Weckerly has always liked to clown around. When he was a communications
major at Elon University in the 1990s, he played the role of the
"Fightin' Christian," which was - at the time - the school sports
mascot (since replaced by the Phoenix). He went from working the
sidelines of college games to being "Bingo," the mascot for minor
league baseball's Burlington Indians. And now he has graduated straight
to the big top, as a professional clown for the Ringling Bros. and
Barnum & Bailey Circus.
in the Elon area in February, performing with the circus in Greensboro.
His 4-foot-11-inch height brings him face to face with his biggest
fans - the children who love his circus antics.
from Elon, he worked for a time at an NBC affiliate in Iowa. He
signed up for a clown class there with the idea that it might improve
his mascot skills. He became a member of a clown group in 2000 -
an informal organization of people of all ages who like to clown.
Through it, he connected with a former Ringling Bros. clown and
he sent an audition tape to the circus. He was hired.
He and his
wife now live on a circus train that's nearly a mile long, and they
travel all over the country. His wife works in sales for the circus.
was front-page news in the Burlington Times-News Feb. 11. "I think
the biggest thing for me (about being with the circus) is being
part of something that has such a rich history," he told the Times-News