7/14/2008 07:52:00 PM

Buffo The World's Strongest Clown

Posted by Mark McCray |

Another random post, but I was on the Toledo, Ohio Summer Fair website and saw that Buffo The Clown will be performing there. I mean I had never heard of Buffo The Clown but I think it might be the weirdest thing I have ever seen.

Now we know how Jose Canseco has been getting grocery money...

As "Buffo the World's Strongest Clown," the Evans City resident juggles chain saws, smashes cinder blocks and rips phone books in half as part of his regular routine. He's a Himalayan mountain of muscle in white face paint who could effortlessly twist Ronald McDonald into a complex balloon animal.

"Sometimes, people want to mess with the clown and they make fun of me when I do my adult shows in bars," Buffo explains. "That's when I usually rip off the (Velcro) sleeves and pick those people up off the ground. Then they back down. You don't want to mess with me."

Bigger than the biceps and bravado, however, is his soft spot for kids -- especially those afflicted with mental and physical handicaps. Prior to becoming a traveling carnival act, Toman earned a master's degree in special education at the University of Pittsburgh and spent seven years as a teacher at Western Pennsylvania School for the Blind.

Long before the eye-popping theatrics and bulbous red nose, Toman was a sixth-round draft pick (128th overall) of the Chicago White Sox in 1974. He spent six summers in the minors with stops in the Pittsburgh Pirates and Houston Astros organizations as a center fielder.

Despite being an aggressive, energetic player who possessed the legs of a gazelle (Toman averaged 40 to 50 stolen bases a season), Toman never advanced past Class AA.

Nevertheless, an identity was formed.

While his baseball career slowly fizzled, Toman killed time in the dugout by learning how to juggle baseballs.

Buffo can bench press a circus elephant and turn the boldest of hecklers a shade of white that rivals his makeup. But he's also a gentle giant, fueled solely by the innocent laughter of children.


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