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Clowns in Old Time Radio

This multi-genre collection includes clowns that make you laugh, clowns that make you cry, and clowns that make you scream.

44 old time radio show recordings
(total playtime 18 hours, 36 min)
available in the following formats:

1 MP3 CD
or
21 Audio CDs


Choose your CD format
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Play a sample episode from June 25, 1950:

"Jeff Regan: No Sad Clowns for Me"



... or click here to save the Mp3 file to your computer

About this Old Time Radio Show

Text on OTRCAT.com ©2001-2017 OTRCAT INC All Rights Reserved. Reproduction is prohibited.

Our vision of clowns comes from one of the most hallowed traditions of the circus. The modern circus was invented when Philip Astley opened his riding school in London, 1768. Astley invented the circus ring, a 42-foot circle in which the performer would ride, meaning the rider could take advantage of centrifugal force for his tricks, and performing in the ring meant he was always in view of the crowd.

Astley's school featured equestrian training in the morning, but the real money was made in the afternoons and early evening when people came to see Astley and his students perform. As he grew as a showman, Astley realized that he needed something to keep the audience interested between the equestrian acts, so he hired clowns as a filler.

The roots of the clown go back to Greek and Roman comedies in the character of the rustic fool or buffoon. The English term "clown", referring to a boorish rustic peasant first appeared around 1560, and may be derived from a Scandinavian word meaning clumsy. "The Harlequin and the Clown" became an important part of early English drama. Many clowns are mute, or perform in mime, but when Astley began using clowns in his circus they would often use dialogue and interact with the audience. It was only when circus venues grew to the point that people in the back of the crowd had trouble hearing the jokes that pantomime became an important tool for clowns. This is also the source of clowns using makeup to exaggerate their features.

The white-faced clown is considered the top of the clown hierarchy, and in a troupe of clowns the white-face is usually the "top banana" and often works as the straight man. The auguste or red-faced clown is usually the most dimwitted of the troupe, and therefore the most likely to get a pie in the face. A character clown usually lampoons a role which will be familiar to the audience, like a policeman, a housewife, a butcher, or a hobo. The character clown may act as a second auguste or they may be the more cunning character who sets up a gag for the rest of the troupe. Clowns and BabyIn American circuses, the most common character clown is the hobo, and many authorities consider the hobo to be their own separate class of clown. Emmett Kelly was a pioneering hobo clown, but Red Skelton, Charlie Chaplin, and Harold Lloyd are all noted hobo clowns from the movies.

Although clowns were developed to make us laugh, there is a psychiatric term, coulrophobia, for the fear of clowns. Some folks, especially youngsters, find clowns in their makeup to be almost lifelike enough to be comforting, but often just exaggerated enough to be frightening. These fears have given rise to the evil clown persona. While certainly not part of the circus tradition, where clowns are allowed to be mischievous but not evil, the evil clown had been great fodder for detective stories on Old Time Radio. The misunderstood clown is also used as a sympathetic character in a number of stories.

Clowns perform important roles in a circus performance beyond their comic routines. They perform bits of business between acts to provide continuity and distract the audience while the equipment is being set for the next act. One of the most notable clown jobs is "The Stars and Stripes Forever Bit", or "The Disaster March". By tradition, circus bands never play the Sousa march unless there is an emergency. Should a performer be injured during their act, the bandleader strikes up Stars and Stripes Forever and the clowns come rushing in to attract attention to the other side of the ring so that the injury can be tended. During the Hartford Circus Fire of 1944, the Barnum and Bailey Big Top, which had been waterproofed using a mixture of paraffin wax and gasoline, caught fire. 168 people from the crowd of nearly 7000 died, but the figure would have been higher if not for the efforts of the clowns to calm the crowd and help them to get outside.

This compilation contains clown-themed broadcasts including shows from the childrens programs, detective broadcasts, comedy and variety shows, and much more!

Text on OTRCAT.com ©2001-2017 OTRCAT INC All Rights Reserved. Reproduction is prohibited.

These classic recordings are available in the following formats:
  • MP3 CDs are delivered by mail. These archival quality MP3 CDs are playable in your computer and many MP3 player devices.



    44 recordings on 1 MP3 CD for just $5.00
    total playtime 18 hours, 36 min
    Add MP3 Collection to Cart

    Click here to see disc contents


      44 shows - total playtime 18 hours 36 minutes
      1. Air Castle Episode 131 Bappo Clown.mp3
      2. Biography In Sound 570910 90 Danny Kaye.mp3
      3. Calling All Detectives 480908 260 Coltons Colossal Circus.mp3
      4. Casebook Of Gregory Hood 461007 Tommy Saddest Clown.mp3
      5. Cavalcade Of America 450910 Sawdust Underground.mp3
      6. Cavalcade Of America 470526 Under Big Top.mp3
      7. Cbsrat 770417 Clown Who Wasnt.mp3
      8. Chase And Sanborn Hour 340401 Ill Do Anything For You.mp3
      9. Dick Tracy 440504 0299 Espionage At Circus.mp3
      10. Dick Tracy 470723 1116 Case Of Unfunny Clowns.mp3
      11. Eternal Light 600515 812 Circus Clown.mp3
      12. Eur Con 048 Circus Clown Affair.mp3
      13. Ft 490126 102 Melancholy Clown.mp3
      14. Ft 501129 197 Clown.mp3
      15. Gregory Hood 461007 19 Saddest Clown In World.mp3
      16. Jack Benny 360405 728 Clown Hall.mp3
      17. Jack Benny Program 360405 214 Clown Hall Tonight.mp3
      18. Jeff Regan, Investigator 500625 62 No Sad Clowns For Me.mp3
      19. Jerry Circus 370000 037 Richard Grayson Sees His Father.mp3
      20. Jerry Of Circus 370000 Episode 002 Poisoned Meat Put Out.mp3
      21. Jerry Of Circus 370000 Episode 023 Jerrys Clown Debut.mp3
      22. Jerry Of Circus 370000 Episode 024 Johnny Stays On Payroll.mp3
      23. Jerry Of Circus 370000 Episode 086 Joe Hadley Hired.mp3
      24. Lgdi 510813 Fearless Clown.mp3
      25. Lives Of Harry Lime 520418 38 Painted Smile.mp3
      26. Movietown Radio Theater 480000 Clown In Home Stretch.mp3
      27. Night Beat 520508 093 Long Live Clown.mp3
      28. On Safari Sa 651203 028 Death Of Clown.mp3
      29. Radio Hall Of Fame 450401 70 Ringling Brothers.mp3
      30. Red Skelton Show 470408 Things We Never Knew About Buses.mp3
      31. Richard Diamond Private Detective 500816 Circus Case.mp3
      32. Rudy Vallee 330824 201 Little Minister Helen Hayes.mp3
      33. Sb 147 Bile That Cabbage Down.mp3
      34. Scout About Town 470805 06 Martin And Lewis.mp3
      35. Sealtest Variety Theater 490602 036 Charles Laughton.mp3
      36. Shell Chateau 370123 Happiness Boys.mp3
      37. Sherlock Holmes 480620 Veiled Lodger.mp3
      38. Sl 338 Princess & Clown.mp3
      39. Spotlight Story 000000 Ghost Of Kellem Pond.mp3
      40. Taos 421126 0389 Midnight Intruder Pt 05.mp3
      41. Taos 461002 1390 Dead Voice Pt 05.mp3
      42. Taos 461007 1393 Dead Voice Pt 08.mp3
      43. Tippo Old Circus Clown 390412 Crazy Luke.mp3
      44. Your Movietown Radio Theater 480000 Clown In Home Stretch.mp3
  • MP3 downloads are available instantly after purchase!



    44 recordings on 1 MP3 Collection Download for just $5.00
    total playtime 18 hours, 36 min
    Add MP3 Collection to Cart

    Click here to see disc contents


      44 shows - total playtime 18 hours 36 minutes
      1. Air Castle Episode 131 Bappo Clown.mp3
      2. Biography In Sound 570910 90 Danny Kaye.mp3
      3. Calling All Detectives 480908 260 Coltons Colossal Circus.mp3
      4. Casebook Of Gregory Hood 461007 Tommy Saddest Clown.mp3
      5. Cavalcade Of America 450910 Sawdust Underground.mp3
      6. Cavalcade Of America 470526 Under Big Top.mp3
      7. Cbsrat 770417 Clown Who Wasnt.mp3
      8. Chase And Sanborn Hour 340401 Ill Do Anything For You.mp3
      9. Dick Tracy 440504 0299 Espionage At Circus.mp3
      10. Dick Tracy 470723 1116 Case Of Unfunny Clowns.mp3
      11. Eternal Light 600515 812 Circus Clown.mp3
      12. Eur Con 048 Circus Clown Affair.mp3
      13. Ft 490126 102 Melancholy Clown.mp3
      14. Ft 501129 197 Clown.mp3
      15. Gregory Hood 461007 19 Saddest Clown In World.mp3
      16. Jack Benny 360405 728 Clown Hall.mp3
      17. Jack Benny Program 360405 214 Clown Hall Tonight.mp3
      18. Jeff Regan, Investigator 500625 62 No Sad Clowns For Me.mp3
      19. Jerry Circus 370000 037 Richard Grayson Sees His Father.mp3
      20. Jerry Of Circus 370000 Episode 002 Poisoned Meat Put Out.mp3
      21. Jerry Of Circus 370000 Episode 023 Jerrys Clown Debut.mp3
      22. Jerry Of Circus 370000 Episode 024 Johnny Stays On Payroll.mp3
      23. Jerry Of Circus 370000 Episode 086 Joe Hadley Hired.mp3
      24. Lgdi 510813 Fearless Clown.mp3
      25. Lives Of Harry Lime 520418 38 Painted Smile.mp3
      26. Movietown Radio Theater 480000 Clown In Home Stretch.mp3
      27. Night Beat 520508 093 Long Live Clown.mp3
      28. On Safari Sa 651203 028 Death Of Clown.mp3
      29. Radio Hall Of Fame 450401 70 Ringling Brothers.mp3
      30. Red Skelton Show 470408 Things We Never Knew About Buses.mp3
      31. Richard Diamond Private Detective 500816 Circus Case.mp3
      32. Rudy Vallee 330824 201 Little Minister Helen Hayes.mp3
      33. Sb 147 Bile That Cabbage Down.mp3
      34. Scout About Town 470805 06 Martin And Lewis.mp3
      35. Sealtest Variety Theater 490602 036 Charles Laughton.mp3
      36. Shell Chateau 370123 Happiness Boys.mp3
      37. Sherlock Holmes 480620 Veiled Lodger.mp3
      38. Sl 338 Princess & Clown.mp3
      39. Spotlight Story 000000 Ghost Of Kellem Pond.mp3
      40. Taos 421126 0389 Midnight Intruder Pt 05.mp3
      41. Taos 461002 1390 Dead Voice Pt 05.mp3
      42. Taos 461007 1393 Dead Voice Pt 08.mp3
      43. Tippo Old Circus Clown 390412 Crazy Luke.mp3
      44. Your Movietown Radio Theater 480000 Clown In Home Stretch.mp3
  • Standard Audio CDs are delivered by mail on archival quality media with up to 60 minutes on each CD and play in all CD players



    44 recordings on 21 Audio CDs
    total playtime 18 hours, 36 min

    Disc A001

    1. Air Castle Episode 131 Bappo Clown
    2. Eur Con 048 Circus Clown Affair
    3. Sb 147 Bile That Cabbage Down
    4. Sl 338 Princess & Clown
    5. Spotlight Story 000000 Ghost Of Kellem Pond

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Disc A002

    1. Rudy Vallee 330824 201 Little Minister Helen Hayes

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Disc A003

    1. Chase And Sanborn Hour 340401 Ill Do Anything For You
    2. Jack Benny 360405 728 Clown Hall

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Disc A004

    1. Jack Benny Program 360405 214 Clown Hall Tonight
    2. Jerry Circus 370000 037 Richard Grayson Sees His Father
    3. Jerry Of Circus 370000 Episode 002 Poisoned Meat Put Out

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Disc A005

    1. Jerry Of Circus 370000 Episode 023 Jerrys Clown Debut
    2. Jerry Of Circus 370000 Episode 024 Johnny Stays On Payroll
    3. Jerry Of Circus 370000 Episode 086 Joe Hadley Hired

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Disc A006

    1. Shell Chateau 370123 Happiness Boys
    2. Tippo Old Circus Clown 390412 Crazy Luke

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Disc A007

    1. Taos 421126 0389 Midnight Intruder Pt 05
    2. Dick Tracy 440504 0299 Espionage At Circus

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Disc A008

    1. Radio Hall Of Fame 450401 70 Ringling Brothers

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Disc A009

    1. Cavalcade Of America 450910 Sawdust Underground
    2. Taos 461002 1390 Dead Voice Pt 05

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Disc A010

    1. Casebook Of Gregory Hood 461007 Tommy Saddest Clown
    2. Gregory Hood 461007 19 Saddest Clown In World

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Disc A011

    1. Taos 461007 1393 Dead Voice Pt 08
    2. Red Skelton Show 470408 Things We Never Knew About Buses

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Disc A012

    1. Cavalcade Of America 470526 Under Big Top
    2. Dick Tracy 470723 1116 Case Of Unfunny Clowns
    3. Scout About Town 470805 06 Martin And Lewis

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Disc A013

    1. Movietown Radio Theater 480000 Clown In Home Stretch
    2. Your Movietown Radio Theater 480000 Clown In Home Stretch

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Disc A014

    1. Sherlock Holmes 480620 Veiled Lodger
    2. Calling All Detectives 480908 260 Coltons Colossal Circus
    3. Ft 490126 102 Melancholy Clown

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Disc A015

    1. Sealtest Variety Theater 490602 036 Charles Laughton
    2. Jeff Regan, Investigator 500625 62 No Sad Clowns For Me

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Disc A016

    1. Richard Diamond Private Detective 500816 Circus Case
    2. Ft 501129 197 Clown

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Disc A017

    1. Lgdi 510813 Fearless Clown
    2. Lives Of Harry Lime 520418 38 Painted Smile

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Disc A018

    1. Night Beat 520508 093 Long Live Clown

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Disc A019

    1. Biography In Sound 570910 90 Danny Kaye

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Disc A020

    1. Eternal Light 600515 812 Circus Clown
    2. On Safari Sa 651203 028 Death Of Clown

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Disc A021

    1. Cbsrat 770417 Clown Who Wasnt

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00