John Leo won the Gold Medal in the 2008 New York Clown Olympics for wiggling his little butt and bribing the judge. Before that, he lived in Juneau, Alaska for seven years where he burlesqued brazenly and clowned bashfully with Perseverance TheatreKitschy-YumYum Burlesque & Wild Rumpus (Best of SF Fringe 2003).  Mr. Leo graduated from Sue Morrison's Clown Through Mask, Dell 'Arte School of Physical Theatre ('99), Bard College (BA Drama/Dance '97).  He has toured all over North America with Number's Up! a  OneManOneChihuahaua Clown Show and with Peg-sss-us -a romantic sex-ed burlesque (Best Comedy of the SF Fringe 2008, Boulder Fringe Encore Award 2012).  John has also toured with Clowns Without Borders (Mexico '04 & Guatemala '10) and is currently a "pediatric clown doctor" with the Healthy Humor Inc's Red Nose Docs in NYC area hospitals.  He curates/MCs tinyDANGEROUSfun! with Andy Saporacollaborates with Theatre of the Oppressed NYC, and made Handshake Uppercut with Jay Dunn . He is a recipient of an Individual Artist Project Award from the Rasmussen Foundation, a Career Opportunity Grant from the Alaska State Council on the Arts and a SU-CASA grant from the Brooklyn Arts Council to do Clown with Elders. 

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"Mr. Leo exposes the necessarily awkward and hilarious nature of human interaction. [His] versatile clowning makes for an utterly satisfying comedy that flows seamlessly even without a narrative plot."

          "John is possibly Pee Wee Herman and Andy Kauffman's bastard son. In a good way. Five Stars"           Karyn, Boulder Fringe Audience Buzz  


"Handshake Uppercut will help raise the quality bar of clown-theater...every moment was totally alive"                     Stanley Allen Sherman, Maskarts Blog 

"Ongoing hilarity. Dunn and Leo are...bound by a tight synergy, unquestionable trust and impeccable timing. From lights up, you’ll enjoy watching everything these guys drag in, stomp on, serve up. Handshake Uppercut is this year’s Chicago Fringe Fest *Must See.* 

From lights up, you’ll enjoy watching everything these guys drag in, stomp on, serve up. "  

Katy Walsh,

"Peg-ass-us was funny, like bust a gut, laugh out loud funny. The moments of raw, genuine honesty about a very taboo and sometimes confusing sexual desire really work, offset that with silly humor and it is a winning combination." Monk,


During class, John follows students’ pocess using empathic understanding while following and responding to the student’s feelings rather than leading them to a place that he thinks they should go. He challenges students to continually go deeper in their self-awareness, to use their emotions intelligently, and to use this power to connect with an audience." Edy Rodewald, PhD