Friday, June 07, 2013

Send in the Class Clown

Send in the Class Clown 

by Danny McCoy

In March 1960, I appeared in my second Stars Over Meadowbrook. From the previous year it was obvious that I had limited talent. I was assigned a role as Co-Masters of Ceremonies.  Bob Larmer and I were Circus Barkers. Actually the only reason that I was allowed back-to-back performances was because my mom was a seamstress and had found enough extra money to buy the expensive reflective fluorescent fabric that glows in the special black lights. So I was available with a ready costume.

My striped jacket with a matching, bow tie and hat band would all glow in the dark along with all the sets that were painted in
day-glow paint. The PTA moms had spent a lot of money on the black lights. Every Act focused on blazing glowing costumes instead of the talents of the dancing girls. So for the most of the time the smiling benign faces of our adolescent thespians were lost in darkness except for my mugging in front of the curtain and apron floodlights

The role of the Barker was to warm up the audience; introduce each act; and to ad-lib when the stage crew needed more time for setting the scenery or in the event there was a costume malfunction.

In reflection of my adolescent memory and of course the black lights, I only excelled in adlibbing.  One of the filler jokes was to introduce the sponsors and special guests in the audience and asked them to stand.  If the Stage Manager needed more time, I would simply introduce more people which I made up on the fly. 

One night I felt compelled to introduce Henry Ford Jr.

We have a very special guest tonight, all the way from Detroit Michigan. Let’s give a warm welcome for Henry Ford Junior. The audience would turn their heads and look around. There would be scattered applause. The spotlight would sweep all sides of the auditorium. Barker Danny said: Mr. Ford, don’t be shy, so please stand up.  After several painful pauses Barker Danny said:     That's funny, I saw one of his cars parked outside!


Unknown said...

Great bit, Danny! You should be the one replacing Leno!!

Sherri said...

Great bit, Danny! You should replace Leno!!