Toby Circus, Bill Ballantine, and Lou Jacobs

Lou Jacobs


Toby Ballantine's middle name is Circus, literally and figuratively. His mother was a star, and his father was a clown with the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus. As a matter of fact, his father, Bill Ballantine was Dean of Clown College, established in 1970, in Venice, Florida. Click here to download "The Life of Bill Ballantine."

So, as they say on the circus lot, Toby had "sawdust in his shoes" from the start, and it was no surprise that he chose to become a clown. Toby grew up in the circus and become a featured stilt walker, juggler and gag clown with the famous Ringling Brothers traveling show. What he didn't learn from his father, he mastered in years of touring with every kind of circus known: small "mud"shows, high grass and fairground shows, one ring european style circuses, and three ring extravaganzas. The clown character he developed is a brash, auguste, self-egrandizing bumbler.

Toby "Circus" Ballantine is a master clown in his own right and has been a "Clown to Celebrity" by performing at birthday parties for stars such as Eddie Murphy, Bob Hope, and Paul Newman. Toby has also been a much in demand producing clown. He has created and directed clown acts for industrial shows, for television, for nightclub acts, theme parks and commercials. Among his many clients are IBM, Sony, Tavern on the Green, Dial Soap, Publix Markets (see video below), Six Flags, Nathan's Hot Dogs, Lincoln Center, The UN, TV Guide, ATT, HP, NYU, Walbaums, and more.

Toby also serves as ringmaster, announcer, director and publicist for many of the programs he creates. Above all he has taken an interest in teaching clown workshops and seminars at schools and colleges. In his own words, he "hopes to pass along the very ancient and traditional art of clowning."

Click Above to Play Toby's TV Commercial for PUBLIX MARKETS.

"Why Toby? When he shows up you know you hired a Pro by one look and you can see in his eyes that it comes natural. The customers would be wowed even before the start."
Dr. Steven M. Poretskin, owner of Fun Attractions USA Corp & Magical Enterprises, Inc. who has been booking artists like Toby, Johnny Cash, and Rodney Dangerfield since 1984. Download 'Letter of Thanks' to Toby from Dr. Poretskin (pdf)