Kids clown around Homewood library

  Diallo Brown, 8, of Hazel Crest learns some of the
  fundamentals of clowning at the Homewood Public Library.
 
 (Photos by Marilyn Thomas/H-F Chronicle)
 

It was craziness and laughter at the Homewood Public Library when Dr. Gesundheit made a clown therapy visit.

“Massage the best part of your brain – your imagination,” he encouraged the audience.

When he introduced himself, Dr. Gesundheit’s appearance with his red bubble nose, red shoes, flowered pants held up by suspenders, orange shirt and crazy hat immediately brought smiles to the audience at the July 31 show. 

Elise Bandstra of Homewood bravely holds a carrot as Dr. Gesundheit prepares to slice off another piece during his show at the Homewood Public Library.
  Elise Bandstra of Homewood
  bravely holds a carrot as
  Dr. Gesundheit prepares to
  slice off another piece during
  his show at Homewood Library.

 

 
In short order, he had children giggling at his silly tricks and pratfalls. He threw in a few jokes for the adults in the room, too. ("Everybody has a clown in them. They’re not all in the U.S. Senate!")
 
In an hour’s time, Dr. Gesundheit did a silly dance juggling his hat to Roaring  ‘20s music, he juggled a Ken doll, then the traditional three juggling balls and moved to a set of clubs, getting loud applause each time.
 
The audience held its collective breath when he juggled knives.
 

Juggling was part of the act for Dr. Gesundheit when he put on a show at the Homewood Public Library.
  Juggling was part of the act
  for Dr. Gesundheit at
  Homewood Public Library.

 

Diallo Brown, 8, was a shy partner in the beginning. But once he put a clown’s red nose on and was given a too-large black hat, Diallo mimicked every step Dr. Gesundheit took and was stealing the show.
 
“These routines are 400 years old,” the clown told the audience. 
 
Dr. Gesundheit had kids pretend they had one of his juggling balls and had to throw it to him so he could catch it in a paper bag.

He had two little girls in the audience help him come up with lyrics for a blues song as he accompanied them on harmonica.

And Elise Bandstra of Homewood had the job of holding a carrot for Dr. Gesundheit to throw a very long, sharp knife at – several times.  He promised her no one had lost a finger during the routine. He was true to his word.
 
Dr. Gesundheit is the stage name of Craig Sjogerman, who has been entertaining since 1979. He was with The Big Apple Circus for many years, but when that tent folded he started Vaudeville Chicago. He and a select crew regularly entertain at nursing homes and hospitals, parties, libraries and any other place people need a laugh.
 

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