I was going to call this post "Old-Fart Physical Comedy" but I thought I'd pull in more readers this way. Sexagenarian must have something to do with sex, right? Maybe there'll even be pictures! No, but while you're here...
Mike ("Buster the Clown") Bednarek writes: : One week short of turning 60, nursing an aching back, and fully realizing and appreciating the growing limitations on my physical body when it asks to do some of the same bits from 10, 20, 30 years ago, I've got a question for you. What do older physical comedians/clowns do when their bodies tell their heads (usually after the fact, when it's too late): "Are you f---ing nuts?"
Well, I'm 66 and still throwing my weary bones around, so I think this is a very good question and that a serious answer would make for a useful blog post. So do any aging veterans of the physical comedy wars want to share their old-fart experiences and longevity recommendations with our readers? If so, just e-mail me a few thoughts and I'll take it from there.
Meanwhile, we might as well laugh at ourselves, so here are two comic takes on the sexagenarian physical comedian. The first is a 1959 performance by the Talo Boys on the French tv show La Piste aux Étoiles, live from the Moulin de la Galette. (Thanks to Max Weldy for the original video!) The opening is pretty much straight acrobatics, though we see that some troupe members are not exactly spring chickens. At the 1:45 mark they get into some comedy schtick, but the old-man physical comedy starts at 4:40 when they re-enter as moustachioed "acrobates de la Belle Époque."
And 54 years later here's a piece in a similar (varicose) vein by "Fumagali and their Fumaboys," as they appeared on another French tv show, Le Plus Grand Cabaret du Monde (2013), and which I saw that same year at the Cirque d'Hiver in Paris.
Raffaele De Ritis writes: Fuma Boys act was conceived and created in the late 90s by Bernhard Paul, collector and founder of Circus Roncalli, under direct and deliberate inspiration of Talo Boys.
And just for inspiration, here's how Buster Keaton entered his sixties.
And finally, one more cartoon...
Click here for a similar piece by Fratelli Bologna from about 1989. Thanks to Drew Letchworth for the link, who writes "We weren't Sexagenarians when we did this piece, but we are now. We developed The Old Act in part because we found that we were getting too old to do the young act."