GREENVILLE—Hot Shot Z returned to the Darke County Fair again this year to entertain fair-goers, young and old alike.
The clown, who said his name is Hot Shot Z, also said he is from Clownville USA.
“I was doing 100 fairs in the summertime, but I’m slowing down,” said Hot Shot, who alleges he is 422 years old and retiring.
His birthday, he said, was the first Saturday of the fair.
Hot Shot said he performed with Ringling Brothers Circus for seven years in the 1970s and loved it.
In his earlier days, he worked with stilts, a unicycle, and did some juggling and magic.
“And, I would always say, ‘Homey don’t play that, but Hot Shot does’,” he said.
The pins he had on one of his outfits he wore this week were special-made.
“I now have seven outfits, but a lady is making me more,” he said. “But, I am retiring.”
According to him, he has appeared at the Great Darke County Fair for 15 years.
“That went by quick,” he said.
What does he do in his spare time?
“I read, watch balloon videos because I like balloons, and playing a racing game on the computer,” he replied.
He was at the fair from Monday through Saturday from 1 to 8 p.m.
The secret to clowning is to enjoy and “be yourself.”
“Kids know if you don’t like what you’re doing. Kids are smart,” he said. “I have had some bratty teens and bratty adults. I just keep going and don’t say anything.”
Hot Shot even does his own makeup.
“I’ve always had the motto, ‘Time spent with a clown erases a frown’,” said Hot Shot, who enjoys the mime who also visits the Darke County Fair.
Hot Shot said one of the highlights of his career was when he went to what was once Deer Creek for concerts, between Noblesville and Anderson, Ind.
“I went there to warm up the crowds and guess who the entertainer was… Red Skelton,” recalled Hot Shot Z, whose favorite dining at the Darke County Fair is southern-fried green tomatoes and Gatorade. “I drew his picture on a napkin and still have it.”