Carl Carter Dies

Carl CarterI’m told that downtown entertainer and Mudhouse chess maven Carl Carter passed away a couple of months ago. It was cancer that did it. He was in Tennessee at the time. Nobody who saw Carl could forget him, performing on the Downtown Mall in a clown costume, wearing a pig nose, fairy wings, waving a rubber chicken and playing violin or a child’s keyboard. He was almost always in character, but would drop it long enough for a chess game or a good conversation. Claudia Pinto interviewed him for the Progress a few years ago, but that article is no longer in their archives. Like Dancing Man or Singing Lady, Carl will long be remembered.

9 thoughts on “Carl Carter Dies”

  1. “but that article is no longer in their archives. Like Dancing Man or Singing …………..”

    Other than the death of Carl, a remarkable man, is the death of the archives and the lack of policy of maintaining them, a seemingly common practice.

  2. He was one in a million, that guy. For a long time I figured he was just nuts, but eventually I heard his explanation for what he was doing. The man took his craft as a travelling street entertainer pretty seriously and was as smart guy as you could ever hope to meet. I had been looking forward to the day when he would blow back into town. He will be missed.

  3. RIP.

    I saw him on a visit to town years ago. He got me with the rubber chicken every time.



  4. He wasn’t crazy, its an act. And a damn good one. I had a lot of respect for him and his work.

    There is a guy in SF known as the “bushman” who sits on the sidewalk and hides behind a tree branch (that I can only assume he cuts off some tree on his way to “work” every morning) and jumps out from behind it and scares people as they pass by. THATS his act. He makes his living doing this. You HAVE to respect a guy who can pull that off.


  5. What were the lyrics to Carl Carter’s “froggy” song? For a while I couldn’t get it out of my head.

    I also remember a weird show at the Jeff involving his act, an experimental movie about Palestinian fishing rights, and the Tea Bazaar guys selling mysterious beverages, back when they just had a cart, not yet a shop.

  6. Wasn’t it sort of a loose re-interpretation of an early-70’s Stevie Wonder song? Or am I making that part up?

  7. “Froggy on the Water” is sung to the melody of Fats Domino’s “Walking to New Orleans”. I’d be interested in hearing if anyone knows more about the life and times of Carl Carter. I miss him.

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