Happy Time Clowns
Tom Horton's Talent. Smiles and laughter since 1992

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416- 607-6855 Toronto
  416-709-7918 (seven days a week)

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Toronto, Mississauga, Richmond Hill, Woodbridge, Brampton, Hamilton, Brantford, Oakville, Markham, Barrie Burlington, Dundas, Windsor Ontario
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Clowning through History:  the ABCs
Happy Time Clowns & Magicians services Toronto, Mississauga, Oakville, Burlington, Hamilton and other cities in southern Ontario.

No 'clowning around', the history of clowning is rich, vibrant and to present day,

providing much more to world culture than just 'fun with a red nose'. Move through the

alphabet, A to Z, to read more about clowns through time.

A. The Auguste clown was created to serve as an intermediary between the so-called

classic white face clown and the tramp caricature. The makeup and costuming

are over-the-top, exemplifying the status of the clown.

B. Bert Williams was a black man who entertained on stage and in movies as a tramp

clown character. No movie or recording had starred an African-American before

Bert Williams. He was highly acclaimed for his ability to humanize the tramp

clown caricature created by the white entertainment industry.

C. The Court Jester may be the most well-known historical exemplification of the

clown. They were white-face clowns adorned with three-point head pieces and

matching pointed collars. They were the entertainers of the King's court and

enjoyed great freedom - even to the point of influencing court decisions.

The most famous female jester, Mathurine, presided at the French Court during

the reign of three Kings.

D. The Dorian Mimes troupes remind us that women have played central roles in clown

history. These troupes included women who portrayed the female clown roles,

as musicians, dancers and acrobats, from the 7th century BC through another 1000

years, influencing Greek and Roman classical theatre.

E. Egypt's first-known fool was a pygmy who presided over the court of the Fifth

Dynasty. Although a physical curiosity, he was not an 'idiot'. Part of the fool's

value as an entertainer might be derived from a grotesque appearance.

F. The Frattellini Brothers, Francoise, Paul and Albert, raised clowning to the

level of an art - at least according to the French.

They were entrenched in the circus by the age of five and by adulthood, were more

than accepted by French intellectuals. They were known as fantastic comics, acrobats

and musicians, and were often copied by other Auguste clowns.

G. 'Grotesque' clown - not to be mistaken for 'ugly' were first made popular in the

mid-nineteenth century. the clowns were tumblers, jugglers, comic actors and master

equestrians. This was the first showing of the horse in the circus.

H. Harlequin clowns were 'commedia' clowns, but should be better known as chameleons.

They could be comic or sad, masculine or feminine, sweet or vulgar. The Harlequin

is truly the finesse description of the Historical clown.

I. In the beginning, there were balloons - then, came balloon animal artists.

Twisting and sculpturing balloons began in the 1920's but didn't become popular

'till skinny balloons were produced after WW2.

Actually, the art of balloon animals may be a misnomer since much more than animals

are created. Hats, flowers, swords, and balloon sculptures for special occasions and


J. The Jester is traditionally known for outrageous pranks that normally would result in

severe punishment. they saved themselves, again and again, with parody and insolence.

Unfortunately, some court jesters got too close - went too far - and were banished from

their courts and their countries.

K. Buster Keaton grew up in vaudeville as part of his family's physical comedy act. In his

silent films of the 1920's, his formula for comedy is based on wild chase scenes and

trick scenery. Buster Keaton's deadpan expression will continue to be as familiar to us

as any clown face.

L. Stan Laurel of Laurel and Hardy fame, was one of the many early film comics who grew up in

the world of vaudeville. in his films, comic opposition was the key - one, the schemer,

the other, the 'stooge'. They, he, wasn't the first - in the mime plays of ancient Rome,

the same division occurred.

M. The mountebank (from mount-a-bank) derived his name from the practice of climbing onto a

bench in order to gather and address a crowd - with a temporary platform stage.

The mountebank was regarded by most as a charlatan but also as a clown. He was a fraud

and a clown - complete with pranks and jests.

N. The National School for Circus and Variety Art - AKA known as the Moscow Circus School.

It is actually two schools - a four-year high school and a four-year college. the curriculum

requires the student to become proficient in all the basic areas of circus technique before

specializing in any one area or developing a performable act.

O. Oh, boy!!! For the circus season of 1862, the American clown, Dan Rice, earned $1000 a week,

twice as much as Abraham Lincoln was receiving as President of the United States. This was

all the more remarkable, seeing as the civil war was tearing the country apart.

The theatre and the circus were considered great luxuries during war-time, but they served as

a diversion and made the circus the most popular form of American entertainment.

P. Pantomime, usually equated with mime, is the art of silent acting, but originally, the world

meant 'to imitate' and referred to the performers' caricatures. Ancient mimes were in fact,


The actors used realistic props and performed on temporary stages. The style was exaggerated

but their acting was considered to be more realistic than that of the Greek tragedies - they

cast men or boys in the female roles but the mime troupes used women to portray women.

Q. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in 1844 - catapulted the career of a clown/jester named

William Wallet. Throughout his life, he was titled the 'Queen's Jester".

R. Red nose and the clown - how could we have one without the other!!!

When the character of a clown was that of a 'drunk', the Auguste reddened his nose - a practice

led to the large red noses seen on the Augustes of today.

S. The Singing clown could offer both comic and sentimental ballads, as well as patriotic songs,

which were used at appropriate times.

It was common for these singing clowns to get the audience to join in the with the chorus.

one of the most famous singing clowns was William Burke. He became a headliner with Barnum

and Baily in the 1880's 

T. Twisters - a.k.a. balloon sculptors have been honing their craft since the 1930's,

but it wasn't until the end of WW11, with the availability of the 'skinny' balloon,

were greatly improved.  They were much lighter and brighter in colour and enabled the sculptor to

make many twists in one balloon. Balloon sculptors are busy throughout the world,

twisting for party decorations magic shows and delighting children with their hats and toys.

Candy The Clown's exhaustive list of balloon creations include animals, flowers and a myriad of hats.

U. Under the makeup and colourful costuming of thousands of clowns around the world,

beats a Christian heart. Christian clown performers are dedicated to spreading the gospel and

reaching people of all ages through their performance and presentation of scripture.

V. a Viennese Auguste clown inadvertently created a word equated with 'silly' that is used

frequently, albeit, inappropriately to this day. His first name was Auguste and during

performances, would be referred to as "Der Dumme Auguste"

Originally, 'dumme' can be traced back to the mid - 16th century to refer to a peasant.

Eventually, 'dumme' was dropped and 'Auguste' remained.

W. The Whiteface clown became a modern-day tradition long before the Auguste clown, although

the large amount of white on both faces likens the one to the other.

The whiteface circus clown covered his face entirely with white and then added a touch of


The Auguste became an integral part of circus clowning as the whiteface clown developed need

for a partner. As the whiteface became a clever trickster, the Auguste was available to be


X. EXTRA! EXTRA! "HUMOUR HEALS!!" Comedy has been used to increase productivity, treat brain

injury and mental illness and relieve stress. It wasn't until Dr. Norman Cousins wrote

about the health benefits of humour, that scientists began to take the power of humour

seriously and started to study it in a controlled environment.

Y. Yes, clowns in church!!! Clown ministry has a rich tradition in the church.

In Medieval times, as services were in Latin, clowns were used to assist parishioners

in the understanding of the service. In a 'divine interruption', clowns used humour to

explain what was going on in the service or to explain a point of theology. Yes, clowns in


Z. 'Zanni" or zany refers to the name given to the lesser clown character in 'commedia dell'arte',

a popular form of Italian Street theatre. Originally, 'zanni' was a 16th century generic name

for servants from Bragamo, Italy.

Compiled by:  Karen Avey

Happy Time Clowns & Magicians services Toronto, Mississauga, Oakville, Burlington, Hamilton and other cities in southern Ontario.



Contact/Phone us
Happy Time Clowns from 1998 - March 28 2019



Happy Time Clowns & Magicians is a top talent  family entertainment agency in Ontario Canada that primarily provides family entertainers including airbrush artists, caricature artists, pirate shows, mascots, costumed characters, princess parties, clowns and magicians in Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, Oakville, Burlington, Hamilton, Ancaster, and Brantford Ontario Canada. Please check out our new web site Tom Horton's Talent We have seasonal characters as well such as Santa Claus for Christmas, Xmas parties and holiday parties , the Easter bunny for Easter, as well as a comedy Dracula for Halloween parties.  Elvis Presley singing telegrams are available. Woodbridge Ontario is one of our favorite places to perform children's birthday parties.  We have a fantastic singing telegram person that writes a custom written song about the person, she can perform the singing telegram dressed as Marilyn Monroe or a French maid or several other characters . Steve is an awesome close up magic performer that does shows in Richmond Hill, Brampton, Woodbridge, Mississauga and many other cities near Toronto.  We have several minstrel entertainers that perform
vaudeville type of performances.  We have awesome Halloween performers and have a comedy Dracula show for your next Halloween party. Candy the Clown is a former member of Toronto Clown Alley. We have clown for hire that performs a magic show in Hamilton, Dundas, Burlington and Ancaster Ontario. We  In addition we have clowns, Pirates and Santa Claus in London Ontario.  Circus act by C.J. the Juggler, he has a one man circus show that is second to none and includes incredible juggling, unicycling and more. Happy Time Clowns and Magicians offers magicians for adult corporate events including mingle magic also known as cocktail magic or strolling close up magic that will amaze your audience even adults! Also west of Toronto in the Niagara Falls and St. Catherines, Fort Erie and Welland areas we have Q.T. Pie The Clown a wonderful female clown. French Bilingual clown also available. During Easter, we can have the Easter bunny go out and visit with the children and give out chocolates, we also have a Candy the Clown with a live Easter Rabbit. Let one of our professional  party planners or event planners help you make the right decisions to have a great party. Rusty The clown performs at many Daycares and Nursery Schools around Toronto and Mississauga. We have a fantastic juggler and unicyclist that does circus type acts. Toddler clowns perform for preschoolers. Spooky magic shows at Halloween are also a children's favorite. We also have a female magician for hire that specializes in young children up to about 8 years old that performs a comedy magic show in Hamilton, Burlington, Ancaster and Dundas Ontario. We entertain with shows for baptism parties or Christening celebration. Ameen celebrations are very popular with our Muslim friends. We also perform educational shows in libraries and schools and anywhere that a message is desired. Children love to attend the Toronto Santa Claus Parade. Happy Time Clowns has minstrels, a strolling clown or entertainer that plays a banjo, guitar or other musical instrument perfect for vaudeville type perfomances. Friends of ours offer giant bouncy castles. We have all star and top talent entertainers. We have wonderful caricature artist named Hector Several of our magicians are masters at performing strolling close-up magic.  Our top talent of our clowns perform magic shows, balloon animals and face painting. Have a custom written song written about your sweetheart and sung  by Elvis Presley or Marilyn Monroe over the phone. We offer many options for live entertainment at birthday parties. Of course the magicians also perform fabulous magic shows and many use a live animal such as a dove or a bunny rabbit in the show. Most of our caricature artists are also cartoonists and often perform at corporate events.  Our web site now has a link to several caricaturist with examples of their caricature drawings and cartoons. We  have a Russian speaking clown and a Spanish speaking clown for hire although both speak English as well.   Wonderful Pirate, princess, superhero or wizard shows for birthday parties and library shows. We perform for children and families at birthday parties, corporate events, Christmas parties, Holiday shows, festivals and store opens etc. We even offer jugglers, stilt walkers and unicyclists

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