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Clown Hall of Fame
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The International Clown
Hall of Fame and
Research Center is a
not-for profit 501 (c) 3 organization.

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$8.00 Adults
$5.00 Children Under 12

From Labor Day until May we are open by appointment only

(On occasion we lecture and attend festivals on behalf of the ICHOF, so it is always a good idea to call ahead to ensure we will be open for your visit. Thanks!)

Get directions & Map




As our summer season has come to a close, we are now open only by appointment or chance. Please give us a call at 608-477-0353 to schedule your tour!

We are CLOSED all day Wednesday and Sunday.

Admission: $8.00/adult, $5.00/child


While there are several circuses that remain in operation, there is only 1 museum dedicated to the art of clowning: The International Clown Hall of Fame and Research Center. That’s it, just one. And the ICHOF’s future is at stake.

For four years now the International Clown Hall of Fame and Research Center has been operating in Baraboo, WI, hometown of the Ringling family and home to the original Ringling Bros. Circus winter quarters.

During that time the Board of Directors of the ICHOF has: 

  • Welcomed two new Inductees into the Hall of Fame, Bobo Barnett and Billy Vaughn.

  • Assisted the producers of the film WATER FOR ELEPHANTS in their research.

  • Acquired several important historical artifacts including Bobo Barnett’s miniature car, Felix Adler’s costume, Lou Jacobs’ necktie and clown shoes, several Paul Jung props and the props, costumes and master tapes of KTLA’s “Chucko the Birthday Clown”.

  • Acquired and transferred extremely rare circus performance footage from the personal collections of significant performers like Danny Chapman, Mike Martin, Bobo Barnett and Steve Smith.

  • Conducted extensive video interviews with past inductees and other notable performers.

  • Appeared on the television shows AMERICAN PICKERS, HISTORY DETECTIVES and assisted actor, Eric Stonestreet ("Fizbo" the clown) on ABC TV's primetime hot show, MODERN FAMILY.

  • Assisted RINGLING BROS. AND BARNUM & BAILEY with research for their Clown College.

  • Produced several DVD's preserving important historical performances of clowns of the past.

In addition the ICHOF has participated in conventions, parades and performances both in Baraboo and across America.


Like most independent museums, the International Clown Hall of Fame and Research Center is struggling financially at the moment. Our current home in Baraboo is for sale, which may necessitate an emergency relocation (along with all the accompanying moving expenses) at any time. That, in addition to utilities and our short tourist season (usually May through October) all mean that we need to seek out alternate sources of funding to keep our doors open.


If we are to continue to keep the ICHOF’s costumes, props, trunks, posters, photos and artwork on display, we need a revenue stream that makes up for our slow winter months. Our board is reaching out to each and every one of you with a way that would allow clowns, fans and friends to support the work of the ICHOF with a contribution.

We are asking you to please make a donation to the International Clown Hall of Fame and Research Center.

We need to raise $20,000 to insure the collection remains in existence in Baraboo and enable us to maintain complete control. Failing this, we will have to move to a facility in which we risk losing control of our exceptional collection.

Please click the Donate Button to make your donation now.

For those that would prefer making a nominal monthly contribution rather than a single donation, we are also offering subscriptions to the ICHOF with which you would be able to donate a recurring payment of $10 a month automatically through PayPal.

Please use the Subscribe Button to make a recurring donation.

The ICHOF is a not-for-profit 501 (c) 3 organization so your contribution may be tax deductible.

Your sponsorship will help us meet operating expenses and continue to acquire and rescue new artifacts that enrich the Hall's collections for the benefit and enjoyment of all.

In addition, your sponsorship provides essential funding to help the ICHOF continue to thrive by expanding educational programs as well as transfer our considerable (and rapidly growing) film and video archive to digital formats. Above all, you'll have the satisfaction of helping to shape a legacy for future clowns around the world. You can have an integral part in preserving clowning's past through your sponsorship.

With 72 Inductees to the International Clown Hall of Fame and several more in the planning stages, many of you may remember watching these great clowns perform. Several of you may have even worked with some of them. Now is your chance to support and honor their legacy and make sure future generations get to learn about and discover these expert funnymen.

We’ll keep you updated on our fundraising efforts and our continued progress. Please make your donation today! Thank you for supporting the ICHOF.

Let’s keep our history alive for future generations!

The Board of Directors, The International Clown Hall of Fame and Research Center

Questions or inquiries? Email at

A New Way to Get Involved in the International Clown Hall of Fame and Research Center!

CLICK HERE to learn about the benefits of becoming a member of this truly unique museum

Your membership in the Friends of the International Clown Hall of Fame means joining America's only organization dedicated solely to the preservation of the history of clowning. Our Friends stand together to become a part of a legacy dedicated to honoring the outstanding performers of the past and present and inspiring the exceptional performers of the future.

Please become a member today!

CLICK HERE to access our easy on-line application


Welcome to the International Clown Hall of Fame and Research Center! It is with great pride and excitement that we introduce our 2013 Annual Fundraising Campaign, Smile – One Laugh at a Time, with our special Honorary Chairperson – Emmy Award winning actor from ABC’s hit television show Modern Family - Eric Stonestreet!


Eric Stonestreet

As a kid, all I ever wanted to be was a clown in the circus. In a sense, my dream came true. It’s with great honor and respect that I get to be my childhood clown character, Fizbo, in the biggest circus of them all, Hollywood.

Please join me in supporting the International Clown Hall of Fame and Research Center in their efforts to sustain and honor clowns and laughter.

With smiles, laugher and a pie in the face!

All my best–

Eric Stonestreet
Honorary Chairman


The International Clown Hall of Fame and Research Center is embarking on the biggest funding campaign in its 27 year history of bringing laughter, education and preservation to this thing we all love called clowning.

We need your help today to continue our mission to “Preserve and honor the art of the clown”. This museum houses the largest single collection of clown artifacts in the world today. That is a lot of “stuff”. As we explain in our guided tours, behind each clown shoe, trunk, costume, photograph or scrapbook is a story. Sometimes that story belongs to a fairly famous clown name like Red Skelton, Emmett Kelly or Grock. More often than not, it’s the story of a working performing artist who devoted their life’s efforts to this passion and created laughter and memories. To share those stories is our honor.

Since 1989 we have inducted 77 master clown performers into the International Clown Hall of Fame. We continue to strive to give back to our local and world communities through two dozen outreach programs, original historic DVD’s, interactive exhibits, education and training programs, research opportunities, oral history preservation, and to continue to honor those who have come before us, left a lasting impact on this art form and on who’s shoulders we all stand.

I and the entire Board of Directors of the International Clown Hall of Fame and Research Center respectfully ask for your financial help to further achieve the goals and mission of this unique institution. Any gift amount is most welcome and deeply appreciated. Since opening our doors in our new home of Baraboo, Wisconsin in May of 2010, 100% of all donations, tour revenues, grants and gift shop sales have gone towards supporting our outreach programs, new display development, research opportunities and operating expense’s. As Executive Director, I performed my duties on a volunteer, no compensation basis for the past three years.

If you’ve donated to the ICHOF before, we thank you for your generosity, kindness and support. We hope you can take a moment to reflect on our message, remember the laughter and support our mission. Donations can also be made through the PayPal Donate Button to the left. The ICHOF is a 501 (c) 3 not for profit organization, therefore your donation may be tax-deductible.

Very Sincerely,

Greg DeSanto
Executive Director



Each of these DVDs are on sale for only $24.95 + shipping. They can be ordered via check, money order and the handy-dandy PayPal buttons below. Checks & Postal Money Orders can be made out to ICHOF. 


La Piste des ClownsOriginally aired in 1977 and 1978 on European television, La Piste des Clowns celebrates some of the world's greatest clowns performing their classic, hilarious routines. Filmed before a live audience at the Royal Circus in Stockholm, this video features over a dozen headliner clown acts PLUS Interviews with many of these brilliant comics.

Now you have the rare opportunity to watch, laugh and enjoy these outstanding clowns presented all together on this seldom seen video.

Only 24.95 + shipping

In Spanish and English

Region 0, NTSC






vaudeville DVDAvailable only thru the International Clown Hall of Fame and Research Center, THE GREAT CLOWNS OF VAUDEVILLE features an eclectic selection of incredibly rare footage of classic vaudeville comedy & variety acts.

From the slapstick knockabout of Willie, West & McGinty, to the clowinsh insanity of the Gentlemaniacs to the abstract tomfoolery of Chaz Chase this DVD presents some of the greatest baggy pants, slapshoe wearing, prattfalling clowns ever to play the Palace.

Only 24.95 + shipping

Region 0, NTSC

• Chaz Chase
• Herb Williams
• Jimmy Conlin & Myrtle Glass
• The Foy Family
• Val & Ernie Stanton
• O'Donnell & Blair
• Willie, West & McGinty
• W.C. Fields
• Jack Pepper and his "Society Pets"
• Wilbur Hall
• Runaway Four
• Laurel & Hardy
• The Gentlemaniacs
• Ted Healy with Howard, Fine & Howard
• Shaw & Lee
• Johnny Puleo & The Harmonica Gang
• Milton Berle
• George Carl 


Wilbur HallWillie, West & McGintyMilton Berle





Enjoy this video program highlighting the 25th anniversary induction ceremony of the Sarasota Circus Ring of Fame at St. Armands Circle, January 2012.

See all the speeches and fanfare leading up to unveiling the plaques for the honorees: circus impresario and swaypole performer, Joseph Bauer; director of The Greatest Show on Earth—the most spectacular circus movie ever made, Cecil B. DeMille; everyone's favorite clown and Clown Hall of Fame inductee, Barry "Grandma" Lubin; and thrill act producer, Hans Winn.

Only 24.95 + shipping

Region 0, NTSC




Chuck Sidlow and Barry LubinKenneth FeldThe Inductees


100% of the proceeds of these DVDs benefit the outreach programs and display developments of the ICHOF. The ICHOF is a 501 (c) 3 organization.