PITTSBURG — Visitors to the Pittsburg Independence Day celebrations may find something to giggle about. Richard Renner, a professional clown, will be performing Tuesday and Wednesday during the festivities.
Renner, who has over four decades of experience in all things clowning around, will be bringing his “Vodvill Klown” show to entertain the Pittsburg crowds.
Renner says he’s always been one to enjoy making people smile.
“It’s always been a part of me, I caught the disease early, maybe around 9 or 10.” Renner said.
He decided to hone that skill when he realized it went over well with his mother.
“My mom was a single parent in the 50s and 60s. She worked really hard,” Renner said. “I was an ornery kid, and I figured out that if I could make her laugh I’d end up in less trouble.”
Renner, later studied theatre in college, and finally at an advanced course for movement theatre on the east coast.
“I learned what I know from hanging out with the theatre people. They taught me to juggle, and that was just awesome,” he said. “I learned to ride a unicycle, then walk on a rope, and it just went from there.”
In the 80’s Renner joined a group of like minded people in Kansas City, called Mimewalk, which he said helped him learn a lot of unique skills.
He plans on putting those skills on display during the holiday celebration, this week in Pittsburg. His show “Vodvill Klown” will draw on his childhood love of Jerry Lewis, Dick Van Dike, and silent comedians.
“I’m a silent clown in this show, it’s a lot of me being at odds with my props,” Renner said. “I do a lot of slapstick comedy that both the kids and the parent’s enjoy.”
According to Renner the show is funny in his continuous mistakes, and the audience's ability to point them out and “help.
Renner said that crowd enjoyment is the whole reason he loves being a clown.
“I get the biggest charge out of hearing the kids laugh, and the parents laughing at the kids,” Renner said. “The parents really get a kick out of seeing the kids have a good time, which makes it all around worth it.”