Rusty Nails - Clowning In Portland

Rusty Nails (originally known as Rusty the Clown) has been a long-time fixture in my childhood memories of Portland children's programs.

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Although my remembrances of Rusty aren't as vivid as Ramblin' Rod Anders and Bumpity (mainly because I didn't come into this world until 1963), his bubbly demeanor and shiny, red nose stands out.

I do remember Rusty's association with Alpenrose Dairy and doing a lot of promotion for them. From what I understand, he even had a clown school right there on the dairy's campus. According to the local clown prince, his motivation had always been to make people laugh.

rusty the clown portland

Rusty the Clown (brought to life by Jim Allen) started his Portland television career in 1957 on KOIN TV. His time there was short-lived as, within the year, he moved his silly antics over to the weekends from 4:00pm - 5:00pm on KPTV, hosting his own program titled, "Rusty's Hour."

I believe that "Rusty's Hour" ran through 1959, Rusty then appeared on "The Three Stooges Show" on the weekend afternoons until 1962.

From there, he vacated his slot at Channel 12 and moved across town to KATU, Channel 2, where his show ran for five years as "Rusty Nails' Cartoonival."

Making children smile was always his intent, wherever he ended up, and the kids followed him as they would a pied piper.

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rusty nails portland oregon

Following this stint, he returned to KPTV during the noontime hours, delighting the children and doing all the things good clown do.

Finally, in 1972, Rusty and his cartoon show came to an end.

Ramblin' Rod was the only one that had a Portland cartoon show that latest longer. This legendary performer made his mark in Portland and is beloved and cherished for all the love he gave entertaining others. Jim is now retired and makes his home in Beaverton, Oregon.

On July 28, 2015, Jim Allen AKA Rusty Nials passed away.

He was surrounded by his family. A memorial service was held on August 13, 2015 at Beaverton Foursquare Church.

You were a great man, Jim Allen. Thanks for the fond memories and God bless from all of us big kids! ;)

Do you member Rusty the Clown? I'd love to hear your stories and memories!


Do You Remember Rusty Nails?

If you have any fond memories of growing up with Rusty Nails, we'd love to hear them!

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Your Rusty Nails Stories and Memories

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

A Thank You From Rusty Nails, Written By Wife Georgia. 
My wife Georgia is writing this letter of thanks for me, as I am now blind so can't do it myself. I so appreciate all your kind thoughts and all the …

Growing Up With My Mentor, Rusty Nails 
Hi and Hello, from JPPuddlejumper, of Lincoln County Clowns out of Newport, Oregon! I have a lot of memories Of this grand clown, Rusty Nails. I first …

Rusty Nails, Oregons Best Clown 
Before I knew of Rusty Nails, I feared them. You step on one and you better have had a tetanus shot! Lol! All kidding aside, this man was good with …

Rusty Nails And His Big Feet Not rated yet
Our Mother took us to Lincoln Square Mall back in 1963. it was Christmas time and the mall was all dressed up for the upcoming holiday. There, amongst …

God Blessed Rusty Nails Not rated yet
As a kid and an adult Rusty Nails was the best clown in town; maybe the country, for that matter. KPTV channel 12 always aired the quality family shows …

Rest in Peace Rusty Nails, AKA Jim Allen  Not rated yet
My 30 year old son called me this morning about 7:30 am to tell me that Jim Allen, known to many over the years as Rusty Nails had passed peacefully into …

Grew Up With Rusty Nails.  Not rated yet
I was a member in a Girl Scout Troop when he was at Channel 12 and our troop was part of the studio audience. I remember him being very gentle and kind. …

Outreach Memories and Rusty Nails Not rated yet
Rusty (Jim) was a good friend. I remember when our women's group first started speaking & we were invited down to Seaside, Oregon to be part of their …

Rusty the Clown Remembered Not rated yet
I remember seeing Rusty the Clown at the Milwaukie Oregon Lisac's store. Out front they had set up a few rows of bleachers for the children to sit on. …

Rodeo Clown Dies Not rated yet
I watched Rusty Nails. A rodeo clown was killed in a rodeo accident. My parents told me it was Rusty. I did not know the truth because he had gone off …

Alpenrose Dairy Show Not rated yet
Alpenrose Dairy sponsored Rusty Nails' show, and they had a little rodeo show, with singers and Tom Sawyer and Becky Thatcher (after the TV show "Huck …

Loved the Red Hair Of Rusty Nails! Not rated yet
Rusty Nails helped me as a child to learn to like my red hair when it wasn't a popular color. I met him twice up close as a child, once when I visited …

Rusty Nails Was My Childhood Hero! Not rated yet
As a small child, my mom told me that I used to watch the "Rusty Nails Show" all the time. The memories don't stand out in my mind, but seeing his face …

Rusty Nails Visits Gervais, Oregon Not rated yet
I remember sometime in 1971 or 1972, I believe, Rusty Nails came to Gervais, Oregon. He had a traveling show. He set up by the grocery store and railroad …

Memories of Rusty Nails Not rated yet
I was eight years old when I first met Rusty Nails. He was the human cannon ball at the big show. He was the big attraction when he was shot out of …

On Rusty Nails In 1962 Not rated yet
My friend's mom let him bring along about five of us to celebrate his 8th birtday on the Rusty Nails' Show. My main memory is that during a cartoon …

Looking Like Rusty Nails! Not rated yet
I loved Rusty Nails when I was a kid! I had no idea that when I had become a clown (for a Christian event) that my face looked so much like his. I …

Rusty Nails & Ralph's Store Near 72nd St Not rated yet
I remember Rusty Nails calling me up on stage to help him perform a surgery. Everytime I mentioned something, he would respond with a real funny tone. …

I Got 2nd Prize On Rusty Nails Show Not rated yet
I entered this contest that was on some handbill. It was a coloring book image that I felt needed something special to win. I decided to use a colored …

Rusty Nails And Alpenrose Dairy Rodeo Not rated yet
One summer, maybe 1966, I volunteered at Alpenrose Dairy during the rodeo days. One of our jobs was to round up the calves after events. While one …

Rusty Nails At Rigler Elementary School, Late 60's or early 70's Not rated yet
I think I remember an early presentation in the school auditorium with Rusty Nails performing slight of hand tricks created by the audience using the Magic …

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krusty the clown

If you're ever talking with friends about Rusty, you can impress them all by letting them know that The Simpson's Krusty the Clown was loosely based on the Portland, Oregon clown. Of course, Rusty loves kids MUCH more than Krusty does.

As Paul Harvey would have said, "Now you know the REST of the story." ;)



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