Weary Willie Day

Weary Willie Day is a holiday that’s observed on the 9th of December. It’s a holiday that celebrates clowns and the impact they have made on all of our lives. Clowns bring a little bit of comic relief mixed with a little bit of pathos to invoke strong emotions in us.

This day celebrates one of the most famous modern clowns, Weary Willie, a character made famous by Emmett Kelly. It’s for this reason that this holiday falls on December 9th, the day on which Mr. Kelly was born in 1898.

A Brief Biography Of Emmett Kelly

Emmett Leo Kelly was born on December 9, 1898. He created the character Weary Willie based on the hobos he interacted with during the Great Depression. His clown was seen as a great alternative to the brightly colored, white-faced clowns that were prevalent at the time. As such, it became a very popular act for him, an act that he carried with him until his death at the age of 80 on March 29, 1979.

Facts For Weary Willie Day

If you’re looking for some interesting facts about Emmett Kelly, Weary Willie, or this holiday, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve found a number of facts that are perfect for sharing with friends and family on this day. So let’s dig into them so you can share them on Weary Willie Day.

  • Emmett Leo Kelly went to school for cartooning.
  • Weary Willie was invented by Kelly around 1933.
  • Emmett Kelly met his wife, Eva Moore, while they were working together as trapeze artists in 1923.
  • Weary Willie became an extremely popular character during the Great Depression.
  • Emmett Leo Kelly Jr. copied his father’s clown style.
  • Although Emmett Kelly retired in 1956, he remained employed in film and television.

Films & TV Appearances By Emmett Leo Kelly

Below are samples of the programs that Emmett Kelly appeared in throughout his lifetime.

  • The Fat Man (1952)
  • General Electric Theater (1955)
  • The Jackie Gleason Show (1957)
  • The Bob Crosby Show (1958)
  • The Clown & The Kids (1967)

Observing Weary Willie Day

Weary Willie Day can be observed by doing your best imitation of Weary Willie, or you can make a pilgrimage to the Emmett Kelly Museum in Sedan, Kansas. You can also visit the Missouri State Capitol and see the bronze bust of him on display in the rotunda. You can also use the hashtag #WearyWillieDay to spread the news about this holiday.

When is it?
This year (2024)
December 9 Monday
Next year (2025)
December 9 Tuesday
Last year (2023)
December 9 Saturday
Fun & Joy, Hobby & Creativity