full time funny
for more than 35 years
"Toby KID Klauenberg is flat out funny” and has been for a hysterical career spanning more than thirty years. Since his first appearance in a Cub Scout skit, Toby discovered his love of laughter in life's adventures. Along with fatherhood, Toby's full-time job is finding the funny in life and the funny answers to it.
"It's more than creating laughs," says KID, "When laughing we're tapping a peek emotion. These are the emotions that build the strongest memories." Everyone from toddlers to seniors have participated in his uplifting programs. Toby has covered topics from reading, good character, magic, solution search, leadership to an active lifestyle, juggling, fire safety and more.
Toby is the youngest in his family and of the kindred clan as well. At a young age, Toby learned to tell a joke so as to be noticed among the numerous cousins. "How do you stop a car?" a youthful Toby would ask, "You step on the brakes and stop it stupid." Funnier when told by Toby as toe headed youth with a speech impediment.
The dream of being a clown has always been in Toby. Fact is, the name Toby means the clown that worked the road to the circus. Even his German sir name Klauenberg has roots in mirth. Klaüen translates to the King's Jester.
He was not the class clown, however. Klauenberg loved jokes and to make laughs but he also loved his school, Baxter Community School and his friends. KID earned multiple accommodations; Eagle Scout, Student Body President (2 years), athletic letters, band letters, listed in Who's Who Among American High School Students: 1981-1982, and a #1 rank in All-State Speech with his mime presentation of an abused circus gorilla.
Despite being accepted into Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College Toby was talked into attending college because of a high SAT score. What would a wanna-be clown major in? Elementary education of course. And what would a wanna-be clown do in the summers? Perform obviously. Indeed KID did land a job at an amusement park that had clowns. Unfortunately, they didn't need any more clowns. Fortunately, they hired him to fill the park's costumed characters. The character appearances were actually an incredible learning experience. The next season Toby did clown at the park.
Taking a year break from school, Toby toured with a country family band as the opening act and as a giant dancing bird during the song May the Bird of Paradise Fly up Your Nose. Toby also landed his first strolling appearance at the Iowa State Fair that year, 1985. A gig that would last 17 years.
Toby taught at the Beatrix Potter Primary School in London, England following his graduation from Iowa State University. This was his first calculated big step in attaining his dream job. Returning to the states, KID started securing appearances in schools as a substitute teacher but focused on building his clown business. Soon the demand for him to 'clown around' overtook the sub teaching jobs.
More gigs meant more travel which broadened his client list and his programs. The diversity of clients Toby serves gives him the exciting challenge to remain funny with new trends, subjects, and social expectations for his audiences of youth, teens, young adults, families, business, adults, and seniors.
Beyond performing and teaching, Toby's illustrious career includes writing and producing routines for WGN's Bozo Show and Televisa's Cepillín. Toby was the editor for the largest online newsletters for children's performers with more than 2,000 subscribers.
Michael Josephson and CHARACTER COUNTS! relied on Toby to produce their first educational program.
McDonald's has also depended on Toby's expertise to be the co-author of The Complete Field Guide for Ronald McDonald as well as engaging him to write and produce multiple shows for the national Ronald McDonald program.
Toby got to clown around with First Lady Barbra Bush on a literacy tour. Several terms later Toby repeated his literacy tour, this time with First Lady Laura Bush. The International Clown Hall of Fame and Research Center asked Toby for a command performance when they hosted the Director of the Moscow Circus and a team of Cosmonauts. "We begged Toby to do this show because we've hosted his programs previously and knew the standards he achieves in his performances would be a strong reflection on the ICHOF", said Kathryn O'Dell, Director. Toby has hosted and emceed an unprecedented six induction ceremonies for the Hall. Roy "Cookie" Brown (Bozo's famous sidekick) invited Toby to join him for shows across the Midwest as fundraisers for the ICHOF.
More than fifteen chart-topping recording artists have shared the stage with Toby as their opening act, Garth Brooks, Mark Chestnut, and Michael Martin Murphy, including BB King, just to name a few. Toby's prodigious performance schedule has taken him to forty-eight states, all Canadian provinces, and sixteen European countries. Throughout his career, Toby KID Klauenberg has performed over fifteen thousand shows and driven literally millions of miles.
Toby has been married to Jennifer since 1989. They have four children who have all achieved academic excellence and hold athletic records. They live on a small acreage in Iowa affectionately known as the FUNNY FARM presents.