Clown Prince of Baseball
Myron Noodleman goofing around on the baseball field.
|Residence||Broken Arrow, Oklahoma|
|Title||Clown Prince of Baseball|
Myron Noodleman is the stage name of Rick Hader, an American clown best known for his appearances at minor league baseball games and other public events. Since 2004, he has been billed as the fifth "Clown Prince of Baseball", following Arlie Latham, Al Schacht, Jackie Price, and Max Patkin. Rick Hader is the brother of screenwriter Matt Hader and the uncle of Saturday Night Live cast member Bill Hader, a die-hard Chicago Cubs fan, and was a high school math teacher and football coach at Union High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma before he began his career as a clown.
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Hader's performances as Myron Noodleman began when he showed up at a school football game in the late 80s dressed in full nerd regalia. After a few more trials, he hired an agent, attended the Baseball Winter Meetings in 1994, and honed his act through years of touring. Every summer he has performed at over 60 to 70 baseball parks across North America. He has been the celebrity attraction to numerous Nerd Night promotions.
Myron's persona is reminiscent of the nerdy Jerry Lewis characters of the 1960s: he can be manic and disruptive one moment, and patiently pantomimic the next. Between innings he performs sketches that involve players, umpires, groundskeepers and sometimes fans.
One of his signature skits titled "Dueling Signals" is performed to music with a player or coach. It starts with Myron flashing a baseball coach's signal and is answered by his skit partner. The signals keep coming faster and faster until there is nothing left to do but break into some contemporary dance moves mixed with a little do-as-I-do. When each routine is over, Myron goes into the stands and moves among the fans providing impromptu comedy. He will help himself to a spectator's seat, refreshments, and even girlfriend.
In November 2004 Myron Noodleman was bestowed the title Clown Prince of Baseball by baseball administrator Roland Hemond in a ceremony at the Mike Veeck Promotional Seminar at Hilton Head, South Carolina. Hemond, now Executive Advisor to the General Manager of the Chicago White Sox, once served as GM for the late Bill Veeck (Mike's dad). Bill Veeck was the one to place the title on the previous and best known Clown Prince of Baseball, Max Patkin. Baseball's Hall of Fame has yet to recognize Noodleman as heir to the Max Patkin legacy, though as of 2006 no rival claimant has disputed the title.
- Tristen Critchfield, "Myron Noodleman Got His Big Break at Dukes Game", Albuquerque Journal, June 10, 2011.
- "Clowning around is this guy's game: Hader offers a little bit of Jerry Lewis, Groucho Marx with baseball laughs." The Virginian-Pilot, May 2, 1998 (pay site).
- "Myron Noodleman Becomes Clown Prince of Baseball", GTR Newspapers, November 24, 2004.
- Kathy Booher, "Noodleman is minors' latest 'Clown Prince'", Springfield News-Leader, May 22, 2005 (pay site).
- Al Benn, "Myron Noodleman carries on a baseball tradition", Montgomery Advertiser, April 7, 2006 (pay site).
- "Looking for gold on SNL", Tulsa World, September 12, 2008.