The Peiro Brothers


The Peiro Brothers (sometimes spelled Piero Brothers) were one of the top juggling teams of the 1940s, 50s, and 60s. Hailing from Buenos Aires, Argentina, Atilio (Teddy) and Hector Peiro were highly skilled at both juggling and comedy. They specialized in hat spinning, devil sticks, cigar boxes, club passing, rings, and a variety of other short juggling stunts. The taller brother, Atilio, was a master with devil sticks and even performed with two. Hector performed a wonderful act with cigar boxes / bricks. They were both masters of the rare skill of hat spinning. pierobrothers4 The brothers’ parents were well known actors and the boys got their start in show business acting in plays. Growing up, the learned various juggling skills and eventually tried out their comedy and juggling act in a cabaret in Buenos Aires. Their performance was seen by several agents and managers, who quickly lined up work for the Peiros throughout Argentina.

PieroBrothersJFKThe Peiro Brothers meet John F. Kennedy, the President of the United States

They first came to the United States in 1948 and were immediately successful there. They appeared on Broadway in Michael Todd’s Peep Show in 1950. They made many television appearances in the USA over the years, including appearances on Toast of the Town, The Ed Sullivan Show, the Colgate Comedy Hour, and All Star Review. They also found a good deal of success in Great Britain. In 1961, they returned to Argentina to star in their own television show, The Peiro Brothers Show. Three of their television appearances are available online. Below is an appearance on the Dorsey Brothers’ Stage Show from March, 1956.

The next appearance includes lots of different material. It’s from their December 4, 1965 appearance on the Hollywood Palace television show.
Below is a video showing their act from a 1965 appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show.
The Peiro Brothers’ most famous television appearance is well-known for a fairly notorious reason. In 1955, famed saxophonist and composer Charlie “Bird” Parker was watching The Jackie Gleason Show on television. When the Piero Brothers came on, Parker found them so funny that he started laughing. The laughing turned to choking and Parker, already in very poor health due to multiple ailments, died.
The brothers went their separate ways when Hector married a French woman and moved to Paris while Atilio married an English woman and moved to London. Atilio, who was now using the name Teddy, eventually did an act with hat spinning, devil sticks, and golf-club and golf-ball manipulation with his son Patricio. You can see their act in the following videos.
Teddy Peiro went on to find fame as the top Argentine Tango musician in the UK, using his great skills as a bandoneon player and composer and often pairing with his wife, Gillian, a talented vocalist. Teddy even appeared in the movie musical Evita as a tango band member.

David Cain is a professional juggler, juggling historian, and the owner of the world's only juggling museum, the Museum of Juggling History. He is a Guinness world record holder and 15 time IJA gold medalist. In addition to his juggling pursuits, David is a successful composer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and singer as well as the author of twenty-six books. He and his children live in Middletown, OH (USA).

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