In their heyday of the 1920s and 1930s, Pepito and Joanne were well-known on the R.K.O. Radio-Keith-Orpheum vaudeville circuit and in nightclubs as the act ‘‘Pepito, the Spanish Clown — Assisted By Juanita.” 

When they retired from show business, they opened the Pepito and Joanne Academy of Dance in Orange County, California, and proceeded to introduce thousands of little girls to the thrill of the performing arts.

This website is a tribute to the memory of Jose Escobar Perez (“Pepito”) and his wife, Joanne Perez. But I can’t take all the credit for PepitoAndJoanne.com.  I have a team of lovely contributors: former students and personal friends of Joanne’s, and some very kind people who have helped me along the way, who are all listed on the Dedications page.

Be sure to explore all the tabs, nooks and crannies of this website, because there is so much more information here than initially meets the eye.  “The Archive” section on the site homepage goes back to the early 1900s (!)

Below is a basic factual timeline of their lives, and all of the variant stage names used by Pepito and Joanne over the course of their careers. Enjoy!

Warm Regards,

Melani Carty

Contact me at Melani.Carty@PepitoAndJoanne.com

Jose Escobar Perez, stage name “Pepito, the Spanish Clown,” circa 1922.

Pepito Perez

Birth Name: Jose Escobar Perez.

Date of Birth:  Feb. 16, 1896 (verified birthday); February 16, 1885 (according to naturalization papers); February 3, 1890 (according to ship manifest); 1898 (according to the Internet Movie Database); at Barcelona, Spain.

Date of Death: July 13, 1975, in Santa Ana, California.

Pepito, the Spanish Clown, his iconic publicity photograph from early 1920s onward.

Pepito’s Profession:

Famous vaudeville clown on the Keith Circuit; Orpheum Circuit; RKO Circuit; Radio Keith Orpheum Vaudeville Circuit; and in top nightclubs and resorts, 1920s-1940s.

Juanita and Pepito on stage, late-1930s.

Pepito’s Pseudonyms:

Senor Mac-Wills,

Mac Wills,

Senor Hermhan,

“Pepito the Nut Comedian,”

“Pepito the Spanish Clown,”

“Pepito the Spanish Clown With Juanita,”

“Pepito the Spanish Clown Assisted By Juanita,”

“Pepito and Jaunita,”

“Pepito the Clown With Juanita,”

“Pepito the Clown Assisted By Juanita,”

“Pepito the Wise Cracker & His Sweet Cookie”

“Pepito the International Clown,”

“Pepito the International Comic,”

“Pepito, the Clown Quince of Humor,”

Jose Escobar Pepito,

Jose Escobar “Pepito”

Pepito Escobar,

Pepito Perez,

Pepito E. Perez

Jose Perez

Jose Escobar Perez

Jose E. Perez

Pepito with Desi Arnaz and a lion on “I Love Lucy,” episode 52, 1952.

Pepito’s Accomplishments:

Most famous vaudeville stage & nightclub clown of the 1920s and 1930s.

Character actor in motion pictures. 

Creator of Lucille Ball’s famous cello routine from “I Love Lucy,” in the Lost Pilot and Episode 6.  Appeared on “I Love Lucy,” in the Lost Pilot and in Episode 52.

Front door of the Perez home and Joanne’s dance studio in Santa Ana, California, 2003.

Pepito’s Pasttimes:

Pantomime teacher, dance school co-owner; artist and oil painter; sport fisherman, boat enthusiast, deep-sea fishing charter service, fishing buddy of Desi Arnaz, Bing Crosby, Clark Gable, William Powell.

Margaret Zettler, stage name Joan Falcy, probably 1926. Her later names were Joanne Perez, Mrs. Pepito Perez.

Joanne Perez

Birth Name:  Margaret Janet Zetteler, or Margaret Janet Zettler

Date of Birth: June 4, 1908, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Date of Death: April 1, 2004, in Santa Ana, California.

Joan Falcy on stage at Grauman’s Chinese Theater, 1928.

Joanne’s First Profession:

Vaudeville acrobatic dancer and pianist,

Vaudeville contortionist,

Vaudeville performer,

Nightclub acrobatic dancer,

Musician (piano and accordion),

Pepito’s partner onstage and off.

Juanita and Pepito, performing at the 1933-1934 World’s Fair in Chicago.

Joanne’s Names:

Margaret Zettler,

Margaret Janet Zettler,

Margaret J. Zettler,

Margaret Zetteler,

Margaret Janet Zetteler,

Margaret J. Zetteler,

Joan Zettler,

Joan Zetteler,

Joann Zettler,

Joann Zetteler,

Joanne Zettler,

Joanne Zetteler,

Pepito and Juanita outside a theater in Salt Lake City, 1936.

Joan Falcy,

Joann Falcy,

Joanne Falcy,

“Joan Falcy and Her Sun-Kissed Syncopaters,”

“Joan Falcy The Twisting Marvel,”

“Joan Falcy The Twisted Marvel,”

Joan Falsey,

Joann Falsey,

Joanne Falsey,

Joan Faley,

Joann Faley,

Joanne Faley,

Juanita Falcy,

Juanita and Pepito in costume for a vaudeville routine, circa 1930s.

Pepito & Juanita,

Pepito and Juanita,

Pepito & Jaunita,

Pepito and Jaunita,

Pepito & Wanita,

Pepito and Wanita,

Juanita,  Jaunita,

Juanita With Pepito,

Juanita and Pepito,

Juanita and Pepito in costume for a Gay Nineties vaudeville routine, circa 1930s.


Trini the Acrobatic Dancer,

Pepito & Trini,

Pepito and Trini,

Trini With Pepito the International Comic.

Trini, acrobatic modern dancer, circa late 1930s

Joanne’s Married Names:

Margaret E. Perez, 

Margaret Escobar Perez,

Joanne E. Perez,

Joanne Escobar Perez.

TV Guide advertisement for the 1990 CBS premiere of the Lost Pilot film reel of “I Love Lucy,” which had been “lost for 40 years” in Joanne’s home.

Joanne Was Most Famous For:

Presenting the Lost Pilot of “I Love Lucy” to CBS in 1990.

Joanne Perez in her paneled dance studio in Santa Ana, circa 1980s, with students.

Joanne’s Last Profession:

Ballet Teacher 1940 – 2000 

Joanne Perez with dance students, circa 1990s.

Joanne’s Lasting Legacy:

Instilling a love of dance, performance, and the arts in thousands of young Orange County, California girls.

Pepito and Joanne residence and dance studio as it appeared in 2003.

Joanne’s Famous Quote:

“I’ve got recognition. I’ve got all the recognition I ever wanted or needed. I love kids.”

In Fond Remembrance of

The Pepito and Joanne Academy of Dance

1502 N. Ross Street, Santa Ana, California

PepitoAndJoanne.com website contents, including blog posts, vintage photographs, and home movie footage, 

© Melani Carty