2/24/11

Emmett Kelly - Writer's block.

Yesterday's post about the "Disappointment" heirloom art plate prompted Craig to mention Emmett Kelly in the comments. I then remembered that I had this Emmett Kelly picture I scanned from a children's book my older brother had in the sixties.
Emmett Kelly was a famous clown that was famous before Bozo was famous for being a famous clown. This was back in the fifties, when you could conceivably become famous just by performing in the circus.

I remembered this picture being funny for some reason, but now I can't remember why, for the life of me. I can't think of a single joke about this picture. It's just an ordinary, wholesome photograph of a clown feeding a hot dog to a young girl. Sorry to let everyone down. Must be writer's block, or maybe I'm losing my touch.

Emmett Kelly's clown character was called "Weary Willie".

It's interesting that Emmett Kelly's son, Emmett Kelly junior, stole some of dad's thunder by also dressing up as a clown called "Weary Willie". Emmett senior didn't care for this sort of thing, and the two didn't speak for years. I guess they made up eventually, before Emmett Sr.'s death in 1979. Strangely, his death was in no way boxcar-related.


Here's a photograph of Weary Willie Jr., that I stole from Wikipedia. I think this picture should also be hilarious, but man, I've got nothing. Maybe it's part of the ineffable magic of clowns that they can make the most innocent situation funny in a way that transcends culture or social zeitgeist. That sentence sounds true, but then why is it that I hate clowns?



Sorry this is such an off day for me. I'll try to find something funny to post tomorrow.

4 comments:

Craig said...

Oh, to be transported back to the days when unshaven, disheveled, creepy bums provided an endless source of amusement.

The Emmett Kelly/Emmett Kelly Jr. thing reminds me of Gallagher, and his brother "Gallagher II" who also had a family battle royale over an equally hackneyed, talent-free act.

Phil Are Go! said...

Yes, those spangled punchinellos of yesteryear can take an ordinary gesture like encircling your groin with your fingers and make it funny. Simpler times.

As far as Gallagher goes, he seems to be circling the drain, mentally speaking. A few weeks ago, Adam Carolla had another stand-up as a guest on his podcast who was talking about a recent encounter with Mr. G. Apparently, he's very bitter that people have grown tired of him, and he thinks that nobody understands the cultural statement he was trying to make. Really.

Craig said...

Oh, that was Marc Maron's WTF podcast. You've got to listen to it. It's incredible.

He wants to know why he didn't get the Tonight Show.

Uh, maybe it's because Carrottop is at least 10 people ahead of you in line?

PS: Big Adam Carolla Podcast fan.

Phil Are Go! said...

Responses to your responses, in order...

-Ah! That sounds familiar. Marc must have been the guest, because I definitely heard it on the AC podcast. Nice pull.

-Shocking. I need to sit down.

-At least ten people, and there are a few hundred ahead of Carrot Top.

-Get it on!

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