Ludwig ‘Lou’ Jacobs began his career in stage shows. His parents were a vaudeville song and dance team.  When he was seven he performed in a family show as the rear end of an alligator.


Lou joined Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus in 1925.  At Ringling, Lou created one of the most famous clown gags ever….the midget car.  It was only two by three feet and Lou was 6’1”.

Tino Zoppe was a circus child in the 1950’s.  His mother Jenny, was from the famous Wallenda family.  His father was Alberto Zoppe, an expert horseback performer.


Tino could have become a high-wire walker or a horseback rider, but he seemed to have a gift for making people laugh.  He became a clown on horseback.


Tino was five when he started performing.  Sometimes Tino played a mouse clown, chased by a bigger clown in a cat suit.  Tino also played the midget clown who came out of the reducing box when a fat clown was shrunk.

In 1966, Lou was given an honor never before given to a living person.  His face was pictured on a United States postage stamp.