After watching the rebellion of James T. Kirk in the recently released epic film Star Trek I got to thinking about the pressure of following in the footsteps of one’s parents, especially a parent like George Kirk, who in an alternate reality, served as captain of the Kelvin for a mere 12 minutes yet saved over 800 souls. Don’t stop reading- I promise to not reference Star Trek again in this blog. The idea I am trying to introduce here is the desire to continue one’s family legacy and birthright through an occupation. Consider this; a legitimate reason for enlisting in the armed services today is to consolidate and continue the family tradition. Like father, like son, as the old adage goes. Wandering around the Australian National Maritime Museum I saw this paradigm play out in front of my eyes via an exhibit on display. Yes, that’s right. You’ve guessed it. Sons and grandsons carrying on the naval tradition as clown entertainers onboard passenger liners.
Doubling as a theatre duo and husband and wife, Harold Tanner and Marcelle Rose boarded ships using the stage names of Poncho and Bubbles. The exhibit label informs the audience that Poncho was always interested in clowns and magic and his father performed as a clown under the nom de plume Poncho also. The exhibit included an array of paraphernalia such as posters and performance memorablia, not limited to a rubber chicken.
In 1961 the couple bore a son, Clive, and at six years of age he developed an alter ego; Pimple. We have all heard of stage parents, but isn’t this taking it a little too far? At the age of fifteen Cli…ergh Pimple began to perform on passenger ships with his parents. The tradition did not stop with that little facial spot; Poncho and Bubbles also have two performing grandchildren- Freckle and Dimple.
Sadly Poncho passed away in April of 2000 but Bubbles still performs. I decided to test this out and to my surprise I found a website offering the services of the novelty clowns Poncho, Bubbles and Pimple. This is indicative of a successful career spanning over fifty years.
Krusty the Klown eat your heart out.