PICTURED: Pitito, Peru's oldest clown, keeps joking at 91

LIMA, Peru (AP) — Ricardo Farfan doesn't get the jobs he used to. Sometimes his only audience is his wife. But every morning the 91-year-old clown still sips his coffee and studies an old notebook where he keeps hundreds of pages of jokes and comedy moves he has built up over almost nine decades in the circus.

"I look at a page and repeat all the jokes by memory," Farfan, known as Pitito the clown, said in his small home in a poor Lima neighborhood. In a closet he keeps his wigs, brightly colored socks and jackets, and enormous shoes.

At age 3, Farfan began to paint his face together with his father, Chimenea the clown, who owned a 600-chair circus that traveled up and down Peru's Pacific coast, over the country's towering Andes mountains and across its vast Amazon jungle.

In this Feb. 7, 2015 photo, veteran clown Ricardo Farfan, popularly known as "Pitito," puts on his costume as he prepares to perform at his 91st birthday par...

In this Feb. 7, 2015 photo, veteran clown Ricardo Farfan, popularly known as "Pitito," puts on his costume as he prepares to perform at his 91st birthday party inside his home in Lima, Peru. Farfan started working as a clown and circus performer at the age of three with his father's Farfan Brothers Circus in 1927. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

"In my father's circus I was a clown, magician, tightrope walker, trapeze artist, stilt-walker, electrician and painter," he said.

He sometimes worked in foreign circuses that visited Peru for its national holidays in July. The extra money helped Farfan mend and paint the big top for the traveling circus. He said that even though they offered him work, he never abandoned the family business, which he inherited from his father.

"Working in the circus allows you to travel the country, meet new people and see new customs and food," he said.

Farfan reflects on this century's comics in Peru: "They are vulgar and don't know how to entertain the families who pay for the show."

He has a black-and-white photograph taken a half century ago of himself dressed as a tightrope walker. "I was able to do three consecutive mortal jumps, I was very agile. Now from so many jumps and falls my joints hurt."

After running the circus for many years, Farfan had to close it in 1990 to care for his ill wife, who had managed the business.

Nowadays, he gets less work than he used to, mainly doing private parties. So to keep his skills honed he often dresses up as a clown and performs for his wife.

At his 91st birthday party last week, in his home's living room, he performed for some of his relatives and made them laugh.

"The businessmen think that an old clown can't make people laugh, but they are wrong," said Farfan.

He said his four children have asked him to retire, saying they are afraid he will be hit by a car when he heads to work or something bad will happen to him.

But Farfan says he cannot do that. "I will only stop clowning on the day I die."

In this Feb. 7, 2015 photo, veteran clown Ricardo Farfan, popularly known as "Pitito," poses for a portrait wearing face paint after performing for his 91st ...

In this Feb. 7, 2015 photo, veteran clown Ricardo Farfan, popularly known as "Pitito," poses for a portrait wearing face paint after performing for his 91st birthday party at his home in Lima, Peru. Farfan, who has been in the circus business since he was three-years-old, says that in order to not get rusty, some afternoons he dresses up as a clown and performs for his wife. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

In this Feb. 7, 2015 photo, veteran clown Ricardo Farfan, popularly known as "Pitito," performs during his 91st birthday party at his home in Lima, Peru. Far...

In this Feb. 7, 2015 photo, veteran clown Ricardo Farfan, popularly known as "Pitito," performs during his 91st birthday party at his home in Lima, Peru. Farfan said he most liked being a clown while growing up in his father's circus, which he took over in the 70s, and that a clown has to be humble, speak from the heart and give joy to all ages. He added his disappointment with some clowns today who are vulgar with their audience. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

In this Feb. 7, 2015 photo, relatives and friends of veteran clown Ricardo Farfan, popularly known as "Pitito," applaud his performance during his 91st birth...

In this Feb. 7, 2015 photo, relatives and friends of veteran clown Ricardo Farfan, popularly known as "Pitito," applaud his performance during his 91st birthday party in Lima, Peru. Farfan said he begins his days looking over his old notebook of jokes and openers from his eight decade long circus career. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

In this Feb. 7, 2015 photo, veteran clown Ricardo Farfan, popularly known as "Pitito," paints his face as he prepares for his 91st birthday party at his home...

In this Feb. 7, 2015 photo, veteran clown Ricardo Farfan, popularly known as "Pitito," paints his face as he prepares for his 91st birthday party at his home in Lima, Peru. Farfan, who started working at his father's circus in 1927 when he was three-years-old, still works sporadically as a clown at private parties and says his children wish he would retire. He said he does it for the joy of practicing his craft and will do so until he dies. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

In this Feb. 7, 2015 photo, veteran clown Ricardo Farfan, popularly known as "Pitito," performs at his 91st birthday party inside his home in Lima, Peru. Far...

In this Feb. 7, 2015 photo, veteran clown Ricardo Farfan, popularly known as "Pitito," performs at his 91st birthday party inside his home in Lima, Peru. Farfan grew up in his dad's traveling circus and supported his wife and four children by taking it over in the 1970's. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

In this Feb. 7, 2015 photo, veteran clown Ricardo Farfan, popularly known as "Pitito," changes his costume as he performs during his 91st birthday party at h...

In this Feb. 7, 2015 photo, veteran clown Ricardo Farfan, popularly known as "Pitito," changes his costume as he performs during his 91st birthday party at his home in Lima, Peru. Farfan, who grew up in his dad's traveling circus, said he was offered many jobs with foreign circuses that passed through Peru, but that he couldn't imagine leaving his father's business and ended up taking it over in the 1970's. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

In this Feb. 7, 2015 photo, veteran clown Ricardo Farfan, popularly known as "Pitito," poses for a portrait after performing at his 91st birthday party in hi...

In this Feb. 7, 2015 photo, veteran clown Ricardo Farfan, popularly known as "Pitito," poses for a portrait after performing at his 91st birthday party in his home in Lima, Peru. Farfan began painting his face to perform as a clown when he was three-years-old, alongside his father who owned the traveling Farfan Brothers Circus. "Chiminea" was his father's clown name. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

In this Feb. 7, 2015 photo, veteran clown Ricardo Farfan, popularly known as "Pitito," center, sits at the table during his 91st birthday celebration at his ...

In this Feb. 7, 2015 photo, veteran clown Ricardo Farfan, popularly known as "Pitito," center, sits at the table during his 91st birthday celebration at his home with his son Ricardo and daughter Carmen in Lima, Peru. Farfan's other two children live in Italy, and all four of them worked with him at the family circus when they were growing up. Although none of them took over the family circus, his son in Italy performs as a clown on weekends on the side of his car manufacturing job. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

In this Feb. 7, 2015 photo, veteran clown Ricardo Farfan, popularly known as "Pitito," gets a hug from his wife Maria Munoz after he performed during his 91s...

In this Feb. 7, 2015 photo, veteran clown Ricardo Farfan, popularly known as "Pitito," gets a hug from his wife Maria Munoz after he performed during his 91st birthday party at their home in Lima, Peru. Farfan inherited his father's circus, where he worked since he was three-years-old in 1927, and his wife Maria Munoz managed it. They had to close the circus in 1990 when Maria fell at home and severely damaged her back. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

In this Feb. 7, 2015 photo, a photograph of Ricardo Farfan shows him as a performer in 1954 at his father's circus, the Farfan Brothers Circus, in Peru. Farf...

In this Feb. 7, 2015 photo, a photograph of Ricardo Farfan shows him as a performer in 1954 at his father's circus, the Farfan Brothers Circus, in Peru. Farfan worked at the circus as a trapeze artist, contortionist, balancing actor, stilt walker, magician, as well as electrician and painter, but became best known as "Pitito" the clown. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

In this Feb. 7, 2015 photo, veteran clown Ricardo Farfan, popularly known as "Pitito," points to himself standing on stilts in a picture from the 1950's, dur...

In this Feb. 7, 2015 photo, veteran clown Ricardo Farfan, popularly known as "Pitito," points to himself standing on stilts in a picture from the 1950's, during his 91st birthday celebration at his home in Lima, Peru. In the center photo, Farfan is the clown at right. Farfan reflected that "working at the circus allows you to travel the country, meet new people, customs and food." (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

In this Feb. 7, 2015 photo, veteran clown Ricardo Farfan, popularly known as "Pitito," shows a picture of himself from the 1940's standing on stilts with Ash...

In this Feb. 7, 2015 photo, veteran clown Ricardo Farfan, popularly known as "Pitito," shows a picture of himself from the 1940's standing on stilts with Ashaninka indigenous people taken while working at his father's traveling circus in Peru's Amazon, during his 91st birthday celebration at his home in Lima, Peru. Farfan remembers the Indians charged him money to have his photo taken with them. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

In this Feb. 4, 2015 photo, veteran clown Ricardo Farfan, popularly known as "Pitito," covers his pet canaries in the late afternoon in his home's patio in L...

In this Feb. 4, 2015 photo, veteran clown Ricardo Farfan, popularly known as "Pitito," covers his pet canaries in the late afternoon in his home's patio in Lima, Peru. "I was able to make three consecutive mortal jumps, I was very agile, now from so many jumps and falls, my joints hurt," he said. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

In this Feb. 6, 2015 photo, veteran clown Ricardo Farfan, popularly known as "Pitito," rests in the back patio of his home one day before his 91st birthday i...

In this Feb. 6, 2015 photo, veteran clown Ricardo Farfan, popularly known as "Pitito," rests in the back patio of his home one day before his 91st birthday in Lima, Peru. Although Farfan worked his entire life at his family's circus, since 1927, and ran it for decades to support his family, he doesn't receive a government pension, so his four children support him financially. The government gives monthly pension payments to some artists, like singers, but not clowns or circus performers. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

In this Feb. 7, 2015 photo, veteran clown Ricardo Farfan, popularly known as "Pitito," is reflected in a glass case as he prepares his clown costume for his ...

In this Feb. 7, 2015 photo, veteran clown Ricardo Farfan, popularly known as "Pitito," is reflected in a glass case as he prepares his clown costume for his 91st birthday celebration at his home in Lima, Peru. Also reflected in the glass are his daughter Carmen, and a photograph of Farfan kissing his wife Maria Munoz. Farfan took over his father's circus in the 1970's, which Maria managed in addition to painting circus tents and sewing costumes. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

In this Feb. 8, 2015 photo, veteran clown Ricardo Farfan, popularly known as "Pitito," top, says goodbye to his friend Emilio Perez who celebrated his 102nd ...

In this Feb. 8, 2015 photo, veteran clown Ricardo Farfan, popularly known as "Pitito," top, says goodbye to his friend Emilio Perez who celebrated his 102nd birthday at the nursing home in Lima, Peru. Although Farfan worked his entire life at his family's circus, starting when he was three-years-old in 1927, and ran it for decades to support his family, the government does not give monthly pension payments to circus artists, so his four children support him financially. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

In this Feb. 7, 2015 photo, veteran clown Ricardo Farfan, popularly known as "Pitito," dances with his daughter Carmen during his 91st birthday party at his ...

In this Feb. 7, 2015 photo, veteran clown Ricardo Farfan, popularly known as "Pitito," dances with his daughter Carmen during his 91st birthday party at his home in Lima, Peru. Farfan raised his four children in the circus he inherited from his father. Although none of them took over the circus, his son in Italy performs as a clown on weekends on the side of his car manufacturing job. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

In this Feb. 6, 2015 photo, a pair of clown shoes belonging to veteran clown Ricardo Farfan, popularly known as "Pitito," sit in his home in Lima, Peru. Farf...

In this Feb. 6, 2015 photo, a pair of clown shoes belonging to veteran clown Ricardo Farfan, popularly known as "Pitito," sit in his home in Lima, Peru. Farfan, who started working at his father's circus when he was three-years-old in 1927, says his children wish he would retire, but he said he does it for the joy of practicing his craft and will do so until he dies. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

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