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 in The Orange County Register. The three articles and two photo galleries 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 home from 1950 onward. Continue reading “Orange County Register: Pepito, Joanne and Nancy Drew (2010)”

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

Pepito & Joanne Story Treatment Registration With the Writers Guild of America (2014)

Excited to say that I have registered my Pepito & Joanne story treatment with the Writer’s Guild.  It feels good to have finally reached that milestone after researching since 2003.  But of course I will rewrite and revise, so I am still seeking more info about the lives of these amazing vaudevillians.  Every little detailContinue reading “Pepito & Joanne Story Treatment Registration With the Writers Guild of America (2014)”

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 wasContinue reading “Escobar Cousins Reunion (2013)”

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 haveContinue reading “Pocharte: Pepito the Clown & Joanne the Dancer (2012)”

Pepito, Joanne, and Daniger’s Tea Room at the Santora Building in Santa Ana, California (2012)

July 7, 2012 On Saturday, July 7th, the Santora Arts Building celebrated 84 years with a 1920’s-inspired themed celebration which kicked off a month-long celebration highlighting the history of the building from 1928 to the present.  Showcased was a dazzling array of fine art, music, cars, film, and fashions of a bygone era, as well as a tour ofContinue reading “Pepito, Joanne, and Daniger’s Tea Room at the Santora Building in Santa Ana, California (2012)”

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 parlorContinue reading “Clifford Combes, Muriel Combes, and Pepito the Spanish Clown (2011)”

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 ClownContinue reading “Chaplin Film Clip Sparks Time Travel Controversy (2010)”

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.) CartyContinue reading “Orange County Register: Were You A Dance Student of Joanne Perez? (2010)”

Orange County Register: Can You Solve These 5 Mysteries About Pepito and Joanne Perez (2010)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010 Melani Carty is looking for the answer to these Nancy Drew-inspired research questions about Pepito and Joanne Perez, former vaudevillians who ran a dance studio … 1.  The Secret of the Missing Clown Car In 1927, Pepito purchased a one-of-a-kind 1925 Monroe Pezel roadster.  The Monroe Body Works in Michigan was the originalContinue reading “Orange County Register: Can You Solve These 5 Mysteries About Pepito and Joanne Perez (2010)”

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

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

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 fascinatingContinue reading “Thanking the People Behind the Scenes at PepitoAndJoanne.com (2009)”

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,Continue reading “Michael Brannan’s SmugMug Site About Pepito The Spanish Clown (2009)”

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 considerContinue reading “The Mystery of Pepito’s Missing Scrapbook (2009)”

Helena Escobar, Pepito’s Great-Grand-Niece, Is An Award-Winning Spanish Clown Named “La Bleda” (2009)

Monday, May 25, 2009 In honor of the Escobar families in Spain and France, this text is presented first in Spanish, then French, with the English translation below. En honor de la familia Escobar en España y Francia, este texto se presenta primero en español y, a continuación, Francés, Inglés con la traducción a continuación.Continue reading “Helena Escobar, Pepito’s Great-Grand-Niece, Is An Award-Winning Spanish Clown Named “La Bleda” (2009)”

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 photoContinue reading “Raymond Escobar, Pepito’s Great-Nephew (2008)”

Television Obscurities Website: “I Love Lucy” Unaired Pilot Episode (2008)

Saturday, December 20, 2008 In March of 1951, a 34-minute pilot episode for a proposed I Love Lucy series was filmed in an attempt to sell the series to CBS and potential sponsors. It worked, but the pilot itself was never broadcast. Instead, its storyline was worked into an episode that was shown on November 19th, 1951Continue reading “Television Obscurities Website: “I Love Lucy” Unaired Pilot Episode (2008)”

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 instantlyContinue reading “VIDEO: Samaroff & Sonia, Pepito the Spanish Clown & Ron Pesch (2008)”

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-edgeContinue reading “Biola University Newsletter: New Cutting Edge Media Production Center Puts Biola on the Top (2008)”

Biola University Newsletter: Studio B [Where the Perez Estate Money Was Spent] (2008)

Monday, June 23, 2008 Full scale construction is underway on Biola University, Studio B, Cinema & Media Arts and Journalism, and will be complete for Fall ’08 classes. The rough shape of the exterior is clearly visible now, and drywall has been installed in the interior. The new Equipment Checkout Room will be ready forContinue reading “Biola University Newsletter: Studio B [Where the Perez Estate Money Was Spent] (2008)”

EverythingLucy: Pepito’s World’s Smallest Bicycle in Lucy-Desi Museum (2007)

Saturday, June 23, 2007 Pepito’s World’s Smallest Bicycle, six inches wide by ten inches high, manufactured by Anderson, Melbourne, Australia, 1928, was at one time entered into “Ripley’s Believe It or Not.”  Pepito and Joanne were in Australia in 1928 for an extended vaudeville tour, and he must have ordered this bicycle at that time. Continue reading “EverythingLucy: Pepito’s World’s Smallest Bicycle in Lucy-Desi Museum (2007)”

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

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

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

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 byContinue reading “LucyFan: Lucy Cello in Jamestown, New York (2005)”

San Gabriel Valley Tribune: Pepito’s Comedic Legacy, Clown’s “Lucy” Archive At Auction (2005)

Saturday, July 23, 2005 By Ben Baeder, Staff Writer, San Gabriel Valley Tribune LA MIRADA — Tucked in a tiny back room in the basement of the Biola University library is a very strange collection.  It includes two bicycles, a tiny one and a huge one.  Sitting on a metal cabinet is a clown puppetContinue reading “San Gabriel Valley Tribune: Pepito’s Comedic Legacy, Clown’s “Lucy” Archive At Auction (2005)”

“The New Book of Lists”: Joanne Perez Mentioned in List of 9 Valuable Artworks Found Unexpectedly (2005)

Saturday, January 1, 2005 Joanne is mentioned on page 117 of The New Book of Lists, published in 2005, under the category of “9 Valuable Artworks Found Unexpectedly.”   4.  Under A Bed Joanne Perez, the widow of vaudeville performer Pepito the Spanish Clown, discovered the only existing copy of the pilot for the TV series I LoveContinue reading ““The New Book of Lists”: Joanne Perez Mentioned in List of 9 Valuable Artworks Found Unexpectedly (2005)”

“Organizing from the Right Side of the Brain”: Joanne Perez Mentioned in Bestselling Book (2004)

Thursday, January 1, 2004 From page 204: “Joanne Perez, the wife of vaudeville performer Pepito the Spanish Clown, cleaned out underneath her bed and discovered the only existing copy of the pilot for the TV series I Love Lucy.  Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball had given it to Pepito as a gift.  He guest starred onContinue reading ““Organizing from the Right Side of the Brain”: Joanne Perez Mentioned in Bestselling Book (2004)”

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 asContinue reading “VIDEO: Pepito the Spanish Clown Reenactor at Fairhaven Cemetery (2003)”

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

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 mustContinue reading “Orange County Register: Ballet Teacher Still Going Strong at 91 (1999)”

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

Daily Gazette: CBS Video Issues Original Pilot For “I Love Lucy” On VHS (1994)

Sunday, June 26, 1994 Lovers of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz will not want to miss an outstanding new video: the historic, unnamed pilot show that loosely served as the basis for their legendary comedy series “I Love Lucy.” The tape, a CBS Video release, features narration by Lucie Arnaz, Ball and Arnaz’ daughter, as wellContinue reading “Daily Gazette: CBS Video Issues Original Pilot For “I Love Lucy” On VHS (1994)”

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.”Continue reading “Eye On Santa Ana: Pepito and Joanne, Dancing With the Hollywood Stars (1994)”

Los Angeles Times: No Desi, No “Lucy” – An Author Pieces Together the Teaming that Made TV History (1991)

Sunday, February 10, 1991 by Bart Andrews It was inevitable. A movie about Lucille Ball, the American icon, the Queen of Comedy, the First Lady of Television. A shoo-in, a sure-fire ratings-getter. An earlier program, the Dec. 18, 1989, airing of the 1956 “I Love Lucy” Christmas episode garnered CBS a 18.5 rating, placing itContinue reading “Los Angeles Times: No Desi, No “Lucy” – An Author Pieces Together the Teaming that Made TV History (1991)”

People Magazine: Lucie Arnaz on Seeing the Lost Pilot: “I Just Laughed” (1990)

Even Lucy and Desi’s Daughter Saw Something Newly Hilarious in the I Love Lucy Pilot Airing This Week Monday, May 7, 1990 Call it “I Found Lucy.” When Joanne Perez, 84, peered under a bed in her Orange County, Calif., home last December, she saw a canister of film labeled Lucy-Desi-Pepito audition. She took it toContinue reading “People Magazine: Lucie Arnaz on Seeing the Lost Pilot: “I Just Laughed” (1990)”

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,Continue reading “TV Time Capsule”

USA Today: Decades Later, Lost “Lucy” Pilot Finally Gets On the Air (1990)

Monday, April 30, 1990 USA TODAY, by Tom Green HOLLYWOOD – Here’s “I Love Lucy,” the home video. Sort of. On March 10, 1951, a five-months-pregnant Lucille Ball and husband Desi Arnaz, with $5,000 out of their own pockets, filmed the pilot for the CBS series that would eventually invent the live audience, three-camera TVContinue reading “USA Today: Decades Later, Lost “Lucy” Pilot Finally Gets On the Air (1990)”

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

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 39Continue reading “Los Angeles Times: “I Love Lucy” Pilot Discovered (1990)”

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

Orange County Register: Glamorous Lifestyle More Than A Memory For Former Star Joanne Perez (1984)

Wednesday, September 5, 1984 By Jim O’Connell, The Register For skeptics who believe there is no glamour left in the world, a trip to 1502 N. Ross Street in Santa Ana, California could change their minds.   There, at the Pepito and Joanne Ballet Academy, Joanne Perez is continuing a tradition that was lost when theContinue reading “Orange County Register: Glamorous Lifestyle More Than A Memory For Former Star Joanne Perez (1984)”

“A Book” by Desi Arnaz: Pepito’s Contributions to the Lost Pilot for “I Love Lucy” Explained (1976)

An Excerpt From “The Outspoken Memoirs of ‘Ricky Ricardo’ — The Man Who Loved Lucy” I had a very dear friend named Pepito, who used to go fishing with me. He’s retired now but he was one of the world’s greatest clowns. His billing was “Pepito, the Spanish Clown.” He headlined at the Hippodrome forContinue reading ““A Book” by Desi Arnaz: Pepito’s Contributions to the Lost Pilot for “I Love Lucy” Explained (1976)”

Los Angeles Times: Ex-Associate of Lucille Ball, Onetime Spanish Court Jester Dies (1975)

Wednesday, July 9, 1975 SANTA ANA — Pepito, the ontime court jester to King Alfonso of Spain and a former associate of Lucille Ball, is dead.   The 77-year old famed Spanish clown, who was the “King of the Playmates” in vadevulle for 20 years and a regular on the initial I Love Lucy show, diedContinue reading “Los Angeles Times: Ex-Associate of Lucille Ball, Onetime Spanish Court Jester Dies (1975)”

Santa Ana Register: “Once Spanish Court Jester, He Devotes His Time To Youth” (1965)

By Gwen Starr, The Register Sunday, October 3, 1965 Pepito, the world famous Spanish clown who reigned as “King of Playmates” in vaudeville for more than 20 years and who has devoted his life to entertaining children, again shares billing with his talented wife Joanne.  Only now, the marquee is atop an old Santa AnaContinue reading “Santa Ana Register: “Once Spanish Court Jester, He Devotes His Time To Youth” (1965)”

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.

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

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

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

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

Colliers Magazine: Illustration of Lucille Ball Playing the Loaded Cello (1952)

Funny [Ladies?] by Evelyn Harvey October 18, 1952 A bumper crop of professional funny women promise to turn this into a banner year for comedy on stage and TV. A flock of newcomers have joined the select handful of comediennes, the ladies of the sagging seams and flap-toed shoes, who have long been in aContinue reading “Colliers Magazine: Illustration of Lucille Ball Playing the Loaded Cello (1952)”

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

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

VIDEO: Rare On-Set Color Footage of the Filming of “I Love Lucy” Season 1 Episode 6, “The Audition” (1951)

Friday, October 12, 1951 Watch it here thanks to the wonders of YouTube.  This may be the only movie footage in existence from the I Love Lucy audience’s point of view.  A member of the audience at the filming of I Love Lucy Episode 6, “The Audition” shot this 8mm color footage from the grandstand seating using aContinue reading “VIDEO: Rare On-Set Color Footage of the Filming of “I Love Lucy” Season 1 Episode 6, “The Audition” (1951)”

VIDEO: Pepito’s Filmography: “Iron Man” Starring Jeff Chandler & Rock Hudson (1951)

Friday, August 17, 1951 Pepito Trivia Challenge: if you spot Pepito (Jose Escobar Perez) in his uncredited role in the original major motion picture release Iron Man, use the email link below to let us know in which scenes he appears. Synopsis: Iron Man is a 1951 American film noir drama sport film directed by JosephContinue reading “VIDEO: Pepito’s Filmography: “Iron Man” Starring Jeff Chandler & Rock Hudson (1951)”

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

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

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

VIDEO: Pepito’s Filmography: “Red, Hot and Blue” Starring Betty Hutton & Victor Mature (1949)

Friday, November 25, 1949 In “Red, Hot and Blue,” an aspiring actress’ rising career is threatened when she finds a dead gangster in her apartment. Eleanor Collier (Betty Hutton) is taken hostage by gangster Hair-Do Lempke, who demands that she name his boss’s killer. Eleanor is unable to name the murderer, but buys time byContinue reading “VIDEO: Pepito’s Filmography: “Red, Hot and Blue” Starring Betty Hutton & Victor Mature (1949)”

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,Continue reading “Pepito & Joanne’s First Dance School Location in Santa Ana (1949)”

VIDEO: Pepito’s Filmography: “Golden Earrings” Starring Ray Milland & Marlene Dietrich (1947)

Wednesday, August 27, 1947 Pepito Perez (real name, Jose Escobar Perez) has an uncredited role as “Gypsy Boy” in this Ray Milland and Marlene Dietrich adventure film, “Golden Earrings.”    In the fight scene, Pepito is a mustached man with shoulder-length dark hair, a vest, and a gold earring, seated on the ground in a clusterContinue reading “VIDEO: Pepito’s Filmography: “Golden Earrings” Starring Ray Milland & Marlene Dietrich (1947)”

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

VIDEO: Pepito’s Filmography: “A Medal For Benny” Starring Dorothy Lamour & Arturo deCordova (1945)

Monday, April 16, 1945 Pepito, the famous clown, was signed for an important role in the Dorothy Lamour – Arturo de Cordova co-starrer, “A Medal For Benny,” at the Liberty Theater. Pepito plays a paisano with authority and for a good reason. He was born in Barcelona and started his circus career with the Circo ParischContinue reading “VIDEO: Pepito’s Filmography: “A Medal For Benny” Starring Dorothy Lamour & Arturo deCordova (1945)”

Signed Portrait “For Joanne and Pepito, Our Love and Gratitude Always, Lucy and Desi” (1945)

Monday, January 1, 1945 For those of us who were dance students at the Pepito And Joanne Academy of Dance in Santa Ana, California, this framed and signed photo was a familiar sight in a place of honor in Joanne’s dark-paneled studio.  Inscribed by Lucille Ball, “For Joanne and Pepito, Our Love and Gratitude Always,Continue reading “Signed Portrait “For Joanne and Pepito, Our Love and Gratitude Always, Lucy and Desi” (1945)”

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Pepito the Famed Clown a Very Happy Guy Again (1943)

Tuesday, March 23, 1943 HOLLYWOOD, March 22, 1943 (U.P.) — 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 14-inch cigarContinue reading “Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Pepito the Famed Clown a Very Happy Guy Again (1943)”

Ogden Standard Examiner: Graceful Juanita, One of the Dancers With International Scandals (1940)

Sunday, December 8, 1940 GRACEFUL Juanita, one of the dancers with ‘International Scandals,’ coming to the Egyptian for two days only.”  This was Joanne Perez’s final publicity photo pose. She began her career in vaudeville in 1926 as an acrobatic dancer and pianist, joined up with Pepito at age 20 as his female foil andContinue reading “Ogden Standard Examiner: Graceful Juanita, One of the Dancers With International Scandals (1940)”

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,Continue reading “Oakland Tribune: The Playwrights’ Company Downtown Show Winds Up Today (1939)”

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 withContinue reading “Spokane Daily Chronicle: Veteran Funster Pepito Tops Post Bill (1939)”

Los Angeles Times: Pepito Mentioned In “Odd and Interesting” Gossip Column (1936)

Sunday, December 20, 1936 “Odd and Interesting” Column by Read Kendall Preston Foster is sponsoring a film career for Pepito, internationally known clown from Barcelona, Spain.  He predicts that with the right material, Pepito would become an outstanding comedian on the screen.” Source: Los Angeles Times, December 20, 1936, Page C2 More on Preston Foster:Continue reading “Los Angeles Times: Pepito Mentioned In “Odd and Interesting” Gossip Column (1936)”

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 baileContinue reading “Reno Evening Gazette: Reno’s New Sensation, Pepito With Juanita (1936)”

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

San Pedro News Pilot: Pepito the Famous Spanish Clown & His Musical Revue of 1933

October 28, 1933 Glorious Stage and Screen Attractions! On The Stage, Pepito, the Famous Spanish Clown and His Musical Revue of 1933. 15 Sensational Entertainers. Stage Riot of the Season … Direct From the New York Roxy to You. In addition to the screen feature and short subjects there is to be a stage attractionContinue reading “San Pedro News Pilot: Pepito the Famous Spanish Clown & His Musical Revue of 1933”

Yachting Magazine: Pepito the Spanish Clown Advertisement For Matthews Boats and Sterling Petrel Engines (1931)

Thursday, October 1, 1931 Pepito the celebrated Spanish clown, is the owner of a Matthews cruiser equipped with a Sterling Petrel 180-200 H.P. engine.  Many members of the profession are yachtsmen. The ownership of a motor boat, allows relaxation, enjoyment and health…crowning ultimates of good living.  Check the sizes of engines used in stock cruisers. Continue reading “Yachting Magazine: Pepito the Spanish Clown Advertisement For Matthews Boats and Sterling Petrel Engines (1931)”

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