About The Clown . . .

Democrat photo by Amy Hedrick

Inky the Clown performs juggling acts and other antics for children at Historic Jefferson College's Copper Magnolia Festival Saturday.

Natchez, MS
Sunday, September 24, 1989

Jeff started professional clowning in Massachusetts and the New England area back in 1980.

Relocated to Mississippi in 1982, and quickly joined and became an active member of the Mississippi Clown Alley.

Invited to the 1984 Worlds Fair in New Orleans and performed as Inky in his very own original clown review.

Inky has been a regular attraction at many Mississippi malls: Northpark Mall, Ridgeland; Metrocenter, Jackson; Pemberton Square Mall, Vicksburg; and many more.

Inky performs at many annual state and local celebrations: The Dixie National Rodeo, Mississippi State Fair, Laurel "Day in the Park," Jubilee Jam, Mal's St. Paddy's Day Parade, Kid Zone, First Night and is often featured at the Jackson Zoo.

Inky also does his share of volunteer work - from the Jerry Lewis Telethon to Mynelle Gardens Christmas Celebration; the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Christmas Party, and many hospital visitations.

From Mississippi to Louisiana to Alabama, Inky has been the star attraction of countless birthday celebrations.

The Rankin Record,
Rankin County, MS
Thursday, February 3, 2000

Roebuck Serious about not taking life too seriously

By Sam R. Hall, News Editor

RESERVOIR - Jeff Roebuck never listened when his parents told him to stop clowning around. In fact, he did just the opposite.

Roebuck is a popular face at major festivals around the state, but you probably wouldn't know him if he walked up to you on the street in his normal clothes, he's a far cry from the Hobo-faced Inky The Clown.

Inky the Clown

Jeff Roebuck, as Inky the Clown, gives his favorite fan a balloon poodle. Cameron Roebuck, daughter of Jeff, loves having a clown for a father. Inky has been around for more than 20 years, providing laughter to Cameron and thousands of others who have seen his act.

INKY HAS BEEN AROUND for a little over 20 years, making his first appearance in the New England area in June 1980. Roebuck and a friend answered a newspaper advertisement wanting performers.

"The ad asked for amateur jugglers, comedians and magicians. I was interested, so we went," Roebuck said of his start in the clowning business.

Since then, his mere interest in juggling and clowning has grown into what many consider the state's best clowning act. Just two years after his debut, Roebuck moved his Inky act down south, joining the. Mississippi Clown Alley, a group of traveling clowns that performed all over the southeastern United States.

With the now disbanded group, Inky played festivals as large as the World's Fair and as small as a child's birthday party. And though the troupe is gone, Inky lives on.

"Honestly, I want to do every festival and major event I can. I love being Inky. That's what I do," Roebuck said.

Roebuck has other ventures. He's also known as Juggling Jeff, a routine he uses as a stand-up comedian. It was this routine, then as the Jackson Juggler, that was his first appearance in Mississippi, taking place at Pelahatchie Day in 1982.

Yet clowning remains his love. Roebuck used to tend bars at trendy, upscale Jackson restaurants, entertaining guests with humor as he juggled bottles of their favorite liquor. But the smokey environments seemed to disagree with Roebuck, and he has since turned his full attention to Inky.

INKY GETS HIS NAME from Roebuck's father's business. At age seven, Roebuck went to work in his father's printing business. At age 10, Roebuck learned to juggle. So when juggling gave way to clowning, ink gave way to Inky.

Inky has made appearances at drug prevention seminars, entertained party-goers at Jubilee Jam and First Night, and kept the crowds laughing at the Dixie National Rodeo. Audiences stand amazed at Inky's juggling of bowling balls and axes, his slight-of-hand magic acts and his partner, Bruce the Breakdancing Frog.

In Inky's life, he's met several of the state's leaders. Roebuck attributes Inky as "destroying Evelyn Gandy's career."

"Inky performed on a mainstage right before Evelyn Gandy spoke to the crowd. She was running for governor at the time. She lost," Roebuck explained.

But then again, it could be looked at another way. While Inky's appearance with Gandy coincided with her loss, his appearance that same day with Bill Allain could have been the spark that put Allain over the top. But then again, that story isn't near as funny.

"Oh boy, I'll get a call from Evelyn now," he joked.

Inky's look emulates that of a world renowned clown, Emmet Kelly Sr. Kelly was known for his character clown, and remains one of Roebuck's heroes today.

All in all, providing laughter to those around him is Roebuck's dream come true. He's met a lot of people as Inky, and he plans to meet even more. But most of all, wherever he goes and whoever he meets, he just wants to have fun.

"Life is too serious to be taken seriously," Roebuck said. "I'm serious!"

George Clark/The Meridian Star
Sunday, July 23, 2000

Clowning Around

Jeff "Inky the Clown" Roebuck juggles three sabers as part of his act that included magic tricks, balloon animals and plenty of laughs for all at the Neshoba County Fair Saturday.

Parents & Kids Magazine, August/September 2000

A Ton of Family Fun!

Kid Zone festival, voted a family favorite by P&K readers, returns to LeFleur's Bluff State Park in Jackson on Sept. 23 and 24 with a must-see mix of popular children's acts and plenty of hands-on activities. The Animal Band, a decidedly different breed of pop/rock group, will involve audiences in a variety of zany high jinks - from doing the Crocodile Chop to performing air guitar solos. Also on the main stage will be the high energy antics of the Power Rangers, who will demonstrate their amazing martial arts skills. Plus, the Half-Ring Circus will provide an entertaining mix of magic and malarkey.

Thank you for visiting Inky The Clown.
Bookings always available.
For more information contact
Jeff Roebuck
Half-Ring Circus Productions
103 Cardinal Circle, Brandon, Mississippi  39047
(601) 992-INKY (4659) Fax: (601) 992-4488

Inky The Clown and Juggling Jeff are the sole property and creation of Jeff Roebuck.