Barry Lubin as Grandma
July 3, 1952 |
Atlantic City, New Jersey
|Known for||Grandma (clown)|
Barry Lubin (born July 3, 1952), the creator of the clown character Grandma, retired as the star of the Big Apple Circus in 2012.
Lubin was born on July 3, 1952, in Atlantic City, New Jersey to Edythe Weinberg Lubin, a homemaker, and George Simon Lubin, an audiovisual engineer. He grew up in nearby Ventnor City, where he was known in school as a "class clown". He graduated from Atlantic City High School and went on to college, intending to establish a career as a television director, based on some of his high school experiences with TV technology. As a junior at Emerson College in 1973, he decided to take off a year. He enrolled in the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Clown College, where he created his character, Grandma.
Starting in 1975, Lubin performed for five seasons with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, where Grandma made her debut. After he left Ringling Bros., Lubin partnered with Dick Monday in 1980 to do stand-up comedy. Their acts included A Couple Guys Who Gotta Do A Show and Pass The Popcorn. In 1982, he joined the Big Apple Circus, Grandma eventually becoming the star of the show. In addition to performing, he became the show's Director of Clowning and Production Consultant in 2001.
The Big Apple Circus estimates that in her 25 seasons with the show, Grandma made more than nine million people laugh in-person.
In 2002, Lubin was inducted into the International Clown Hall of Fame and the Sarasota Ring of Fame in 2012, the highest honor in American Circus. In 1999, he was the fifth person to receive the Legend of the Parade Award of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, where he appeared over 15 times. In 2007, he received the Lou Jacobs Lifetime Achievement Award from ClownAlley.net.
He has performed twice (1977 and 2008) at the International Circus Festival of Monte-Carlo, as well as at the International Circus Festivals in Budapest, in Izhevsk and Moscow, Russia. In addition, Lubin is one of only two American clowns to appear at the Wintercirckus of Circus Krone in Munich where he was named, "The World’s Funniest Grandma."
- Big Man of the Big Top Bids It Adieu - The New York Times
- Barry Lubin: Circus clown and biography fan - Boston Globe
- Grandma The Clown Is Leaving The Tent - NPR
- "Barry Lubin". Circopedia. Big Apple Circus. Retrieved 2016-06-23.
- Collins, Glenn. "PUBLIC LIVES; Just in Time, Grandma Is Out of Retirement", The New York Times, November 20, 201. Accessed September 7, 2017. "In 1982, Mr. Lubin began his first of 13 different Big Apple seasons. Three years ago he made a wrenching decision and retired from the show so he could spend more time at home in Garwood, N.J., with his daughters, Danielle, now 16, and Emily, now 10, both of whom have performed with Big Apple."
- Cronick, Scott. "PBS documentary shows life under the makeup for Ventnor native", The Press of Atlantic City, October 27, 2010. Accessed September 7, 2017. "He was, however, always drawn to entertainment. He remembers watching Charlie Chaplin films his father showed to Atlantic City hotel guests when Lubin was a child. His time at Atlantic City High School got his creative juices flowing as he experimented with new television equipment, eventually leading Lubin to attend Emerson College in Boston, where he planned to be a TV director."
- "Bio". Barry Lubin. Retrieved 2016-06-23.
- "Grandma The Clown Is Leaving The Tent". NPR. Retrieved 2016-06-23.