Barry Lubin of Big Apple Circus coming to Chicago

Barry Lubin will appear at World Clown Association Convention in Chicago – March 2014.

For a quarter of a century Barry Lubin has generated roars of laughter from the crowds at the Big Apple Circus in N.Y.C. His iconic character “Grandma” gently strolls out into the circus ring wearing red robe, black sneakers and a floppy pearl necklace.

You never know when Grandma will show up next. At one moment Grandma’s grey curls bounce as she is repairing a machine with a giant wrench, the next moment she is battling with the violin player using a tuba, later she is wrestling with two magicians who are attempting to saw her in half. She is feisty, then mousey as she pulls pranks on the other circus performers. Yet, it is Grandma’s warm eyes and smile, as she makes mischief, that grab the audience’s heart.

barry Lubin WCA 2013

Grandma is quite famous in N.Y.C. Her picture has been on every subway stop and side of a bus at one point or another to promote the legendary, Big Apple Circus. Her face is built on the classic American Auguste clown. Mr. Lubin has performed before nine million people at Big Apple during 25 seasons since 1982.

In 1975 Barry was considering a career as a TV director, but was unsure about where his life would go. He had a friend who was going to try out for the Ringling Clown College, so Barry went along and auditioned too. He was accepted, trained to work in the big tent, and soon found himself on tour with the Greatest Show on Earth. It was then that he created the character of Grandma. He went on to tour with Ringling Shows for five years and was on both Red and Blue units.


Barry Lubin was inducted into the International Clown Hall of Fame in 2002, and was presented the first Lou Jacobs Lifetime Achievement Award by in 2007. In January 2012, his name was enshrined into the St. Armands Circle Ring of Fame in Sarasota, Florida, which honors American circus greats.

He has now moved to Sweden to perform throughout Europe with a variety of Circus troupes. Most notably he has been featured at Circus Krone in Munich, Germany, and at the 2006 International Circus Festival of Budapest in Hungary (Moscow’s Bolshoi Circus Award). He also returned to the International Circus Festival of Monte-Carlo in 2008, where he received the Bellini Award.

Mr. Lubin has received great reviews across Europe. A European critic recently commented that “Grandma” is clown anarchist. In an article in the New York Times, Mr. Lubin said, “Well, there is anarchy in Grandma’s personality, and the audiences have given me license to be more over the top with Grandma, and I’ve gone for it.”

The Times article also said that Mr. Lubin has now embraced his life as a clown. “I’ve finally accepted that I’m a clown,” he said. “That’s what I do. That’s who I am. I’m here doing this because I’m supposed to.”

LaVahn G. Hoh, a circus historian who is professor of drama at the University of Virginia said, “In the international pecking order of clowns, Mr. Lubin ranks way up there in creativity, since he constantly produces new routines instead of repeating the same act. If Mr. Lubin has not been acknowledged as one of the world’s great clowns, he will be, since he’ll be getting more and more name recognition in Europe.”

One of Mr. Lubin’s goals now is to teach more. The W.C.A. is very fortunate to have this expert clown share with us at the 2014 Chicago Convention as our featured performer. He will also present several workshops that will be very fun and just possibly be what will take your clowning to a new level. Now is the time for you to sign up and be a part of this wonderful and unique educational opportunity.

Check out the World Clown Website for more information about the convention and the wonderful benefits of the World Clown Association.

Join us as we “Clown Around the World!”

The World Clown Association has a great Magazine – Clowning Around – it is filled with great articles, educational information and helpful vendors of clown supplies.

Come to Chicago and enjoy the workshops and show by Barry Lubin.


Learn more about Comedy entertainer in Minnesota at

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