The Archive

The Archive

Melani Carty, of Lovettsville, Va., was a student at a dance studio in Santa Ana in the home of Joanne and Pepito Perez from 1970 to 1976 beginning at age 9. In 2009, Carty created PepitoAndJoanne.com to document the Perez’s fascinating lives and vaudeville career. The image projected on the wall is from a home movie of Joanne, dated 1929. — Photo by Elizabeth Dodd

Orange County Register: Pepito, Joanne and Nancy Drew (2010)

Monday, October 18, 2010 My Pepito & Joanne project was the subject of three features and two photo galleries in The Orange County Register and on their website, all of which are reproduced here at PepitoAndJoanne.com. The OC Register is based in my hometown, Santa Ana, California, the same city that Pepito and Joanne called…

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VIDEO: Lucille Ball Biographer Kathleen Brady Explains Pepito’s Involvement In How “I Love Lucy” Came to Be (2019)

From the “Great Lives” lecture series at Mary Washington University, watch author Kathleen Brady recount the life and career of Lucille Ball, and how the television series “I Love Lucy” was created in 1951. For details on about Pepito’s involvement in the production of the audition (pilot) episode, scroll the video to minute 35:00. The…

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Escobar Cousins Reunion (2013)

by Marivi Escobar Santo Tomas, Grand-niece of Pepito, the Spanish Clown (Jose Escobar Perez) What a pity Pepito and Joanne aren’t here anymore.  So long I have talked to Joanne for years and never could I comment anything of all this appearing in the newspapers. I had only her narratives from the past.  She was…

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Pepito the Spanish Clown, posing with a Charlie Chaplin impersonator behind Pepito’s miniature Packard, for the premiere of Charlie Chaplin’s 1928 motion picture “The Circus.” The courtyard and front entrance of Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood was decorated with a circus theme.

Pocharte: Pepito the Clown & Joanne the Dancer (2012)

August 19, 2012 Sandra “Pocha” Pena blogged on her “Pocharte” WordPress blog about her 2004 personal interviews with Joanne Perez. “Joanne was a dancer who fell in love with a Spanish clown her mother was dating.  This was way back in the 1920’s so the clown, Pepito, called upon his pal Charlie Chaplin to have…

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Clifford Combes, Muriel Combes, and Pepito the Spanish Clown (2011)

January 1, 2011 To write the biography of Pepito and Joanne, I have organized their personal archive of photos and newspaper clippings; and researched all the available historical newspaper databases on the internet.   One of the missing pieces is Pepito’s scrapbook of his entire vaudeville career, which sat in Pepito & Joanne’s Santa Ana parlor…

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Chaplin Film Clip Sparks Time Travel Controversy (2010)

Thursday, October 28, 2010 Pepito met Joanne in 1928 when they both were hired separately to perform in the live pre-show “Ballyhoo” before each showing of Charlie Chaplin’s “The Circus” at Grauman’s Chinese Theater.  Pepito Meets Joanne:  Their Matchmaker Was Charlie Chaplin (1928) VIDEO: “The Ballyhoo” of Charlie Chaplin’s “The Circus” (1928) Pepito the Spanish Clown…

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Orange County Register: Were You A Dance Student of Joanne Perez? (2010)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010 Were you a dance student of Joanne Perez?     OCRegister.com Joanne and Pepito Perez ran a dance studio in Orange County that they opened in 1941 when their days on the road as performers ended. Memorabilia collector Melani Carty attended the dance school in the 1970s (when she was Melani Motzkus.) Carty…

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The cover of the first draft of Joanne Perez’s copy of Van Zandt and Milman’s script for “I Love Lucy: The Very First Show,” which was 1990’s top rated television special.

Huffington Post: Pepito the Clown Mentioned in Article About Van Zandt & Milman’s script for “I Love Lucy, The Very First Show” (2010)

Thursday, September 23, 2010 They’ll Take Manhattan: Billy Van Zandt and Jane Milmore’s cyber-comedy “You’ve Got Hate Mail” opens lengthy run at NYC’s Triad Theatre (Scroll down to the pertinent paragraph in red). Star Trek: The Motion Picture, the 1979 movie, was ground breaking for many reasons. It was, for instance, the first movie created…

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VIDEO: Pepito and Joanne Portrayed on Living History Tour at Santa Ana’s Fairhaven Cemetery (2010)

Saturday, October 23, 2010 The annual guided historical tour of Fairhaven Memorial Park and Santa Ana Cemetery features costumed actors portraying historic figures who share stories from Orange County, California’s past.  This unique “living history tour” is the recipient of a prestigious California State Governor’s Award for Historic Preservation, and is a joint presentation of…

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Thanking the People Behind the Scenes at PepitoAndJoanne.com (2009)

Saturday, December 19, 2009 The end of the year is time for reflection.  PepitoAndJoanne.com is now 15 months old.  Looking back, I have many new friends, and many people to thank, for providing me with the all the stories, anecdotes and clues that are coming together to form the timeline of  Pepito & Joanne’s fascinating…

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Michael Brannan’s SmugMug Site About Pepito The Spanish Clown (2009)

Saturday, December 12, 2009 A wonderful photo website about Pepito the Spanish Clown (Pepito Perez, or Jose Escobar Perez), has been created by my online friend Michael Brannan.  Michael was one of the people fortunate to purchase Perez estate items on Ebay in 2008.  Michael is dedicated to preserving the history of early show business,…

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The Mystery of Pepito’s Missing Scrapbook (2009)

Thursday, May 28, 2009 After the death of Joanne Perez, her entire estate was liquidated, and the proceeds benefitted Biola University in Southern California.  One of the items that was sold was Pepito’s scrapbook.  The current whereabouts of this fabulous scrapbook are unknown.  It is my hope that the current owner will contact me, and consider…

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Roger Schutt and Pepito’s Trick Violin (2008)

Thursday, December 25, 2008 by Melani Carty This is the story of a magical Christmas present given to me by a very kind person I have never met:  Mr. Roger Schutt.  It all began last autumn, when a number of Pepito-related items were being sold on eBay.  One of the eBay lots contained a number…

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Raymond Escobar, Pepito’s Great-Nephew (2008)

Saturday, December 20, 2008 by Melani Carty Thanks to the wonders of the internet, Pepito’s great-nephew, Raymond Escobar, has found this website and become a good penpal.   Raymond Escobar is the son of Ramon Escobar and the grandson of Rafael Escobar Perez (Pepito’s brother!) Raymond emailed me the most wonderful treasure:  the earliest known photo…

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Donat Butowick and Ella Butowick, the vaudeville act billed as “Samaroff and Sonia.”

VIDEO: Samaroff & Sonia, Pepito the Spanish Clown & Ron Pesch (2008)

Friday, December 5, 2008 by Melani Carty This was a first for me:  the first time my blog has been blogged upon by another blogger!  “An e-mail arrived the other day from Melani Carty with a subject line that immediately caught my attention. It said, “Samaroff and Sonia & Pepito the Clown.”  I knew instantly…

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Biola University Newsletter: New Cutting Edge Media Production Center Puts Biola on the Top (2008)

Thursday, November 13, 2008 After more than $2.2 million worth of renovation, Biola’s ambitious Media Production Center is ready for lights, cameras and plenty of action. The center — a state-of-the-art home away from home for students in the University’s film and journalism programs — is currently in the process of being outfitted with cutting-edge…

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The Pepito & Joanne House in Santa Ana, California, was home to the Pepito & Joanne Academy of Dance since 1950. Pepito and Joanne lived in the home in the front, and Joanne taught classes in the beautiful dance studio in the rear.

City of Santa Ana: Restored Pepito & Joanne House Wins Preservation Award (2007)

Monday, January 1, 2007 Historic Preservation Award Winners Congratulations to the 2007 Outstanding Historic Preservation Award Winners!  The first winner is Fermin Valencia for Restoration of the Pepito and Joanne’s Dance Studio. Pepito and Joanne were long-time friends of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, and were in fact “co-conspirators” in getting the first episode of…

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The Hippity Hoppity Frog Costume Display Case at the Lucy-Desi Museum in Jamestown, New York, Lucille Ball’s hometown. The costume was worn by Fred Mertz, actor William Frawley, in “I Love Lucy” episode 163, “Little Rickys School Pageant.” Photographed in 2006 by Mary Rapaport.

EverythingLucy: “I Love Lucy” Frog Costume Donated to The Lucy-Desi Center (2006)

Friday, December 15, 2006 As reported by the Lucille Ball – Desi Arnaz Center in Jamestown, NY, the frog costume worn by William Frawley in the I Love Lucy episode,”Little Ricky’s School Pageant” has been donated to the center by Bill and Mary Rapaport of East Amherst, New York. Fifty years ago this Sunday, on December 17,…

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Display case at the Lucy-Desi Museum in Jamestown, New York, containing two iconic costumes worn by Pepito, the Spanish Clown, in episode 52 of the I Love Lucy television program. The 13-piece clown outfit includes Pepito’s iconic giant pocket watch, which dates back to the 1910s. The lion tamer ensemble includes with safari hat, bullwhip, and leggings with yarn “leg hair.” Photo courtesy of Mary Rapaport.

EverythingLucy: Pepito’s “I Love Lucy” Episode 52 Costumes Donated to Lucy-Desi Center (2006)

Monday, March 13, 2006 Two costumes worn in the classic I Love Lucy television series have been donated to the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center in Lucille Ball’s hometown, Jamestown, New York. Both costumes, a 13-piece clown outfit and a lion tamer ensemble complete with safari hat and bullwhip, were worn by Pepito Perez, a long-time…

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The Lucille Ball “Loaded Cello” on display at Lucy-Desi Museum, 2006. The cello and the accompanying routine were devised by Pepito, the Spanish Clown. Photo by Mary Rapaport.

LucyFan: Lucy Cello in Jamestown, New York (2005)

Monday, November 7, 2005 The “loaded cello” used by Lucille Ball in the pilot episode of I Love Lucy, has found a new home — at the Lucy-Desi Museum in Jamestown, New York (see photo above). The instrument, originally owned and redesigned by performer “Pepito” (Jose Escobar Perez), was purchased on the Museum’s behalf by…

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Biola University Newsletter: Perez House Sells (2005)

Saturday, October 1, 2005 The Perez House, home of the late Joanne and Pepito Perez, has been sold, along with a much of the memorabilia. In 2004, Joanne Perez left her entire estate to Biola University, specifically the Mass Comm department.  The Perez’s spent their lives in the entertainment industry and Joanne wanted her estate…

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VIDEO: Pepito the Spanish Clown Reenactor at Fairhaven Cemetery (2003)

Sunday, June 1, 2003 This is a wonderful video clip from the Santa Ana Historical Preservation Society’s 2003 Fairhaven Cemetery historical tour.  Volunteer actors re-enacted the highlights of the lives of some of the famous people interred there, including Pepito Perez (real name Jose Escobar Perez), known in vaudeville and on I Love Lucy as…

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The Lost “I Love Lucy” Pilot Released On DVD (2002)

Tuesday, July 2, 2002 DVD Review of The Lost Pilot of I Love Lucy, from DigitallyObsessed.com In one of those happy accidents that doesn’t happen often enough, the self-financed pilot that Lucy and Desi produced to sell CBS on the idea resurfaced after 40 years, thanks to Joanne Perez, wife of famed Spanish clown Pepito…

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City of Santa Ana Register of Historical Properties: Ford House / Pepito & Joanne’s Dance Studio (2001)

Monday, October 29, 2001 NAME:  Ford House/Pepito and Joanne’s Dance Studio ADDRESS:  1502 North Ross Street, Santa Ana, CA 92706 YEAR BUILT:  1892/Moved 1924. LOCAL REGISTER CATEGORY:  Key HISTORIC DISTRICT:  N/A NEIGHBORHOOD:  Willard NATIONAL REGISTER CRITERIA FOR EVALUATION:  B, C NATIONAL REGISTER STATUS CODE:  5S1 ARCHITECTURAL STYLE: Queen Anne (Late Victorian) DESCRIPTION/BACKGROUND RELATED TO PERIOD ARCHITECTURE: The Queen Anne (Late Victorian) (also known as…

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Orange County Register: Ballet Teacher Still Going Strong at 91 (1999)

Sunday, June 6, 1999 by Laura Bleiberg for The Orange County Register  This is a birthday note for Joanne Perez, who turned 91 this week. Happy birthday, Joanne.   Joanne owns, operates and yes still teaches ballet at Pepito and Joanne Academy of Ballet in Santa Ana. The school itself is 50 years old, which must…

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Laughs, Luck…and Lucy: How I Came To Create the Most Popular Sitcom of All Time, by Jess Oppenheimer and Gregg Oppenheimer (1999)

Friday, January 1, 1999 Excerpt: “Bob and Madelyn wrote some sketches for Lucy and Desi’s act, which was billed as “Desi Arnaz and Band with Lucille Ball.” Desi got his old fishing buddy, the internationally famous clown “Pepito,” to come up with some clown routines for Lucy to do.  Pepito also built a Rube Goldberg-type cello for Lucy, equipped with all sorts of…

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Eye On Santa Ana: Pepito and Joanne, Dancing With the Hollywood Stars (1994)

Wednesday, June 1, 1994 by Catherine C. Cate  (This article originally appeared in the Summer 1994 issue of “Eye on Santa Ana.”) Behind the iron gates that surround the Victorian-style building at 1502 N. Ross in Santa Ana, California lies a world well known to thousands of aspiring performers:  “The Pepito and Joanne Academy of Dance.”…

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1951 “Lucy” Pilot Beats 1990 Shows (1990)

Wednesday, May 2, 1990 NEW YORK (Associated Press) America still loves Lucy — particularly the pilot for what became CBS’s classic “I Love Lucy” series.  No matter that the show was made during the Korean war, when Harry S. Truman was president. By a CBS estimate, 40 million viewers saw “I Love Lucy: The Very…

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VIDEO CLIP: “I Love Lucy, The Very First Show” (1990)

Monday, April 30, 1990 “If you are wondering how we got tonight’s film [the Lost Pilot of “I Love Lucy”], my father (Desi Arnaz) gave it to Pepito the Clown as a thank you for guest-starring in the Pilot … but more importantly, for creating my parents’ vaudeville act.  Only after hearing it was missing,…

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CBS Unveils A Long-Lost Episode of ‘I Love Lucy’ (1990)

Monday, April 30, 1990 by Hal Boedeker, Knight-Ridder Newspapers Tonight, CBS will take us back to March 2, 1951, a night television history was made — then lost for almost 40 years. On that day, two characters named Lucy and Ricky Ricardo were born — they were to have been Lucy and Larry Lopez.  They…

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TV Time Capsule

Monday, April 30, 1990 by Chris Baker Think you’ve seen every episode of “I Love Lucy” dozens of times? You probably have. But maybe you’ve never seen the sitcom’s “lost” pilot, which CBS aired for the first time on this night in 1990 under the banner “I Love Lucy: The Very First Show.” On March 10,…

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Washington Post: “Love That ‘Lost’ Lucy” (1990)

Monday, April 30, 1990 by Tom Shales The Washington Post On Dec. 18, 1989, 33 years after its first and only previous broadcast, CBS aired “The I Love Lucy Christmas Show” in prime time. Result: A very healthy 18.6 rating and 28 share, good enough to put the special in sixth place for the week,…

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Pepito the Clown and Lucille Ball in a scene from the 16 mm kinescope that would later become known as the “Lost Pilot of ‘I Love Lucy.’”

Orange County Register: “And In the Beginning Was ‘Lucy:’” Joanne and the Lost Pilot (1990)

Sunday, April 29, 1990 Byline: Ray Richmond, The Orange County Register  On March 2, 1951, a pilot episode was shot for a televised version of a comedy radio show that Lucille Ball had done called “My Favorite Husband.”  By October of that year, “I Love Lucy” was on the air and starting a six-season, 179-episode…

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TV Guide: A Long Lost Gem, the Pilot That Launched Lucy (1990)

April 29, 1990 In March of 1951, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz filmed an “audition” for a TV sitcom that premiered as a series on CBS the following October. Since then, the 179 half-hour episodes of I Love Lucy have been seen by millions around the world, but until tonight the March pilot, once believed…

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Tribune Media Services: “I Love Lucy” Pilot Airs (1990)

Saturday, April 28, 1990 by Jay Bobbin, Tribune Media Services Just when you thought you’d seen every episode of “I Love Lucy” in existence, here comes one more.   In 1951, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz did a portion of their nightclub act as a pilot for CBS executives, in the hope that a series would…

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All That’s Left: A Lasting Impression (1990)

Wednesday, April 11, 1990 For those who still love Lucy, there’s more to love. An audition film (these days known as a pilot) for “I Love Lucy,” which runs 34 minutes and has never been seen on television, will be shown in May as part of a CBS special devoted to Lucille Ball. The film…

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Deseret News: Long Lost ‘I Love Lucy’ Pilot Is Found (1990)

Tuesday, April 10, 1990 By Scott D. Pierce, Television Editor, Deseret News If you still love Lucy, you’re in for a treat.  The “I Love Lucy” pilot has been found, and will be broadcast by CBS next month. For TV buffs, this find ranks up there with discovery of King Tut’s tomb. Most experts believed…

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Los Angeles Times: “I Love Lucy” Pilot Discovered (1990)

Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation’s press, by Greg Braxton Monday, April 9, 1990 “I Love Lucy” Pilot Discovered. The original pilot for “I Love Lucy,” which has been missing for 40 years, has been found under a bed where it had been forgotten for 39…

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New York Times: Broadcasting Museum Seeks TV’s Self-History (1987)

Sunday, January 25, 1987 (Scroll down to paragraph in red). Thousands of people will videotape Super Bowl XXI today. But fans looking for a copy of the first Super Bowl broadcast — in which the Green Bay Packers trounced the Kansas City Chiefs 35-10 and Max McGee grabbed two touchdown passes — are out of…

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Letter From Lucille Ball to Joanne Perez (1983)

Thursday, August 18, 1983 A one-page handwritten letter from the Lucille Ball to long-time friend, Joanne Perez, written on Lucy’s personal stationery. In blue ink, she writes,  “Joanne dear—Thank you for remembering my birthday—hope you had a chance to see some of that marathon on TV. Pepito had a lot to do with our initial…

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Variety: Obituary for Pepito Perez, Pepito the Spanish Clown (1975)

Wednesday, July 23, 1975 Pepito Perez, 79, Orpheum headliner for many years where he was billed as Pepito the Spanish Clown, died July 13, 1975, of cancer at his home in Santa Ana, California.  He had made his residence there for the past 15 years where he and his wife conducted a dance school.   Born…

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VIDEO: Easter Recital at the Balboa Bay Club (1957)

Saturday, April 20, 1957 Recital Cast (list in progress): Leigh Fernandez, Linda Fernandez, Shirley Gardner & ZaZa, Christy Nelson, Steve Nelson, Peggy Oberdorfer, Joanne Perez, Linda Rumph, Nellie Rumph, Ken Tabor. For more like this, jump over to Recital Videos.

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Signed cast photo from “I Love Lucy” Season 6, Episode 163, “Little Ricky’s School Pageant,” the “Enchanted Forest” recital-within-the-episode. This photo once hung on the wall of Joanne’s dance studio in Santa Ana, and is familiar to all who entered those doors.

Pepito’s Filmography: “I Love Lucy: Little Ricky’s School Pageant” (1956)

Monday, December 17, 1956 I Love Lucy, Season 6, Episode 163, filmed October 25, 1956 at Ren-Mar Studio., aired December 17, 1956. The Ricardos and the Mertzes get more involved than they anticipated in Little Ricky’s school pageant, “The Enchanted Forest.”  The sets and costumes for the pageant were designed by Pepito Perez, and choreography…

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Shirley Gardner and Zsa Zsa the Horse (1956)

Saturday, June 2, 1956 GIANT JUVENILE PRODUCTION “Varieties of 1956” with a cast of 500 Orange County youngsters will be presented to the public June 20 and 21 at Orange Coast College Auditorium.  Here we see Shirley Gardner of Tustin and “Friend” in one of the scenes from the production.  The program is being presented…

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Pepito’s Filmography: “Here Come the Girls” Starring Bob Hope (1953)

Thursday, October 22, 1953 Pepito can be seen briefly in the circus sequence of Paramount’s “Here Come the Girls” with Bob Hope, Rosemary Clooney and Fred Clark.  Here Come the Girls Summary: Originally intended as a 3D film, this standard-issue Bob Hope musical comedy was released “flat.” The 50-year-old Hope plays over-aged chorus boy Stanley Snodgrass, whose attempts…

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VIDEO: Pepito’s Filmography: “Scared Stiff” Starring Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis (1953)

Monday, April 27, 1953 Dean Martin … Larry ToddJerry Lewis … Myron MertzLizabeth Scott … Mary CarrollCarmen Miranda … Carmelita CastinhaPepito Perez … Rowboat Operator Larry Todd (Dean Martin), and Myron Mertz (Jerry Lewis), cross paths with a gangster named “Shorty” when Larry hits on Shorty’s girl. After fleeing from Shorty, they meet an heiress (Lizabeth…

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Pepito’s Filmography: “I Love Lucy” Episode 52: Lucy’s Show-Biz Swan Song (1952)

Monday, December 22, 1952 The now-pregnant Lucy tries, for one last time, to “get in the show” as Ricky is putting on a Gay Nineties revue—failing all else, she “crashes” the Barbershop Quartet number (singing Good Night Ladies), leading into a “pie fight” of shaving cream.  Highlights of the episode include the auditions, including Pepito the…

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“I Love Lucy” Season 1 Episode 6, “The Audition” (1951)

Monday, November 19, 1951 The I Love Lucy episode titled “The Audition” first aired on November 19, 1951.  Lucy’s act as the dim professor with the uncooperative cello is the vaudeville routine that Pepito taught her. unfortunately, Pepito does not appear as himself in Episode 6 to reprise his role from the Lost Pilot. Instead his role was…

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Pepito’s Filmography: “The Raging Tide” Starring Richard Conte & Shelley Winters (1951)

Thursday, November 1, 1951 The Raging Tide stars Richard Conte as San Francisco crime boss Bruno Felkin. After killing off a rival, Felkin tries to arrange an alibi with his girlfriend Connie Thatcher (Shelley Winters). Unfortunately, she isn’t available, obliging Felkin to hide out on a fishing boat owned by Ilmael Linder (Charles Bickford) until Connie can…

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Jess Oppenheimer’s Treatment for the “I Love Lucy” Pilot (1951)

Friday, March 2, 1951 On March 2, 1951, Jess Oppenheimer registered his treatment with the Screen Writer’s Guild for the pilot episode of “I Love Lucy.”  The final paragraph:  “The first story concerns a TV audition for Ricky, where Pepito, the clown, due to an accident, fails to appear and Lucy takes his place for the show. …

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“I Love Lucy: The Lost Pilot” (1951)

Friday, March 2, 1951 Pepito played a large supporting role as himself, Pepito the Spanish Clown, in the pilot for the “I Love Lucy” show.   Five months pregnant, Lucy stepped before the live TV cameras at Studio A at CBS headquarters on Sunset Boulevard and Gower Street on March 2, 1951, to do the “audition…

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VIDEO: Pepito’s Filmography: “Branded” Starring Alan Ladd (1950)

Wednesday, November 1, 1950 In the Alan Ladd action-adventure drama Branded, Pepito Perez (real name, Jose Escobar Perez) has a small, uncredited role.   Synopsis: Twenty-five years ago the Lavery baby was kidnapped. Alan Ladd plays Choya, a bandit who poses as the long-lost son of a wealthy Texas rancher to gain the Lavery estate. Shamed by the…

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Pepito + Lucy = The Cello Routine (1950)

Thursday, June 1, 1950 Pepito devised the famous cello routine for Lucy, and built the trick cello from an old cello he bought in a pawn shop.  In fact, he came up with an entire vaudeville act for Lucy and Desi to perform around the United States, to prove to television executives that the public…

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Pepito, Lucy and Desi Rehearse Vaudeville Act at the Hotel Del Coronado (1950)

The Hotel Del Coronado near San Diego, California was instrumental in helping to launch the careers of some television giants. In fact, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz retreated to The Del in 1950 to polish their comedy routine under the direction of “Pepito the Spanish Clown,” a renowned vaudeville performer. They stayed at “The Del” for a…

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Pepito and Joanne’s first dance school was on Balboa Island, then Corona Del Mar. Later they added locations in Huntington Beach, and Santa Ana (above), a dark green house located at 17th and Main Streets. Later, Pepito and Joanne purchased their final dance academy location at 1502 N. Ross Street in Santa Ana.

Pepito & Joanne’s First Dance School Location in Santa Ana (1949)

Thursday, June 2, 1949 After retiring from performing on the road, Joanne Perez began her career as a dance teacher. During World War II, she taught dance in her converted garage studio on Balboa Island in Newport Beach.  Very quickly, she had over 100 students, and began opening more dance school locations around Orange County,…

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VIDEO: Pepito’s Filmography: “Masquerade in Mexico” Starring Dorothy Lamour & Arturo deCordova (1945)

Monday, December 3, 1945 Pepito Perez [Actor …. Angel’s chauffeur] (uncredited) Actors: Dorothy Lamour, Arturo de Cordova, Patric Knowles, Ann DvorakSynopsis: Masquerade in Mexico is Mitchell Leisen’s remake of his own Midnight. Stranded in Mexico City without a dime, glamorous Angel O’Reilly (Dorothy Lamour) is rescued by wealthy Thomas Grant (Patric Knowles). But Grant’s motivations are anything but altrustic. In…

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Autographed Photo: To Pepito, From Gary Cooper (1943)

June 1, 1943 Pepito operated his own deep sea fishing charter boat after he and Joanne retired from “the road” at the outset of World War II. One of his customers was the famous actor, Gary Cooper. Mr. Cooper inscribed this photo “To Pepito, with my kindest regards and thanks — I’m fishin — Gary…

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Pittsburgh Press: Famous Clown Pepito in Hollywood (1943)

Sunday, May 16, 1943 HOLLYWOOD – If you want to brighten the day for the kids, and for anybody else you know, you can tell them that Pepito, probably the most famous clown of this generation and the one which preceded it, is back on the job — in Hollywood. Two years ago, Pepito put…

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United Press: Pepito is Clowning Happy (1943)

Sunday, March 21, 1943 By Frederick C. Othman  United Press Hollywood Correspondent  HOLLYWOOD – You’ve probably never stopped to think about clowns, and their troubles. They’ve got ’em and the more famous the clown, the worse his woe. Take Pepito, who is the greatest clown of them all. For years he traveled the world with the…

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Rare photograph of Joanne and Pepito onstage together in the late 1930s, probably a nightclub. Note that Joanne is holding Pepito’s giant pocket watch, a part of his costume since the early 1920s. Pepito is holding his “Señor Wences”-style talking dummy, which involved using his fist and thumb to imitate a small face. Puzzlingly, Pepito appears to have Disney characters painted on his pant legs, but there is no record of him having been in any performance for the Disney company. Joanne would perform a tasteful contortionistic dance on top of the piano.

Oakland Tribune: The Playwrights’ Company Downtown Show Winds Up Today (1939)

THE PLAYWRIGHTS’ COMPANY     Downtown Show Winds Up Today  Sunday, December 17, 1939 East Bay theatergoers will have their last opportunity today to see the combination stage and screen show now showing at the Downtown Theater. Stage and radio stars combine in a vaudeville program on the Downtown stage, including “Pepito the Clown with Juanita,” Gray and Kathleen,…

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Spokane Daily Chronicle: Veteran Funster Pepito Tops Post Bill (1939)

Headlining the current Post Street vaudeville which runs through Sunday, is Pepito, famous Spanish clown who was brought to this country by the old Radio-Keith circuit. This veteran funster, who recently was seen running around in the motion picture “Annabelle Takes a Tour” with Lucille Ball and Jack Oakie, made yesterday’s initial audience howl with…

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Reno Evening Gazette: Reno’s New Sensation, Pepito With Juanita (1936)

Thursday, April 9, 1936 RENO’S NEW SENSATION! PEPITO With Juanita Marion Daniels Mahon & Rucker Betty Gordon Peggy Strickland THE COUNTRY CLUBRENO’S ACE OF CLUBS Photographic print of “PEPITO” The Famous Spanish Clown, as seen on Ebay in January, 2008.  The photograph is inscribed (in Spanish) “To mis buenos amigos y notables artistas de baile…

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Nevada State Journal: Pepito Is Coming To Country Club (1936)

Saturday, March 28, 1936 Pepito, famous clown, from the 365 Club, San Francisco, Thursday will open an engagement at the Country Club.  One of his best gags is his voice, which he has trained to do everything from sing grand opera to make noises in Walt Disney cartoons.   Pepito owns a lion farm, two yachts,…

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VIDEO: Sally Rand’s Fan Dance at the Chicago World’s Fair (1934)

June 1, 1934 Sally Rand’s Fan Dance at the Italian Village, Chicago World’s Fair, 1934.  Sally Rand was infamous for performing a “nude” fan dance outdoors at the Fair. According to Joanne, Sally wasn’t completely nude; rather she was wearing a very sheer leotard, which helped her to get around the laws against public nudity…

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Seeking the Descendants of Clara Falcy Raddatz Foy (1933)

Wednesday, June 28, 1933 One aspect of my research is to try to locate family members of Pepito and Joanne, to see if they have any photos, clippings, or scrapbooks to contribute to this research project.  Finding anything like that in someone’s attic would be a big help to my research.  Unfortunately, Pepito’s wife, Joanne…

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