“Irving Korman is a man with a double life. Korman is a part time professor at the University of Akron, a father, husband, teacher-and a clown. Since 1975, he has been performing as various clowns, including Ronald McDonald and his own personal creation, Marlowe the Magic Clown.””
Irving Korman is a man with a double life.
Korman is a part time professor at the University of Akron, a father, husband, teacher-and a clown.
Since 1975, he has been performing as various clowns, including Ronald McDonald and his own personal creation, Marlowe the Magic Clown.
Marlowe isn’t the typical white-faced clown, Korman explained.
There are three types of clowns, Korman said. White faced clowns like McDonald or Bozo are the clowns people are usually afraid of. Auguste clowns have flesh tone make-up, and then there are clowns like Marlowe.
Marlowe is a tramp or hobo clown; instead of the typical painted smile, he has a frown. Despite the sad look, Kormon said the frown actually makes him more approachable.
Marlowe is a hobo or tramp clown. They move slowly and have torn clothes, he said. But people are willing to come up to them because they are the most human.
Children are particularly fascinated with him.
Kids always ask Marlowe why he is sad, Kormon said.
Korman has been teaching Introduction to Public Speaking at UA for the last nine years. Before that, he taught for 30 years in the Akron Public School system. However, he is not a full time faculty member.
I don’t have the added pressure of being full time staff, and frankly, I don’t have to put up with the crap full time staff has to put up with, he said. Of course I enjoy teaching here, if I didn’t I wouldn’t be here. I don’t have to do this, I am retired.
Retired, however, is an interesting word to describe Korman.
When most people think of a retired man, they think of an old fellow with a fishing pole.
Korman is far from that image. In fact, he has lived and is still living a fascinating life as a jack-of-all-trades.
He started with a career in journalism. During this time he worked for a handful of newspapers and met several celebrities.
According to Korman, the largest newspaper he worked for was the Cleveland Plain Dealer. There he said he interviewed numerous celebrities including singer Tony Bennett, actor Mickey Rooney, saxophonist Boney James and Barbara Eden, an actress who is best known for her starring role in the sitcom I Dream of Jeannie.
Perhaps the most well- known celebrity to UA students Korman has come in contact with is Ray Wise. Wise is an actor from Akron who is currently playing a devil on the hit TV series Reaper.
Korman and Wise worked a summer stock together in 1968 at Priscilla Beach Theatre in Massachusetts.
We put on ten shows in ten weeks. It was exhausting, but that’s what you do if you love theater.
Korman’s most enjoyable meet and greet was with Red Skelton, the son of a former circus clown, and for the most part Skelton considered himself a clown as well.
He talked to everybody, he shook everybody’s hand and he was just a friendly guy who was funny, he said.
As Marlowe, Korman now volunteers from time to time at Akron Children’s Hospital. He also does telethons and walkathons for charity.
Through the years, Korman has been called by many names including Ronald McDonald, Old Saint Nick and, of course, Marlowe the Magic Clown.
However, to his wife he is simply Irv.
When it’s hey Irv, I know I have to do something.