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!
Contact me at Melani.Carty@PepitoAndJoanne.com
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.
Famous vaudeville clown on the Keith Circuit; Orpheum Circuit; RKO Circuit; Radio Keith Orpheum Vaudeville Circuit; and in top nightclubs and resorts, 1920s-1940s.
“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 E. Perez
Jose Escobar Perez
Jose E. Perez
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.
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.
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.
Joanne’s First Profession:
Vaudeville acrobatic dancer and pianist,
Nightclub acrobatic dancer,
Musician (piano and accordion),
Pepito’s partner onstage and off.
Margaret Janet Zettler,
Margaret J. Zettler,
Margaret Janet Zetteler,
Margaret J. Zetteler,
“Joan Falcy and Her Sun-Kissed Syncopaters,”
“Joan Falcy The Twisting Marvel,”
“Joan Falcy The Twisted Marvel,”
Pepito & Juanita,
Pepito and Juanita,
Pepito & Jaunita,
Pepito and Jaunita,
Pepito & Wanita,
Pepito and Wanita,
Juanita With Pepito,
Juanita and Pepito,
Trini the Acrobatic Dancer,
Pepito & Trini,
Pepito and Trini,
Trini With Pepito the International Comic.
Joanne’s Married Names:
Margaret E. Perez,
Margaret Escobar Perez,
Joanne E. Perez,
Joanne Escobar Perez.
Joanne Was Most Famous For:
Presenting the Lost Pilot of “I Love Lucy” to CBS in 1990.
Joanne’s Last Profession:
Ballet Teacher 1940 – 2000
Joanne’s Lasting Legacy:
Instilling a love of dance, performance, and the arts in thousands of young Orange County, California girls.
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,