America's Best Clown: Bello

His dazzling stunts, goofy gags and big-top hairdo have made the circus a great show again

I like to call him Bello Nock--his clown name and his family name. Although he doesn't act like it, Bello, who keeps his real first name secret, is aristocracy. Members of the Nock family (their performance roots date back to the 18th century in Switzerland) have been circus artists and great clowns for generations. I saw Bello's uncle Pio Nock in the Ringling show when I was 22, and I applied immediately to the Ringling Bros. Clown College. Bello's thoroughly American accent--he speaks many languages, but all of them like a guy from Florida, which he is--doesn't mask his European take...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!