Monday, 28 May 2012

George Carl

When a certain kind of person sees my tennis racket act they immediately think of George Carl. The hysterical little man with the sticky fingers which got more laughs than any from his persistent struggles with his microphone and stand. Here he is.
pic - Ramirez Family Workshop
George Carl (7 May 1916 – 1 January 2000) was a "vaudevillian" style comic & clown. Carl was born in Ohio, and started his comedy career traveling with a variety of circuses during his teenage years. In time, Carl would become internationally famous as a clown and visual comedian.

There is very little info about the life and times of this great clown available online. If anyone knows of any I would be very interested in hearing about it. I know he was the resident clown at the Crazy Horse Paris for several years, but don't know when... That said, I am proud to have performed at Crazy Horse too, following in the footsteps of such luminaries as George Carl, Finn Jon, and Otto Wesley.

Buy this poster here...
George Carl made his film debut in Funny Bones. He was 79 when the movie was made in 1995. The film is absolutely tremendous and a must see for any Illuminated Showman or circus enthusiast.
In it George plays a version of his silent stage character which only speaks once and when it does it is beautiful.

"Our suffering is special.                  

The pain we feel is

worse than anyone else.
But the sunrise we see is

more beautiful than anyone else.                 

The Parkers the moon.                   

There's one side forever dark.

Invisible. As it should be.                  

But remember, the dark moon

draws the tides also.                  

Our time has come."                  

"That's the most wonderful thing

You've said in years."       

"That's the only thing I said in years."
Full transcript of the movie here.
George Carl in the middle.

Every one is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody.
Mark Twain

Here is a beautiful high energy, tight version of the act from the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson

"George Carl around the mid-1950's acting up in the yard with his wife and brother. Somewhere in Ohio."

"Uncle George (George Carl) back in the 60's practicing in our front yard in Mineral Ridge, Ohio. In this video he demonstrates his innate acrobatic abilities." (Both these gorgeous super 8 films have been put up on youtube by wilberwisom.)

From about nine minuets thirty, George comes back and does an encore. A clown on a tightrope... Also he does more of his silly walking both in the beginning and the end.

This is a rare glimpse of Goerge and others (Francis Brunn,Natahlie Enterline,George Carl,Rudy Coby,Michael Moschen,Karen Carmichael) in a home movie / road movie / behind the scenes look at a show which toured Germany in 1992.  (youtube channel of mikechirrick)
George appears at about 2.20.


  1. thanks for the info, I'm a bit dissapointed there is so little info about this great man.

  2. Apparently he was in the early stages of Alzheimers when he filmed Funny Bones, according to his son George, Jr., who lives in Crown Point, Indiana.