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Friday, November 28, 2008

Emmett Kelly Sr.'s Weary Wiley Sweeping the Spot Light

Emmett Kelly, Sr. born Dec 2nd 1898 in Sedan, Kansas a clown for wringley Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus and performed as Weary Willy. But before all that fame came his way he worked as a cartoonist for a silent film company and drew his first tramp cartoon, he was the underdog who could never succeed no matter how much he tried, except just that once in a while he did??? His fame was world wide and because of it was inducted into the Clown Hall of Fame in 1989. In 1967 Emmitt Kelly's Museum was built. Emmett took his dream one step further. He joins Howe's Great London circus as an aerialist and doubling as a white faced clown. He soon joined John Robinson's circus as a trapeze artist..It was here he met fell in love and married his soon to be wife Eva Moore. But still performing his white face clown antics. In 1933 Weary Willie made his appearance and became successful due to the period they were living in, the great depression. He was soon working at the Hagenbeck-Wallace circus lucky to have work, remember the depressions too most of the jobs. 1935 he joined the Cole Brothers and Clyde Beatty Circus. In the late 30s he joined the Mills Circus in England.. He was given the honor of performing for the Queen of Spain and Winston Churchill as well as other major players in the world. His big break came during the war 1942 when he met John Wringling North who hired him for ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus. His sweeping of the spot light became world famous ending each show, during the show you might find Weary Willy in the stands playing to the audience, or he might be dusting off the animals or hanging up his laundry. As a child I remember going to the curcus not for the tight rope walker, or the lion tames, yet they were all great, but to see the then famous Weary Willy better known to me as Emmitt Kelly. He was with that circus for 14 years. He popularity spread to the broadway stage, tv and movies, as well as a mascot for the soon to move Brooklyn Dodgers. 1957 he joined the Shrine circus and made personal appearances worldwide. on March 28th 1979 Emmett Kelly Sr. Passed on to the big circus in the sky. Look up every once in a while and you just might see a clown sweeping the stars around.

Emmett Kelly's autobiography, written a few years before his death, containing much information about the creation and performance of his Weary Willie character.

1 comment:

Ms.J.Booher said...

I came across this site looking for the best place to put my Flambro original Emmitt Kelly figurines for sale, do you have any suggestions?

Thank you