FELIX ADLER loved Wheaties, and so did ANTOINETTE CONCELLO

I really have no idea if the famous Ringling Brothers/Barnum and Bailey clown Felix Adler loved Wheaties, but the ad would have you believing he did. Most likely just another ad, like the cigarette ads from long ago, where words are put into a celebrities mouth.

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(SOURCE: Ringling Bros and Barnum and Bailey Circus Magazine and Daily Review, 1940)

These days the only safe way to let a celebrity speak on behalf of your product is to make sure they follow the script. Try to imagine Lindsay Lohan representing any company. How about a car ad with her behind the wheel careening towards a palm tree. A present day clown. Sad, very sad.

As to Antoinette Concello, the aerialist:
Antoinette Concello was a member of the famous "Flying Concello" aerial troupe, a family of flying trapeze artists. In the 20th Century multi-ring circus, the flying trapeze was the main attraction in the center ring of the "Big Top." The Flying Concellos were the premier troupe of aerialists in the 1920s, and Antoinette became known as the "greatest woman flyer of all time" because she was the only woman to complete the fabled "triple" (see Carol Reed's 1956 film "Trapeze" for background about this legendary stunt). A triple means that the aerialist completes three full somersaults while "flying" through the air after leaving their bar and being caught by a "catcher" hanging upside down on the opposite bar. It is a dangerous stunt.

Antoinette appeared with the troupe as one of the acts in Cecil B. DeMille's 1952 Best Picture Oscar-winning movie "The Greatest Show on Earth," which uses Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Baily Circus as a backdrop. The red-coated Ringling ringmaster Fred Brandna would introduce her act by announcing that Antionette was the first and only woman to achieve the triple, and added that she did it with "incomparable grace". The legendary flyer did not disappoint her audience, performing the fabled triple at every performance.

Antoinette Concello was inducted into the Circus Hall of Fame in 1963.
She died in 1984. (SOURCE: IMDB)

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(SOURCE: Sarasota Herald-Tribune, February 7, 1984)

I will have more about Felix Adler in another post.


  1. I am in awe by people like Antoinette Concello. Gymnasts trapeze artist and dancers who use their body to the max in the most beautiful and expressive way. I know this series is about the clowns, but I am busy admiring the trapeze artist right now. :-)

    1. I agree. Though I long ago lost my fascination with circuses I do find the history of some of the performers engaging.