Fun 'N Frolic Unit

"Everyone is a clown... But, only a few of us have the courage to put on the makeup!"
Laser Engraving

Hobo or Tramp

Hobo Clown

Character: There are some variations in this clown category. The classic Tramp epitomized by Emmett Kelly and Otto Griebling of circus fame is the forlorn and downtrodden character who has nothing and knows he will never have anything. By nature, he will probably be a loner, which is reflected in his determination to be silent, generally not talking to anyone but his peers. His downcast mannerisms and shuffling burdensome movements reflect his hard life.

The vagabond, elegant or happy Tramp is the businessman, scholar or playboy who, being fed up with his life, walked out of society for the wanderlust of travel. He is king of the road, happy with what he has and does not expect much. His character may take on some of the characteristics of the Auguste. This type of character was portrayed by Red Skelton in his Freddie the Freeloader character. Considered the only true American clown, some believe that this character developed from the days of the Depression in the 30's, when men rode the rails looking for work. Other historical references indicate the tramp makeup goes back to vaudeville and minstrel shows of the 1800's and early 1900's. Regardless of the type of Tramp/Hobo, he is the one who is the brunt of the joke and will be on the receiving end of the pie, slap or kick from the Whiteface or Auguste. Both variations of tramps will be judged together. In addition, the "bag lady" would be considered the female version of a Tramp/Hobo.

Makeup: The makeup represents the soot deposited on the face from the coal and wood-burning trains their originators rode. The eye and mouth areas were wiped clean of soot in order to see and eat. White makeup is used in the eye and mouth areas to exaggerate this cleaning process. The upper face is a blend of flesh tones to reflect the outdoor look. The beard line of the male is black or shades of dark gray to reflect the soot and beard, feathered into the upper cheeks and down under the chin. A ruddy nose is used. A little red shading in the cheeks can help create the sunburned look. The difference between the types of tramp characters is generally depicted by the shape of the eyebrows and mouth, either up or down to reflect happy or sad.

Costume: Usually a dark suit, tuxedo, tail or just shirt and pants made to look old and worn for the male, and an old worn-out dress and/or coat for the bag lady. These could be well patched with rags or other materials, with uneven stitching or held together with whatever available. A dark, battered hat, tattered shoes and socks, worn shirt and tie will exaggerate the character. Gloves are generally old and worn. In keeping with the unemployed status of the Tramp, this character would not wear expensive watches, rings, or new belt, shoes, or socks.

Here are our Hobo/Tramp clowns:


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