown who seeks to expand the conventional conception of clowning. Like the fellows who cavort under the circus big top, he wears outlandish clothes, paints his face, juggles and acts silly. He is also a stand-up comedian, a magician and a sort of philosopher. At his best, Peterhoff, who is performing at MTI Tabernacle Theater through Sunday, is a pleasant, entertaining fellow, but there is nothing outstanding about his performing talents or his show. He is an ordinary comedian, a run- of-the-mill magician and a rather murky philosopher.
December 7, 1986 |
Combining dance, clowning and mime with the themes of Hanukah and Jewish humor under the heading of "Jest For the Health of It" is the challenge that Audrey G. Bookspan faces. On Sunday, this Oreland resident will dance and clown her way through a performance at at Beaver College in Glenside. The lifelong dancer said she would focus on rhythm and how it brings people together. For instance, she said, when a crowd begins to clap in unison, all the individuals are sharing in a common rhythm.
May 1, 1989 |
Last week, City Council watched a clown solve the city's budget problems by performing magic. This week, Council will try to impersonate the clown. With public hearings completed on Mayor Goode's "back to basics" budget, Council now begins looking for ways to go back to the good old days, and may need some tricks to do it. Interviews with various Council members indicate support for restoring $15 million to $20 million to the programs cut in Goode's budget - but without raising taxes.
June 7, 1986 |
Sunshine in baggy pants and a silly coat strutted into Martha Hunter's quiet little room at the Mary J. Drexel Home yesterday, and not a moment too soon. Martha Hunter, 83, had been having a bad time, partly because she has Parkinson's disease and a few other problems, but mostly because the circus was in town. She's an old circus hand, see, and she gets the blues nowadays when the circus comes through and she can't get out to see it. So some people from the home contacted some people from the circus, who contacted Frosty Little, master clown, who said something like: "Sad?
September 21, 1986 |
By 3 minutes to 11 on a recent morning in the North Court of the Exton Square Mall, the excitement had reached a fever pitch. The audience - composed of tots perched impatiently on their mothers' laps, older brothers and sisters on the edge of their seats and a grandmother or two - was anxiously awaiting the appearance of the marionettes at the stroke of 11. When the curtain opened, the action on stage mesmerized the children and adults, holding...
July 13, 1993 |
Howard Jones, the Channel 6 TV personality who created the character of Happy the Clown because he couldn't play Santa Claus 12 months a year, died Sunday of cancer. Jones, who would have celebrated his 84th birthday this weekend, lived in Center City. "I used to play Santa Claus. The ratings on the show were good, and after Christmas we wanted to keep them that way," Jones once told a reporter. "But you can't do Santa Claus 12 months a year. So we wondered what the children would like.
December 4, 1992 |
Rosalie Rucker remembers her roots. That's why she will don a bright red wig and colorful clown outfit at the Monroe Township children's library's grand opening tomorrow afternoon. If it weren't for the library, Rucker said, she wouldn't be a teacher in the Washington Township District - or a clown today. "You never know where life's road will lead you," the Williamstown mother of two teenagers said. "It was through the library I became a teacher. " Rucker, 44, was urged to go back to school and pursue teaching 15 years ago by a former librarian here.