Raise a glass (and a Stone) for Slivers Oakley

slivers-emperor-of-the-realm-of-folly-1907Often what remains of the work of the clown are sawdust and memories and maybe old playbills.

Such is the case of Frank “Slivers” Oakley.  He was one of the top American circus clowns of the early 20th century. He performed an unheard of 15 minute solo baseball routine with the Ringling Circus that made him one of the premier comedians of his day. In the off-season he clowned in vaudeville and, in 1905, began working with Marceline in the tremendous spectacles at the massive New York Hippodrome.  Buster Keaton named him one of his favorite comedians ever.

No footage of him performing the baseball gag exists (and please let me know if I am wrong)

Here’s Buster doing an homage:
[youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-CM9SDKQRQc”]


NY Times, March 8, 1916

Slivers wife passed away in 1913 and he never got over the loss of his beloved Nellie. He began to drink, and generally decline. Slivers took his own life on March 8, 1916.

Raising Money For A Stone for Slivers Oakley

Tuesday March 8th, 2016 will mark the 100th anniversary of his passing and Pat Cashin of clownalley.net is raising funds to purchase a stone  to mark Slivers and Nellie’s final resting place at Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Queens, NY.

Pat is trying to raise at least $3,000. for a 24″x12″ stone with a laser etching of Slivers’ clown character. They’ve raised almost $1000 now. Any funds raised in excess will be donated by Pat to the International Clown Hall of Fame for similar future projects.

The GoFundMe site for donations is  Slivers Oakley Memorial Fund by Pat Cashin

Find out more about Slivers here:

Slivers The Baseball Clown

Chalk Face (on ClownAlley.net)

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