Charlie's Creative Comedy presents

Thought For The Week

Issue #506 
February 4, 2013

By Bruce "Charlie" Johnson


This month is the anniversary of the founding of Boy Scouts of America. The organization stresses character development and leadership training. Many of the men I know in leadership positions in clown organizations are Eagle Scouts. Now the sons of clowns that I know are earning their Eagle Scout rank. Kenny Ahern's son, Patrick, and Paula Biggio's son, Richard, have recently become Eagle Scouts. Congratulations to them both. Congratulations also to their parents. Becoming an Eagle demands personal initiative by the boy, but it also requires support from their parents.


The World Clown Association Convention in Borneo is just a little over two weeks away. This is the first convention held by an American based clown organization held in Asia. I am looking forward to it very much.


This issue of my newsletter includes another entry in my popular Clown Trivia Quiz. During the skit competition at the WCA Convention in Borneo, clown trivia questions will be asked while the judges are filling out their score sheets. Some of the questions will be related to the 30th Anniversary of the WCA, which is being celebrated at this convention. Some of the questions will deal with more general clown history. Subscribers to this newsletter who use the Trivia Quiz button to the right to go to the trivia quiz archive on my web site may learn a bit of history that could help them answer the questions at the convention.


I hope to see many of my subscribers in Borneo. Please introduce yourself to me.


I'll see you down the road,



In This Issue
Thought For The Week
Clown Trivia
Educational Opportunities

Thought For The Week 

January 28, 2013

By Bruce "Charlie" Johnson


"On my honor I will do my best to... help other people at all times..." Boy Scout Promise


Every February members of the Boy Scouts of America celebrate the group's birthday. One boy helping a stranger inspired the founding of the organization. In 1909 American publisher William Boyce was in London on his way from America to Africa to join a safari. He became lost in a dense fog. He spotted a boy and asked him for directions. The boy guided him to his destination. When Boyce offered the boy a tip, he replied, "I'm sorry sir, but I can't accept any money. I am a Boy Scout so I do a good deed daily." Then the boy left and was never identified. Boyce was so impressed by the boy's actions that on his way home from the safari he stopped once again in London to learn about Boy Scouts. He met Lord Baden Powell, the founder of Boy Scouts, and got permission to bring the program to the United States. Boy Scouts of America was incorporated on February 8, 1910 because of one anonymous boy helping an adult without expectation of any reward.


I became a Boy Scout in 1965. At the time I didn't realize a fundamental change occurred in the organization that year. The BSA began requiring service projects to earn the ranks of Star, Life, and Eagle. I became an Eagle Scout in 1970. Approximately 2 million boys have earned the Eagle rank and it has been verified that they have performed over 100 million hours of service in completing their required projects. That is just at the pinnacle of scouting. As early as 6- years-old Cub Scouts begin performing service projects with their Packs.


When I became an Eagle I joined the Knights of Dumas, an Eagle Scout service organization. To become an official member you had to perform a certain number of additional service hours beyond those required to earn your rank. To remain a member you had to perform a minimum number of service hours each year. One of the service projects I participated in was going to the local VeteransHospital on movie nights to wheel patients to the recreation room. We chatted with them before the movie, and then when we wheeled them back we talked with them about the movie we had just seen. I have not made hospital clowning my specialty, but it was that experience as a Knight of Dumas that made me comfortable in hospitals. I draw upon that whenever I visit a hospital as a clown or Santa Claus. My Scouting experience has made service an important part of my life and career.


The 2013 World Clown Association Convention in Borneo at the end of this month includes a service day. The entire day is devoted to service in the town of Kuching, which is where the convention is located. Clowns will be visiting five hospitals in the morning. In the afternoon they will visit orphanages, nursing homes, and other locations where people need the gift of humor. In the evening clowns from around the world will perform a stage show for an invited audience of people who are elderly, disadvantaged, or have special needs. Bob Neil will be working backstage setting props, another important way of providing service. I believe this is the first time a variety arts convention has devoted an entire day to serving their host community.


One of the lectures that I will be presenting at the WCA Convention is Jest Juggle: the Link between Humor and Health and Humor and Creativity. I will share with participants why humor is beneficial. When I entertain at a nursing home I don't get as much response as I would from a younger audience. At first I found that discouraging. It is the audience response that makes performances fun for me. Then I realized that my reason for being there is not to be rewarded by the audience. My reason is to serve the residents by providing the benefits of humor. I focus on that while I am performing in those venues.


As a performer, how can you use your entertainment skills to help others? If you are a member of an organization, how can you provide service to that organization? In your personal life, how can you help others around you?

Trivia Quiz


A year after Kálmán's operetta titled Die Zirkusprinzessin opend in Vienna, an English language version titled The Circus Princess debuted on Broadway. Which clown was featured in the original English production?  (Click on the one that you think is most correct.)


Poodles Hanneford


Emmett Kelly


(These links will remain good until March 1, 2013.  After that use the Trivia Quiz button on the upper right to check your answers.)



Thank you for being a subscriber.  I am always interested in your questions and comments.

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I hope to see you down the road.


Bruce Johnson
Charlie's Creative Comedy
Copyright 2013 by Bruce "Charlie" Johnson.
All rights reserved. 
Educational Opportunities

I believe in promoting any event I will be lecturing at.  If you schedule me for an educational event that you are hosting, I will list it here.  My goal is to do what I can to best meet the needs of you and your group.
World Clown
Association Convention Borneo
 February 25 - March 1, 2013


Jest Because, The Life of a Circus Clown


WCA Convention


All Things Clowning

April 19-21

Fayetteville, Georgia

Classes to be announced 


 California Clown Campin'

July 29-August 3, 2013

Ontario, CA

Classes to be announced


California Clown Campin'

For information on additional services that I can provide for an educational event 

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