Joseph Grimaldi, an English clown-actor, lived from 1779 to 1837.  He wore a coat made out of a blanket with tin plates for buttons, and used a pie plate for a hat.  His popularity was so wide spread that today’s clowns are nicknamed Joey’s in his honor.

Dan’s only makeup was a beard and a cigar.  He dressed in red, white and blue stars and strips.  He performed with a mind reading pig and rope walking elephant.  He poked friendly fun at a struggling young country.

Dan Rice

was America’s first

famous clown.  In his top hat and chin whiskers, he was the inspiration for Thomas Nast, the illustrator who caricatured the Uncle Sam figure we see today.

Dan Rice was born in New York City in 1823.  He started clowning in 1844 at $15

a week.  By 1862 he was earning twice as much as President Lincoln.  Dan was friends with President Lincoln and Jefferson Davis.  Dan had many friends in the government.  He was called “The President’s Court Jester.”