Joe E. Brown happily claimed that he was the only youngster in show business who ran way from home to join the circus with the blessings of his parents. In 1902, the ten-year-old Brown joined a circus tumbling act called the Five Marvellous Ashtons, which toured various circuses and vaudeville theaters. Joe later began adding comedy bits into his vaudeville act and added more as it became popular. In 1920 he debuted on Broadway in an all-star review called Jim Jam Jems. As he developed skits and comedy routines throughout the 1920s, he built up his confidence and his popularity soared. The same could not be said for his debut in movies. Hired for a non comedy role in The Circus Kid (1928), he played a lion tamer whose fate is death. He didnt register with the public until he signed with Warner Brothers in 1929 to do comedy roles in the film adaptations of Broadway shows such as Sally (1929) and Top Speed (1930). Joe would be well known for his loud yell, his infectious grin and his cavernous mouth. Since many of his films revolved around sports, his natural athletic ability, combined with the physical comedy, made them hits. In Local Boy Makes Good (1931), Joe played a botanist who becomes a track star.