Balloons in POP Culture

Feb 13, 2023

Balloons in “POP” Culture

This is like doin’ a birthday party. Everybody here like balloon animals?
– David Letterman (a blizzard had cut the audience down to about 90 people)

On Television
On The Evening News
In The Movies
In Print
Popular Press
In The (Record) Books
Music and Balloons
Song Lyrics
Albums and Titles
On The Street

On Television


  • Claussen Pickles had an actor who was dressed as a French artist with a beret and identified him as a balloon artist. He was holding a basic yellow dog and tossed it off camera. Then he began to work with a pickle holding it up as a mustache etc.
  • One of the leading diaper manufacturers is using a bright red water balloon to sell it’s product. Fill a big round balloon with water, prick a small hole in it so a stream begins shooting out, diaper the balloon and set it on your favorite upholstered white chair. Later, come back, lift out the empty balloon, and then lift the sodden diaper from the chair, which is dry!
  • I saw a commercial on ESPN: “ever wonder what goes on in an NHL locker room between periods?” The camera shows a team of hockey players making balloon animals…
  • There’s a 260 tied in a loose knot to represent intestinal pain in a current Maalox (Mylanta? one of those gastric squelchers) commercial.
  • There is an ad on TV for Tony’s Pizza. They show a mime doing some twisting, a swan, etc.. and then at the end he does a red Tony’s pizza man, which comes to (animated) life.
  • Have you seen the Toys R Us commercial featuring a Mylar Balloon Release!!!! Ok, so it was only 5 balloons, but it was very scary to watch. They were Pioneer’s “Welcome Baby” foils… I cringe every time I see it.
  • A Visine New Year’s (1996) commercial that starts with a huge crowd counting down to the midnight hour and frantically waving 260’s. It’s just a quick flash at the beginning… stay glued to your TV, or else you’ll miss it! (of course, stare straight at the TV too long, and then you’ll need the Visine too…)
  • The Wal-Mart commercial with two employees dressed as clowns walking through the store? They are standing there making balloon animals and the narration says “We really don’t know how to make balloon animals but we try.” I hope they don’t hire mechanics to put on tires the same way they hire ‘professional’ clowns!
  • There’s a great water faucet commercial where two little boys spend most of the time filling a huge (at least one foot in diameter) round balloon with water. The end is a cut-away to two small, adorable little girls playing quietly outside on the sidewalk. Their screams are too late…as the boys draw near with the giant water balloon…


  • On America’s Funniest Home Videos, there was a clip of cute little kitty laying on it’s back as it playfully batted at a toy dangled above it, in this case, a 260. Cute, yeah right. The kitty pops the balloon with its claws and runs away in terror.
  • I still think that some of the funniest balloon twisting stuff done on television is the stuff Benny Hill used to do! Classic!
  • Balloon sighting on Caroline in the City Remo, the owner of an Italian restaurant, was trying to entertain a 10 year old girl at one of his tables. He was working with a yellow 260, twisting bubbles, but making no progress. Little girl asks “Is it going to be a giraffe?” He struggles “No, it’s a…” then straightens out the balloon, still with 4-5 long bubbles in it “it’s-Italian sausage! Enjoy”
  • This afternoon (Friday, 26 Dec 1997) we were watching the Blue and Gray football game in Alabama. My children called me to the TV to see the balloons that were part of the half time show. There was a spectacular arch that when fully released went from end zone to end zone and almost as tall as it was wide. Kudos to the creator. In the course of the show it was a series of 6 arches down one side of the field, then three arches, then two, then one giant arch. It was wonderful! A creative use of color and motion. I am glad to see national broadcasts of balloon decorations and art.
  • On Buffy the Vampire Slayer tonight (Tue, 11 May 1999) there was a prom scene. When the award for ‘class clown’ was given out, the recipient had a nice multi-balloon (probably 3) hat. It was a standard bike helmet type hat, with a fancy poodle on the top and another balloon around the base.
  • Some of the background decorations in a little kids’ hospital room on Chicago Hope were 260 sculptures. It was just a quick pan around the room, and I didn’t have time to identify the actual sculptures.
  • Brit Anders writes: I’m in Knoxville, Tennessee and I’ve just finished taping 2 shows of Club Dance, a country dance show. I was able to get several of my balloons on it, as well as a short interview. It’ll be airing on The Nashville Network (TNN) in August, 1997.
  • I saw the funniest thing on Cooking with Julia Child. They took a small inflated balloon and dipped it into what looked like melted chocolate. Then they put it on a tray with waxed paper and put it in the refrigerator to cool. After it had set up they took them out and popped the balloon and removed it from the shell and then you had a chocolate shell that you could fill with whatever you like. They filled theirs with fresh raspberries. Who knew you could cook with balloons!
  • There was a scene in Due South, Episode: “The Duel”, that featured a twister. The main action revolved around the removal of an exploding push chair from a crowd of Mums and Tots watching this clown who was twisting what looked like dogs under a kind of gazebo.
  • On a recent episode of Frasier, the cast was preparing for a party in honor of a visit from Frasier’s son. Niles was seated at the table industriously washing balloons in a pan of water… when asked about his activity, he started ranted about balloons being coated with some sort of mystery-powder generated in “third-world” countries during the manufacturing process, and no way was he going to put his mouth on the dirty balloons!
  • I was watching Have I Got News For You and the following question came up in the “Odd One Out round”: Which is the odd one out between Richard Branson; Larry Walters; a duck, a sheep and a chicken and Pre une Ecklang (?spelling?)- I didn’t have a clue either. The background information is:
    • Richard Branson has flown balloons across the Atlantic and attempted to fly one around the world.
    • Larry Walters was the guy who in 1992 tied large helium balloons to his garden chair in an attempt to hover above his garden.
    • A duck, a sheep and a chicken were the animals sent up by Montgolfier in his first balloon.
    • Pre une Ecklang is a Thai husband who was ‘Bobbited’ by his wife. She tied his detached member to two helium-filled balloons. (The quote was that she was charged with causing actual bodily harm, and he was charged with exposing himself to a passing aircraft).

    So the odd one out was Pre une Ecklang as the others had all been up in balloons, but only part of Pre had.

  • Harvey Potter’s Balloon Farm
    The children’s book “Harvey Potter’s Balloon Farm” has been made into a made for television movie for the Wonderful World of Disney.The Disney Web site showed information Wonderful World of Disney Page web site. Here’s the blurb:

    Balloon Farm
    The power of belief inspires this magical,soaring story about a stranger in a drought-ravaged farming community who grows a most amazing crop of colorful balloons. Emmy Award winner Rip Torn plays the balloon farmer, Mara Wilson plays the little girl who befriends him, and two-time Emmy Award winner Laurie Metcalf plays the wife and mother fighting to save her family farm.” Sunday, March 28th at 7pm/ 6c on ABC

    Harvey Potter: I thought it was vague and disappointing, even for a children’s movie. It had no focus or direction. I don’t remember the book containing such wailing and moaning about drought and corn crops and investors trying to secretly buy out land for a big garbage dump. The balloon crop was nothing more than cornstalks with bailing twine coming up, with a few fake leaves attached, with a helium round balloon at the end. The balloons were endowed with some sort of playful personality, which means they’d bop into people and make this really annoying fakey ‘rubber’ noise all the time. The kid was annoying too. It was just so disheartening to see the whole thing. Disney could’ve gone and made something super magical, but instead they made it glossy and and easy. Oooohh, a patch of rounds on twine… there was one ‘artsy fartsy shot’ (shot of sun shining through balloons to make colored shadows on wooden fence) and two balloon puns that I caught. (does the balloon price cover ‘inflation’) hyuck hyuck hyuck, and (‘how do you grow a crop with no water? airigation?) The scene where the townspeople go on a rampage of dissapointment and pop, release, and downright drive the loving balloons away and then go and demand their money back was fun, in that the repsonse was ‘okay, bring back my balloons and I’ll give you a refund.’ It was also fun to watch the con man sell a round balloon on twine for $10.00 each. In my opinion, you’re never gonna get away from a flurry of attacking balloons if the strings are sewn to your jacket.

  • A commercial for the Tim Allen show Home Improvement. He had grown big and was towering over the earth when he grabbed hold of a blimp and twisted it into a dog.
  • Mike Decker was strutting his stuff on a program called How Do They Do That?. He demonstrated how to make a three twist dog, a heart, and putting bubbles into a balloon. He also showed some of his more complex models, the Thomas the Tank Engine was brilliant.
  • Cap’n Denny was seen on Mark Kistler’s Imagination Station. Imagination Station is a nationally syndicated drawing program for kids. It was the “Big Bug-eyed Birds” episode. He, and his army of balloon animals, saves the city of Looneyopolis from the attack of the giant balloon dog!
  • On the Late Show with Dave Letterman a blizzard in NY had cut Dave’s audience down to about 90 people (from about 450). After a couple of jokes, Dave says – “This is like doin’ a birthday party. Everybody here like balloon animals?”
  • Seen on the Late Show with Dave Letterman, a sports fan with a braided balloon hat is taunted by Letterman.
  • On the Late Show with Dave Letterman, Letterman’s guest was that guy on that swallows things and then brings them back up; lightbulbs, living fish, DRY sugar, balloons… He blew up a round balloon, popped it, SUCKED a bubble with the scrap latex (big no-no), tied it off, swallowed this little bubble, and then swallowed a nail and used it to pop the balloon INSDIE his tummy! Then he brought up the scrap latex, swallowed a billiard ball, brought up the nail, and then the ball.
  • I just saw this on the local feed of the Jerry Lewis Telethon. The local chapter of the Shrine Clowns were presenting a check for some money they raised at a local show for MDA. They went off camera and the hosts went on with 2 or 3 other people. All of a sudden the host said, “oh look… one of the shrine clowns made a balloon character…can we pan over to show the viewers at home?… What?… we can’t because… it’s X rated?… OH!!!”
  • One time on Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, he visited a balloon factory where the balloon molds were dipped and the nozzles rolled a little etc. They also showed the manufacturing and packaging of the balloons .
  • I saw an episode of a cartoon called The Mouse and The Monster. In this episode, the mouse and the monster (a sort of Frankenstien’s monster looking creature) ran into their neighbor who was a children’s clown. He was returning from a booking where the kids had been so bad that he was quitting clowning for good. (He was going back to college to be what he had always wanted to be, a pirate.) The mouse and the monster looked in his bag that he had left and found his “Book of Clown Dates” and figured they could go work them in his place. Well, nothing went right at the gig. (sort of a nice ad for hiring professionals…hmmm?) The only thing that did start to go well was when the monster was going to make balloon animals for the kids. Unfortunately he grabbed the mouse’s tail instead of the balloon (I hate it when that happens in MY shows!) and attached it to the compressed air canister. (A nice “Don’t put these things in your mouth”) Lo and behold, the tail did inflate just like a 260 and the monster made a pretty good looking dashund and then a rabbit. Sadly, when he tried to make the third animal, the mouse’s head inflated instead and the mouse floated away with the monster hanging on.
  • There was a Murphy Brown episode a few years back where the ultra-straight-laced anchor Jim Dial got stuck with making “balloon animals” for Murphy’s son’s first birthday party (attended by UN delegates, no children). He made, as I recall, a snake, a worm, and, twisting two balloons together in a helix, “married snakes.”
  • On PBS’s Mystery (aired December 17 and 18, 1998) was a two part Agatha Christie mystery, “Hercule Poirot’s Christmas.” One of the clues, which turned out to be a key clue, was a small rolled ring of pink rubber. After Poirot observed some of the suspects playing and popping balloons, he realized that the little pink ring was from the lip end of a toy balloon. The balloon was called the “Screaming Pig” and it made noise like the “Rocket” balloons T. Myers and others sale. With that, and a few other clues, who-done-it was easily determined.
  • Mystery Science Theater aired in February… there was a balloon sighting…
  • I have seen a kids game on Nickelodeon where they had a clown try to teach some audience members how to twist a simple dog. The clown had a clear balloon with an orange bubble inside it for his demo.
  • While watching Nickelodeon the other afternoon with my son, a little vignette popped up on the channel. The scene was set on a school bus full of kids. The kids were talking about what they thought should be the entertainment for one of the kid’s birthday parties. The absolute LAST thing they wanted was balloon animals. One nerdy, misfit, uncool-type chap popped up from behind the seat behind the seat where the main characters were sitting. He had fashioned some sort of balloon creature and held it up for viewing. As soon as it became visible, the other kids screamed in horror, vividly expressing their contempt for the art form.
  • Seen on Ned and Stacy. Ned was dressed up as “Bronco Leonard the Rodeo Clown” for a child’s birthday party. He introduced himself to the kiddies, and then proceeded to pull two pre-inflated 260’s out of his bag. Then he squished them together and moved them around a lot (not really twisting them). One balloon popped and he said “one less leg” and gave it to the birthday child saying it was a “Chernobyl Dog”. Then he pulled 2 more balloons out of his bag, did basically the same thing with them, and called it “a hairless sailor named Toby”. The whole show revolves around Ned’s dry humor.Someone out there threw out the question of who worked doing the 260s on New Year’s Eve at times square. I’m happy to share that I was one of the folks who inflated all of those 260 balloons. It was considered more of a balloon decor event, even though they were 260s and there was approximately 13-15 of us. The project belonged to Treb Henning, who is also the father of balloon decorating. Overseeing everything was Danny McGowan, another great balloon decorator from Syracuse NY, and in the mix was folks such as Kelly Sipp (CBA) (competes internationally in decor as well), as well as the man who brought me on… Allan Simmons of Themes and Dreams.

    We were at an abandonned movie theatre working off of a generator to inflate these 260s for the world to see the next day (we did this job on the 30th). They were all inflated, thrown down a staircase onto tarp, and then bagged at the bottom of the staircase. Each trashbag contained over 120 balloons, and each bag was then placed in one of the seats of the movie theatre. The seats were packed and even with compressors and the crew we had, the job STILL took over 12 hours to do. A LOT of balloons made it out that theatre, and COUNTLESS were inflated (we lost some due to over inflation, severe temp changes from the upstairds to the downstairs, and static). the same people did the balloon drop on New Year’s eve. They were standing about 20 feet from Dick Clarke, I’m told. 4 CASES of 260s were inflated for the job. Now at 144 balloons per bag, and 48 bags per case, YOU do the math!!! :o)
    Jimmy Leo

  • An episode of Bill Nye, The Science Guy used 260’s to show effects of air pressure. There was a multi-color, multi-balloon dinosaur and a wild hat. Does anyone know if Bill did these balloon creations himself or was it another?
  • I saw an episode of Night Court where Judge Stone decided to make balloon animals for everyone in the courtroom. Mac, the clerk, decides that the noise made by the balloons is too much for him. So he lines all the balloon dogs in a row and pops them with a pen. A scary look in his eyes accompanies his task.
  • On show One Life To Live on (19970812) there was a stilt-walker, some jugglers, and at least one clown. Also there was someone in the background doing some balloon twisting. I couldn’t see who was working with the balloons, but there was one standard nine-twist dog and some two-balloon creation being constructed.
  • Ok, as I write this Pinky is trying to make a balloon animal on the show Pinky and the Brain. He failed to inflate it, held it up and said “A WORM!!”
  • I caught sight of “Mister Twister” on Maury Povich. He was holding one of those wonderful little hearts on a racetrack. He didn’t twist on the show, he was on because he used to feed his own money into parking meters to keep others from getting tickets. (he got a ticket for it, but eventually the city council overturned the law)
  • On our QVC Shopping channel (UK), some of us have seen two products for sale: One was a set of modeling balloons and a book ‘on how to do it’ sold as being suitable for childrens parties and christmas etc. The other was a balloon drop kit, sold as being suitable for weddings and parties. Also they offered flutter fetti The whole thing was presented by a balloon decorator.
  • On an episode of ReBoot (episode “Talent Show”) there was a computer generated clown on a unicycle juggling Nuls (shapeless computer generated blobs). The clown then stopped, tried to blow the Nul up like a balloon, tied it off, and twisted it into a basic dog. Then it took several Nuls, and with terrible squeaking, twisted a large dinosaur.
  • The balloon drop at the Republican National Convention was coordinated by Treb Heining, CBA. He holds the world’s record for balloon drops (Republican National Convention, 1988). San Diego area QBN members inflated 50,000 9 inch balloons and confetti, and filled the 93 bags used in the drop. The drop bags were rigged to the 30+ foot ceiling. The lines were pulled by QBN members, who sat in the catwalks above the convention floor. There was a lot of concern by the media that the ceiling was too low for a balloon drop. WRONG!! The drop was timed to the music, and was designed to last 6 minutes. The bags were released slowly, to stretch out the effect of the drop. While I was watching, I saw a lot of 260’s and 350’s being waved. On Wednesday night, I also saw a LOT of balloon hats, and hearts of sticks and stuff.
  • On the Rosie O’Donnell Show during her LA Adventure, a member of the audience had created a nice balloon fruit basket to give to Rosie. Bunches of grapes, some apples and oranges made out of bees, and the handle was similar to a 260 heart-outline. Very nice.
  • I saw balloon animals on Saved by the Bell. They were in college, and Screech was trying to liven up a fraternity Rush event by making balloons animals. He made some poodles, parrots, and a bunch of other four-legged animals!
  • On an NBC commercial, you see a white studio with the camera trained on Jerry Seinfeld and a bunch of 260’s in his hands. He grips all of them in the center, waves em around a lot, the camera does a blurry Liz-Taylor-esque film screen, and when the focus is returned, Jerry is standing there proudly displaying a twisted peacock (4-balloon), with the interlaced tail-rings…
  • Alan Gooen, of “Gooen’s Balloons” was on Shining Time Station? Alan and his performer wife, Annie Hickman have a Balloon and Bug show.
  • I saw the show Singled Out on MTV. This is the ’90s version of the “Dating Game” except that one woman starts out with about 80 men to choose from. Anyway, the final selection question was for the five or six remaining guys to take a 260 balloon and make her a dog. It was pathetic! Only one guy could twist the balloon; two others made pretzel-like shapes.
  • Martha Stewart featured an antique dealer (in NY I believe) that has a unique eye for finding cool old tools and presenting them as artsy antiques. Some of the showcase pieces he had were old balloon molds (for hand-dipping various forms).

    The balloon molds were metal, about 8 to 12 inches in height. They had wood block bases and were sitting on the mantle in the dealer’s booth in a grouping of about 4 or 6. Looked very much like modern art. Once they said what they were, you could see it instantly. There was an obvious bunny-head one, and a spiral, and a couple of others. But just looking at them I had no idea what they were.

    The Martha Stewart Living website at provides show information (current for only about a week after it airs). Her site listed the rubber balloon mold collector as:
    Doug Taylor; Praiseworthy Antiques; Main Street; Guilford, NY 13780
    Phone: 607-895-6278

  • Fellow twister John Cassidy of Mont Clare, PA will be taping the Martha Stewart Living this Wednesday, Sept. 16. They are using Halloween theme figures and decor.
  • Twister John Cassidy appeared on Martha Stewart Living to twist balloon Halloween figures and demonstrae balloon decor. The show aired Thursday, Oct. 29, 1998 on CBS. John works at the “Al E. Gators” and at a lot of supermarkets in the Philadelphia area. He is VERY quick with his signature balloon, the fruit hat. He makes it in seconds and is a lot of fun to watch. Some of the twists John has up his sleeve include the accordion twist, the ear twist, the tulip twist, the bundle twist, and the roll-over twist.
  • 1999 Super Bowl Halftime, Lighted Balloons
    Did you notice the large balloons ‘lit-up” during the Super Bowl Halftime Show? I thought they made Gloria Estefan’s performance especially beautiful. Those balloons are available from Bright Moon Balloon. I used them once and they are very cool. They are reusable, and lit from within with 4 1,000 watt halogen bulbs. They are available for rental or purchase. Lemme tellya, these boys are EXPENSIVE!!
  • One of the last episodes of Taxi has Elaine’s boyfriend (Wallace Shawn, the ‘inconceivable’ genius from “The Princess Bride”) trying to impress her two kids. One of the stunts he tries is making balloon animals. He pulls out a couple 260’s and starts trying to inflate one while making small talk with the little boy. He huffs and puffs, trying to inflate the balloons, all the while trying to seem cool and collected. He eventually gets about a 2 inch bubble inflated, and ask the kid ‘OK, what’s your favorite animal, a mouse {puff} or a rat?’ The kid says ‘a mouse’ and Arnie ties off the balloon and hands it to him with a flourish.

    “Now,” he says to the little girl,” what’s your favorite animal?”
    “An octopus!” is her answer.
    “Aw, give me a break, kid!”
    “OK, then, a snake!”
    “A snake? I like you!” and he doesn’t bother inflating the balloon, just ties it off (yes he ties it off anyway) and hands it to her. Good bit.

  • Firm n Fair writes: I was fortunate enough to be able to give a small balloon sculpture to Katie Couric on The Today Show. During a break ,she asked me if she could wear the 7 foot balloon hat I had made when the show returned from commercial( how could I refuse). I put the hat on her and she wore it for 5 minutes, commenting to the audience, as well as Willard Scott, how beautiful it was. In turn, Willard raved that it was the biggest balloon hat he had ever seen. As they were talking the camera panned up and down the hat twice! …I am now a lifelong fan of this show 😉 I might not get any work out of this, but it’s exciting to know that your work was seen by millions.
  • Seen on an episode of The Waltons: picture of innocent Jason playing piano at a burlesque show for some extra $$ for school. (the Dew Drop Inn was closed because of a kithen fire) Grandpa gets wind and takes Ben and Jim Bob to see the show. The dancer comes out in a balloon costume and a big needle, and starts popping the balloons slowly. Grandpa takes the pin from his coursage and helps her along with he act….
  • Dale Carlson recently did a job for Paramount Studios where he decorated with balloons and made balloon hats for a scene in the NBC TV show Wings (aired 16 Jan. 96). The episode is called something like “Roy’s Birthday” and the scene with the balloons is a birthday party at a Chuck-E- Cheese type of restaurant. A table full of balloon animals and a clown in the back ground as seen on “WINGS”.

On The Evening News

  • I just happened to be flipping the channels this afternoon and stopped at the CNBC Headline News regarding a story about a little 9 year old girl that won a battle against an auto dealer that used balloons for display. Danielle Weatherall, and 60 of her classmates for the Jennings Lodge School in Detroit (I think), wrote Thompson Auto Dealership and told them that balloons are killing the fish and damaging the environment. Oh NO! Here we go again! They interviewed the dealership owner and he went along with her request. She now intends to attack the other car dealerships in her area and ban balloons from their displays and showrooms.
  • Seen on the local news: one student decorated her graduation mortarboard with a parade of poodles, to help her stand out in the crowd. A new ‘twist’ on the usual HEY MOM sign, and it got her on TV.
  • Seen recently on our local news: Two central Illinois teenagers decided to attach a beer can with their names and address glued to it, to a bunch of helium-filled balloons. At first, their balloons got caught on some wires, and they knocked them free with some rocks (bright, shining intelligent Illinois youth). After that the balloons sailed upward, got caught in the jet- stream, and were found at a military base in Maryland 15 hours later.
  • Last night I saw a segment on the TV news about a new government report entitled “Trouble in Toyland.” At the press conference announcing the report (which focuses on dangerous toys for little children), they stated that in 1994, 12 children died from choking on balloons. The man behind the podium even popped a round balloon to demonstrate that while you think of a balloon as too large to get into the mouth, it is the balloon fragments which cause the choking hazard. The camera then panned to a kid playing with the fragments and putting them in his mouth 🙁 The big gripe about balloons in the report was that many balloon manufacturers were not complying with a federal law requiring bold warning labels on balloon packages.
  • Just saw a news feed about a company in Florida, Eternal Ascent. They offer an ingenious way to spread the ashes of a deceased pet… the ashes are placed in a 3 foot latex balloon and after a long, tearful adieu, the pet owner reluctantly releases the balloon, where, according to the reporter, it climbs to 5000 feet, at which time the balloon freezes and bursts, spreading crystallized ashes over the tear laden land below! Hmmmmmmmm…… if it works for pets… why not Aunt Bessie, too!!

In The Movies

  • In the movie Air Bud the basketball-playing dog belonged to a (nasty) clown and at a disasterous birthday party that includes balloon animals, the dog gets lost.
  • In the movie Austin Powers, International Man of Mystery, one of the many utterly ucky penis-substitution visuals was one of those wiggly worm balloons by Unique. It wasn’t even one with a HAPPY face. The poor balloon _knew_ it was being used in a tired over-done sight gag. It’s look of unhappy chagrin was pitiful to behold. Somebody pop that thing and put it out of its misery!
  • There’s a scene in Benny and Joon where Johnny Depp romances the (slightly) mentally imbalanced Joon with a song made by controlling the high pitched squeal emitted from the ‘loon (by letting the air out of a round balloon slowly).
  • I watched a cute animated movie the other day called The Brave Little Toaster goes to Mars (no, I don’t have kids, I just like that kind of stuff!) In the middle of the movie, there was a musical number performed by singing helium balloons that had ended up in space because kids had let them go. It was a cute song.
  • A new political movie that’s coming out is called Bulworth, starring Warren Beatty. There’s a HUGE (and i do mean HUGE ) backdrop wall of SDS done with stars and a red white and blue wavy design… the most amazing SDS backdrop of the american flag. Colors were separated with strands of lights, it was incredible!
  • The movie The Cutting Edge is about a Pairs Figure Skating team. There was tons of round balloon decor shown during the competition scenes. A wall of balloons made from columns was the backdrop to the interview area.
  • In the movie The Favor there’s a brief scene at a children’s birthday party. Mr. Lucky (a clown) quickly careens on a unicycle, throws out some clown scthick, and twists. He bestows the birthday girl with a balloon hat, twists a couple of dogs, and hands a phallic balloon to the single lady watching from the sidelines. My favorite is still Parenthood.
  • In the movie Flubber Robin Williams shapes the flubber into a sausage dog.
  • I saw Happy Gilmore, a great movie, very funny and very silly. They made the sport of golf in to … well I’ll let you see it, but on the golf course, at one part the crowd was holding 260’s.
  • Killer Klowns From Outer Space is a modern B-movie/spoof. I LOVED IT!!! In one scene, one of the klowns makes a balloon dog on a fully-inflated 260 balloon leash, in order to track down someone he’s looking for. There are barking noises and everything as he takes off on his search. This is not a film for kids, but it’s a great ‘bad’ movie, with a cast of no-names that whose faces you’ll recognize but you’ll have no idea where you saw them before.
  • In some made-for-TV Lifetime movie. Susan Dey with bleach blonde hair, a bad perm, and awful make-up, stalked a guy through a carnival, with some cop stalking her… typical stereo- typed carnival. Weird camera angles, flashing lights, clowns, people screaming, and…one clown twisting a balloon. Susan musta been stalking in circles, because although she wandered seemingly everywhere for a very LONG time, that same clown twisted that same green balloon, standing in the same place, in and out of the whole darn scene. (never did see what the animal was, and once it magically changed into a yellow balloon)
  • In the movie Mannequin, Andrew McCarthy plays the sculptor who can’t keep a job. One of his brief jobs is as a balloon artist for kids parties. All he makes is a dog but then he gives the brat birthday boy a huge helium balloon and the kid gets carried away. The company name is Flights of Fancy – catchy name.
  • In The Mask the main character makes balloon animals in one scene. Watch the balloon animal part in slow motion as his black balloon morphs into a Thompson submachine gun with 50 round drum magazine and a pistol grip forearm. Now that’s a VERY cool trick!
  • There’s a parade scene in Mr. Holland’s Opus, complete with quick flashes of three stereo-typical clowns. One has a bunch of round balloons, and one flashes by on a bike, with a red 260 rabbit mounted on the handle bars, long ears rakishly swept back in the breeze.
  • The movie Mr. Saturday Night is worth seeing for the seamy side of the balloon-twisting life of a party clown.
  • Cheryl (CBA) and Frank (CBA) Pappalardo of Balloonatics in Downers Grove, Illinois did the fantastic balloon canopy for the movie My Best Friend’s Wedding. If you have not seen the movie, it is worth it to see the balloon tent canopy!
  • My Best Friend’s Wedding: a large number of people from the Northern Illinois QBN were on the crew. There were about 115 of us there to inflate 5,000 pastel pearl balloons… we also had to do many air filled ones to lie on the tennis court. We started at about 3:15 AM and had to be finished by 6:00 AM, but we finished way ahead of time… cause we’re sooooo fast! We got to hang around to watch the filming… it was a GREAT experience and I was so glad to have been asked to participate, but Cheryl and Frank deserve ALL the credit.
  • The best movie with balloon twisting in it is still Steve Martin’s balloon man stint in Parenthood. The movie is hilarious and one of his better ones – any one who has not seen should run, not walk, to the nearest video store. He comes out as the Wild Party Machine because the Gun Slinging Balloon Man went to the wrong party. He does some simple and fun balloons (your lower intestine) and rides off in a ‘cavalier’ way on a horse with a grand exit. I believe balloons played a big role in Steve Martin’s early comedy acts.
  • Patch Adams
    • Pat in the Hat writes: I had the pleasure of putting together the balloon sculpture production for Robin Williams’ next motion picture, Patch Adams. To describe the job a bit, I spent six days at Universal Studios in San Francisco, and helped them to design and produce about 14 large sculptures for the scene in the movie. Robin Williams is a hospital clown, and in the scene, the characters come up wearing alligator masks, hippo masks, and carrying 350Q butterflys, poodles, monkeys, elephants, lions, tigers, bears, snakes, fish, and a few others. The characters proceed to play with and pop all the balloons in some rampant fun they have. BTW, Chris Hayes and Funnybone helped me with the job. We designed all the balloons for the movie. We got to meet Robin at the end of the job. He was such a riot! He absolutely loved the balloons we made for him. I made him Aladdin’s Genie, which he gave a big hug, a big laugh, and said it was a keeper! The production was a great time and lots of work. Twisting 350Q’s for a few days is just a bear! I won’t be in the credits of the movie, so oh well. I can’t wait for the movie to come out!
    • There is a scene in Patch Adamsin a hospital room where the family is visiting an older guy. They are wearing balloon hats and then procede to throw some creations at him. He appears to shoot all of them with a play, rubber band(?), gun. I (Chris Hayes) assisted ‘Pat in the Hat’ (Pat Duffek) of Balloon Creations for 3 days making these. I think this ‘action’ scene lasts a whole 10 to 20 seconds maybe.
    • Pat in the Hat writes: During the movie production of Patch Adams, the Universal staff came up to me and presented me with a specific balloon challenge. It was like a child sitting on a large sculpture, popping random places, obliterating 40 percent of the sculpture, and wanting one just like it: a newly produced broken sculpture. After Truman’s alligator hat was half-popped and schrapnel was hanging off, they wanted two more **just like** it. After guffawing a bit, the product came out okay. A little hard to replicate a perfect white pinch twist dangling by a small schrapnel, but I did my best. Good enough for Hollywood! They actually used this fabricated broken balloon hat in the flick, and it gets more footage than any other sculpture in the movie. A close look will give you that fabricated flavor.
    • Patch Adams Warning: Balloon animals were mistreated and harmed during the filming of this movie! Weak hearts better not be near! The balloon scene is quick and harsh – the guns shoot off severely and swiftly. Look quickly and see cool creations in the bedlam! The animals you can best view are the pink elephant, the alligator hat, red dog, blue monkey, and the pink poodle.
  • Shakes The Clown. It’s one of my favorite movies. It’s a parody of what it would be like if clowns were still clowns when they went home. Shakes (Bobcat Goldthwait) and the other birthday clowns hang out at the Twisted Balloon Saloon between gigs. The rodeo clowns hate the ‘p—y birthday party clowns’ and the birthday party clowns hate mimes. Shakes does everything imaginable at birthday parties (good & bad). It’s a must see!
  • I don’t know if it qualifies as a balloon sighting or not, but earlier my kids were watching something or other where I overheard someone getting all excited and yelling, “Auntie Em, Auntie Em… it’s a Twister!”. Don’t know what it was, but I was glad to hear a balloon sculptor finally getting some praise.

In Print


  • In the “The Great and Secret Show” by Clive Barker, evil forces cause the secret dreams of the townspeople come to life. One boy’s imaginary friend is a ‘balloon man’, a scarlet creature made of balloons.
  • I ran across a snippet of an E. E. Cummings poem:
    BalloonMan      whistles
  • Get more information about balloons in literature in the History of Balloons and view the Definition of “balloon”

Popular Press

  • Associated Press, 10/09/98 05:26
    Promotional contest turns into free-for-all at N.J. store

    BRICK, N.J. (AP) – Forty-eight children and an adult suffered minor injuries when a balloon-popping contest for kids turned into a melee at a Wal-Mart store.

    About 200 children had gathered at the store Thursday evening for the promotional event, in which about 1,000 prize-filled balloons were dropped onto the floor, police Lt. Nils Bergquist said.

    “The kids started jumping around, then the parents started jumping in to get the balloons, not caring about stepping on kids,” said Starla Weiss, who brought five kids to the event.“There was blood on the floor.”

    Authorities were called to the store 10 minutes later.

    Aja Shepherd, 16, an employee at the McDonald’s restaurant inside the store, said several ambulances were called to the scene.

    “The parents started getting involved,” she said. “They were fistfighting.”

    Store manager Joe Herron could not be reached for comment.

    Thirty-six people declined medical treatment, five people were treated at the scene and eight were taken to hospitals.

  • Yesterday (10/8/98) our local Wal-Mart (Toms River, NJ) had a charity event where there was going to be a balloon drop and inside the balloons were prizes (printed on paper to be claimed) and it seems that the drop did not work very well and only some of the balloons came out. Parents at that point got involved and 50 people (adults and kids) were injured and 8 had to go to the hospital. The manager of the store got punched in the face by one of the parents and was one that had to go to the hospital. The story said that there was blood on the floor and the scene was a mess. Wal-mart has stated that they had done these kinds of drops in the past and will now reconsider this in the future. There was no mention of which balloon company (if any) did the drop. What a great idea for a charity event – too bad it went bad.
  • I found a balloon-oriented Mom’s Day card from American Greetings. It has this picture of a sheep under a hairdryer reading a magazine. The top of the card reads: “I was going to buy you one of those expensive hairdryers for Mother’s Day. . . ” Open the card and there’s a purple balloon inside:”but this is all I could afford!

    1. Inflate
    2. Hold above head
    3. Release air slowly

    Happy Mother’s Day”

  • This is from the 2/9/96 Charlotte Observer. Each Friday, they run a “You Can U” with a Beakman and Jax segment in the comics section. It deals with an explanation of a child’s science- related question of the week. This weeks question: “Why do balloons pop and why do they make a loud sound” (sent in by a child with the appropriate last name of Huff).

    The response deals with how a balloon breaks. The explanation: “Here are two big words: tensile cohesion (TEN-sill co-HE-shun). They mean *stretchy strength*. Balloons break when they get expanded beyond the limits of their stretchy strength.”

    Then they give the kids two experiments (demonstrations) to do athome: blowing up a paper bag until it pops (to illustrate air compression and the related explosion), and what appears to be the needle through the balloon gag. Here’s their run through:

    “You Need: Balloon. Bamboo Skewer. Blow up the balloon and tie its end with a knot. Find the spot at the top of the balloon that is darker in color. Gently twist the skewer into the very top and out near the knot at the bottom. If you’re careful, the balloon will not pop.”

    “The Balloon is made from latex, a substance that’s built like long stretchy springs. When these springs get stretched too long, they snap and the balloon pops. The top and bottom of the balloon are like springs that are relaxed and are not pulling away. Everywhere else on the balloon, these *springs* are stretched tight near the limit of their strength-near the limits of their tensile cohesion.”

    Isn’t science neat? The entire bit may be on their Web site:

  • January 6, 1997 issue of Computerworld on page 38, there is a letter to the editor from David Faught about a balloon twisting cartoon they published previously. They reprinted the cartoon with the letter, which I thought was pretty cool. The letter does mention Mr. Moss’s excellent Web site.
  • Darwin Award Winner, 1997
    The Darwin Awards – an annual honor given to the person who did the gene pool the biggest service by killing themselves in the most extraordinarily stupid way.

    The 1997 winner: Larry Walters of Los Angeles – one of the few Darwin winners to survive his award-winning accomplishment.

    Larry wanted to fly. He purchased 45 weather balloons and several tanks of helium. Each weather balloon, when fully inflated, would measure more than four feet across. Larry securely strapped the balloons to his lawn chair. He anchored the chair to the bumper of his jeep and inflated the balloons with the helium. He climbed on for a test while it was still only a few feet above the ground. Satisfied it would work, Larry tied himself in, along with his pellet gun and provisions.

    Larry’s plan was to lazily float up to a height of about 30 feet above his back yard after severing the anchor and in a few hours come back down.

    When he cut the anchor cord, Larry streaked into the LA sky as if shot from a cannon. He didn’t level off at 30 feet, nor did he level off at 100 feet. After climbing and climbing, he leveled off at 11,000 feet. At that height he couldn’t risk popping any of the balloons, lest he unbalance the load and really find himself in trouble. So he stayed there, drifting, cold and frightened, for more than 14 hours. Then he really got in trouble. He found himself drifting into the primary approach corridor of Los Angeles International Airport.

    A United pilot first spotted Larry. He radioed the tower and described passing a guy in a lawn chair with a gun. Radar confirmed the existence of an object floating 11,000 feet above the airport. LAX dispatched a helicopter to investigate. Night was falling and the offshore breeze began to flow, which carried Larry out to sea. Several miles out, the helicopter caught up with him. Once the crew determined that Larry was not dangerous, they attempted to close in for a rescue but the draft from the blades would push Larry away whenever they neared.

    Finally, the helicopter ascended to a position several hundred feet above Larry and lowered a rescue line. Larry snagged the line and was hauled back to shore. As soon as Larry was hauled to earth, he was arrested by waiting members of the LAPD for violating LAX airspace. As he was led away in handcuffs, a reporter dispatched to cover the daring rescue asked why he had done it. Larry stopped, turned and replied nonchalantly, ” A man can’t just sit around.”

    Let’s hear it for Larry Walters, the 1997 Darwin Award Winner.

  • Years ago while I was in Long Beach CA, I used to get my giant latex balloons from California Toy Time Balloons. I quickly became friends with the owner. He often did special orders for me and gave me a discount. He told me a few weeks before Larry Walters flight, Larry walked into his shop and bought a large amount of giant balloons that were used in his lawn chair balloon flight. You can see a picture of Larry in his balloon at
  • Dear Abby 6/5/96

    Dear Abby:

    I was surprised when it was announced in my church newsletter recently that an event was to conclude with the release of hundreds of balloons into the sky. It took some doing to explain that what goes into the sky eventually comes back down to earth.

    I’m not an active environmentalist, but I have been involved with my daughters Girl Scout troops for 10 years. We teach the girls to recycle, conserve and take care of Mother Earth.

    Balloons released into the air often travel many miles before returning to earth, and their effect on wildlife can be deadly. Animal eat the balloons, which cause internal blockage and eventual starvation. They also get tangled up in the strings and, unable to free themselves, die a slow and painful death because they can’t reach food or water. Also, balloons are not biodegradable. These colored bits of shriveled plastic you see littering the beaches are going to be there for a long time, if they don’t get caught in some fish’s throat first.

    I read in my local newspaper that some states – New York, Connecticut, Florida, Louisiana, Tennessee, New Jersey, Kentucky, Virginia and California, have enacted laws specifically to curb or eliminate the release of balloons.

    Abby, if you print my letter, you will be educating many readers who do not realize the potential harm they are causing when they release those pretty balloons. It would be so much better to keep them, and deliver them to a nursing home instead.

    Friend of the Environment
    Burnsville, Minnesota

    Dear Friend:

    I’m delighted to help you spread the word to my many readers who are committed to preserving our environment. We all should be.

  • In the August issue of Flash Art Magazine there is a painting of balloon dogs taking over a New York street corner with a guy riding one. I also saw a sculpture in shiny christmas-ball-looking material of a balloon dog on a plate by the same artist at a local art museum. The gal at the gift shop said they were going to reproduce the cover of flash art as a HUGE statue on a street corner in New York.
  • I saw an article in the Good Times newspaper (Santa Cruz, CA area) for Jan. 30, 1997. It is called “Balloon Hat Sightings Around the World.” Twister Addi Somekh, 24, and photographer Charlie Eckert, 27 traveled around the world together… Addi would make various balloon hats and have people wear them while being photographed. The article shows a photo of a man in St. Petersburg, Russia, wearing an elaborate woven balloon hat. Addi is a professional balloon twister who studied at the University of California at Santa Cruz (UCSC) from 1990 to 1994. He met Eckert at the Mardi Gras in New Orleans last February. They have a web site at with many of the photos displayed at the Stevenson library at UCSC today through March 14. They have exhibited at galleries and coffee houses.
  • Copyright 1998, Los Angeles Times. All Rights Reserved. 9/30/98 edition.
    An 8-month-old baby died Sunday after swallowing a balloon, police said. Responding to a call from the child’s parents, police and Los Angeles County Fire Department paramedics arrived Sunday night at the family home on the 1000 block of Cambrin Road. The child, identified by Los Angeles County coroner’s officials as Jonathan Gutierrez, was taken to Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center, where he died at 10:05 p.m.Pomona Police Sgt. Elias Valdez said a balloon was removed from the child’s throat.Scott Carrier of the coroner’s office said Monday that the body had yet to be examined to determine the exact cause of death.
  • A comentator for US television said the balloons released at the opening ceremony of the 1998 Nagano Olympics were biodegradable. I have received private email from a reliable (balloon pro) source in Japan with some very interesting news on this topic. The Japan Times newspaper reported that the biodegradable balloons were made from an alcohol based paper material that decomposes after a couple of hours exposure to moisture. They were not manufactured by a balloon manufacturer! The manufacturer is a chemical company in Japan.
  • The June/July issue of Rental Management contained an article entitled “Balloons, inflatables take off.” The article was basically a push for Rental Centers to tap into the balloon market as an additional source of income. It lists an array of potential uses and buyers of balloons. The article touches on helium balloon sales and deliveries, as well as the rental of large inflatables. It is accompanied by pictures of a balloon ‘rattle’, heart sculpture and a wall of Birthday microfoils. The article ends by saying, “Whether purchasing a few inflated latex balloons or renting large inflatable items, there is an almost unlimited customer base for inflatable products. And all are prospects for other party item rentals and disposable goods carried by party rental stores.”
  • Does anyone have any experience with this device? It sounds dangerous!!! Ad for giant slingshot seen in a 2 year old Popular Science magazine:

    Water Balloon Launcher
    One or Three Person

    Four Sizes:
    90 yard – $ 9.00
    120 yard – $10.00
    150 yard – $11.00
    200 yard – $12.00

    VISA – MasterCard – Check – Money Order – No COD. Shipping and Handling $3.00 per launcher Every Order shipped next day! Money Back Guarantee

    13218 Jessica Dr.,
    Spring Hill, FL 34609
  • While I was looking through the Sesame Street Magazine, I saw an advertisement for their updated web page at In the Make-A-Story section, Grover is shown wearing a simple balloon hat. One of the story elements you can drag to the book is a balloon dog.
  • The following was seen in the Toledo Blade in the “Ripley’s Believe It or Not!” section, 1998 Ripley Entertainment Inc:
    “Ian Ashpole of England flew to a height of 10,000 ft. dangling from 400 heilium-filled balloons! (1997) “e;
  • The San Francisco Chronicle has an article about Mr. Twister (Cory McDonald) from Santa Cruz being paid by Downtown San Jose merchants to feed expired parking meters in their area. The merchants believe that the presence of the meters and the $23 tickets discourages customers when they can go to shopping malls and park for free. The have a photo of Mr. Twister in his clown makeup and the 260 balloons are visible on his apron. “True to his name, he twisted long balloons into heart shapes for anyone who would give him a little change for the meters. The business group gave him about $100 for the job — most of which he planned to deposit in meters.” San Jose has a law that makes it illegal to deposit coins for other motorists. However that law is not enforced.Mr. Twister achieved some notoriety when he was cited in Santa Cruz for feeding meters ahead of the meter maids. The article says that Santa Cruz revised its law after it became the butt of jokes nationwide for giving Mr. Twister a $13 ticket for feeding other people’s meters. Late-night television host Jay Leno quipped that Mr. Twister was likely to do more time for his offense than O. J. Simpson. Rock band Soul Asylum announced itself as “five guys in support of Mr. Twister” during a Santa Cruz tour stop.
  • I was reading an obituary in the New York Times, a fellow named Steven Slepack had died. They called him a balloon virtuoso. He was known for twisting balloon animals in Central Park. He would blow a balloon up with a single breath and would offer to pay $100 to anyone who could match him. He would work to the beat of 1920s jazz. Apparently in the 1970s, he made a trip to San Francisco where he taught his craft to Steve Martin. He charged a dollar a balloon and could make enough in a couple of days to support himself and his wife for weeks.

In The (Record) Books

  • Balloon Modeling Records
    I want to establish record lists for various ‘disciplines’ in speed twisting, and I have created a corresponding web page: Please send me your record claims.
  • A claim has been made to Guinness and (I think) was published in one of the World Books. Lon Cerel of Rhode Island claims to hold the worlds’ record for fastest balloon animals. I’m do not know about the twisting methods, or if inflation was included in the time. He uses this title in all his promotional material.
  • I helped Wickel Donahue last year construct (and destroy) the world’s largest exploding balloon wall. It was about 140′ wide and 45′ high. It was in the Houston Astrodome.
  • The German Office of the Guinness Book of Records has accepted a balloon modelling record for the first time. It will be noted in the 1998 edition.
  • On July, 12 1998 I took part in record breakers’ festival with record attempts for the Guinness Book of Records. There was a speed balloon modelling competition. The winner, Salvatore Sabatino from Italy, made 361 figures from 396 balloons within one hour. The Guinness Book office told me that this would be a new world record. You can find detailed rules about speed balloon modelling records. Here are some more records: 100 dogs (3 twists, 10 bubbles): 15:35 min (this is the only record category which allows pre-inflated balloons) 3 hours: 827 dogs, 6 hours: 1227 dogs, 1000 dogs: 5:01:54 hrs.
  • From the San Francisco Sunday Examiner and Chronicle 9/29/96: Harrah’s Reno is challenging all clowns to a competition naming the world record holder for balloon animals. Know any? Harrah’s is sponsoring the ‘First Annual Balloon Twist Off’ Sunday, October 6, with contestants making as many balloon animals as possible in a five-minute period. The winner takes home $500, and his/her accomplishment will be considered by the Guinness Book of Records. The ‘Twist Off’ is one of the many features in downtown Reno’s FIREFEST 96, “Reno’s high desert hoop-la,” October 4-6. For complete ‘Twist Off’ rules and more information call 702-323-3138.
  • Speed Twisting Contest (location, date of event unknown) Cost $25 must pre-register. A team of three: 1 twister and 2 helpers. One person will twist the balloons – everyone must twist a 9 twist poodle Balloons supplied. The team with the most poodles wins $500
  • The Northeast Clown Convention holds a speed balloon contest during its annual convention every year. The rules stipulate you have 3 minutes, each animal made must have three distinct twists (dogs are the usual/fastest), and balloons cannot be pre-inflated. The record is currently held by Jon Hubbard ‘J the Clown’ of Salem, Massachusetts. He can inflate and tie 23 three-twist dogs in 3 minutes. This contest is one of my favorites and is held in front of an audience and the judges. Although J is no longer able to reach his record of 23, he can consistently do 18 or 19 in three minutes – watch those fingers fly!
  • During the WCA Clown Convention, San Diego (1986?) the parade-ability competition was held at the Seaport Village shopping area. All clowns were invited to help construct the world’s longest balloon dog. Each clown added a 260 to the original ‘head’ balloon. It went on an on and on; it was attached to lamp poles and such along the way. I cannot recall exactly how long it was, but I would guess at least a half mile or more.
  • With regards to the world record balloon release on August 27 1994, at Longleat House, in England. A total of 1,592,744 latex balloons were released. I have a video of it as my helium gas supplier, British Oxygen Company (B.O.C.) had major involovement in this release and gave us a copy of this amazing sight.

Music and Balloons

Song Lyrics

  • There is a children’s song entitled Balloons, Balloons, Balloons. A reporter for a local paper did a bit on me and used a verse from it at the beginning of the article. It goes like this:

    I have a friend I see in the park,
    The man with the pretty balloons.
    He’s always cheery from dawn until dark,
    The man with the pretty balloons.
    He has red ones, blue ones,
    Shiny bright new ones,
    Cute ones that whistle a tune,
    And all the day long
    He keeps singing this song,
    Balloons, Balloons, Balloons!

  • Lets twist again
  • Take my breath away
  • let’s do the twist!
  • Twist and Shout
  • Up up and away in my beautiful Balloon (5th dimension)
  • Up Up and Away?
  • 99 Red Balloons, by Nina
    99 Red Balloons 99 luftballoons
    You and I in a little toy shop
    buy a bag of balloons
    with the money we've got
    Set them free at the break of dawn
    'Til one by one, they were gone
    Back at base, bugs in the software
    Flash the message,
    "Something's out there"
    Floating in the summer sky
    99 red balloons go by.
    99 red balloons
    floating in the summer sky
    Panic bells, it's red alert
    There's something here
    from somewhere else
    The war machine springs to life
    Opens up one eager eye
    Focusing it on the sky
    Where 99 red balloons go by.
    99 Decision Street,
    99 ministers meet
    To worry, worry, super-scurry
    Call the troops out in a hurry
    This is what we've waited for
    This is it boys, this is war
    The president is on the line
    As 99 red balloons go by.
    99 Knights of the air
    ride super-high-tech jet fighters
    Everyone's a Silverhero
    Everyone's a Captain Kirk
    With orders to identify
    To clarify and classify
    Scramble in the summer sky
    As 99 red balloons go by.
    As 99 red balloons go by.
    99 dreams I have had
    In every one a red balloon
    It's all over and I'm standin' pretty
    In this dust that was a city
    If I could find a souvenier
    Just to prove the world was here...
    And here is a red balloon
    I think of you and let it go.
    Hast dou etwas Zeit f|r mich
    dann singe ich ein Lied f|r dich
    von 99 Luftballons
    auf ihrem Weg zum Horizont
    denkst du vielleicht g'rad an mich,
    dann singe ich ein Lied f|r dich
    von 99 Luftballons
    und da_ sowas von sowas kommt
    99 Luftballons
    auf ihrem Weg zum Horizont
    hielt man f|r UFOs aus dem All
    darum schickte ein General
    'ne Fliegerstaffel hinterher
    Alarm zu geben, wenn's so wdr',
    dabei war'n da am Horizont
    nur 99 Luftballons.
    99 D|senflieger
    jeder war ein grosser Krieger
    hielten sich f|r Captain Kirk
    das gab ein gro_es Feuerwerk
    die Nachbarn haben nichts gerafft
    und f|hlten sich gleich angemacht
    dabei scho_ man am Horizont
    auf 99 Luftballons
    99 Kriegsminister
    Streichholz und Benzinkanister
    hielten sich f|r schlaue Leute
    witterten schon fette Beute
    riefen: Krieg und wollten Macht
    Mann, wer hdtte das gedacht
    da_ es einmal soweit kommt
    wegen 99 Luftballons
    99 Jahre Krieg
    lie_en keinen Platz f|r Sieger
    Kriegsminister gibt's nicht mehr
    und auch keine D|senflieger
    heute zieh' ich meine Runden
    seh' die Welt in Tr|mmern liegen
    hab' 'nen Luftballon gefunden
    denk' an dich und la_' ihn fliegen.

Albums and Titles

CDs with the word ‘balloon’ in the album title, song title, or artist name.

  • Balloon: DJ’s At Work (cd single)
  • Balloon Man (Robyn Hitchcock)
  • Balloon Music: Judy Dunaway
    • … no tracks are currently online, but some of them have great names: Blown Uncut, Rubber Patchwork Quilt, Piece for Solo Tenor Balloon
    • Piece for Solo Tenor Balloon, Bluebird, Champagne in Mexico City, Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime, Blown Uncut, Rubber Patchwork Quilt Featuring Judy Dunaway, balloons with Yasunao Tone and Dan Evans Farkas, electronicsFrom the performance lofts of lower Manhattan since the early 1990’s, Judy Dunaway has forged a new and insistent musical voice with her trademark family of musical instruments – balloons. Into an amplification system she strokes them with moistened hands and inflates and deflates them to form rhythms and shape irregular melodies. In her notes to this CD Dunaway describes the development of her balloon techniques and also speaks passionately about the magical powers of latex to seal, protect, hold breath, and spark imagination. In an era when it is difficult to be truly unique, Judy Dunaway succeeds at communicating a personal and powerful new art.
    • A while back a post was made about the CD Balloon Music by Judy Dunaway. Anyhow, I was curious about it and ordered it. Please don’t waste your money if your looking for anything that sounds like music as you know it! It is a combination of squeeky, and strange noises made by stroking balloons with wet hands. You could use it to annoy your teenagers. I may use it as Alien music for a new character that I’m developing, but be warned, it is very difficult to sit through.
  • The Black Balloon: John Renbourn
  • Before the Balloon Went Up: Jimmy Page
  • Fantastic Spikes Through Balloon: Skeleton Key
  • Four O’Clock Balloon: Four O’Clock Balloon
  • Gabrielle’s Balloon: Michael Rabinowitz Quartet
  • Hey Balloon: Mightyhead
  • The Ready Made Boomerang/ Deep Listening Band: Gordon Hempton
    (includes the song Balloon Payment)
  • I just (12/11/96) received at KTOO-FM (the public radio station where I work) a CD entitled A Rubber Band Christmas. It’s got 14 selections from Rubber Bells to Rubber to the World, all primarily performed on rubber bands with additional accompaniment using staplers, rulers, a soda can, paper clips, masking tape and more. Their number is 1-888-RUBBER-8. Hope it puts a little bounce in your holiday season!
  • I Turned Into a Helium Balloon: We the People
  • Toy balloon: Bert Jansch
  • Trav’ling Home-American Spirituals 1770-1870
    (a clip from the song Balloon is available online!)
  • Whitlock: Complete Organ Works Vol 1: Graham Barber
    (includes the song Balloon Ballet)
  • The Yellow Balloon: Yellow Balloon (also a song entitled Yellow Balloon)

On The Street

  • I have a friend here in Vegas whose license plate is “POPART”.
  • My license plate says “ITWISTM”…get it … I Twist ‘Em!
  • I saw the funniest bumper sticker in Santa Cruz. It read, “Mr. Twister, feed my meter!”
  • Camp Ti-BAHQ –> Twisters Involved in the BAlloon HQ!
  • The Governor of Alaska appointed Jim Brown the Balloonist Laureate of Alaska.
  • Talk about a balloon sighting! We stumbled onto this product in the last couple weeks. Our youngest son is in diapers. A connoisseur of the disposable product line, and a young twister, he pointed out (demanded) the package on the grocery shelf that featured balloons in the illustration. Disposable diapers with (round) balloons with ribbons printed on them. The balloons have smiley faces on them *that disappear when the diapers are wet!* Way Cool!!! You don’t have to do the “damp finger test” anymore, just check to see if the balloons are “Happy”!
    FITTI; brand disposable diapers by Associated Hygienic Products LLC of Duluth, GA 30136 & Bell, CA 90201
  • I was at the international soccer team games this past weekend (4 Jun 1998) in Washington D.C. where someone did two mega half soccer balls with helium balloons, then released them at just the appropriate time. It was awesome!
  • The Super Nintendo game Secret of Evermore has a thing about balloons. At the beginning of the game, the main character goes into a haunted house and list a few things he sees. A balloon animal is one of them! Later on in the game, a guard gives a list of things you can’t do in the town park.. one of which is “NO balloon animals”!
  • Looks like there’s a new mass-market kit on how to twist on the shelves… for making balloon hats with 260’s. I also saw a water cannon comprised of a 260-like double thick balloon with a valve on one end and a thick straw on the other. Fill with water at the valve end shoot the water like out of a hose by pointing the straw. Stock up for the super water fight in Texas! (latex water toys only, no plastic pistols!)

Platycodon Grandiflorus, the Balloon Flower

Platycodon Grandiflorus, the “Balloon Flower”, is the official BHQ Flower!

The Balloon Flower comes in blue, pale pink, or white, and gets its’ name from the way each flower bud swells before its starry petals unfold. The Balloon Flower is a Perennial that flourishes in full sun and grows to a height of 18 inches (45 cm).Leafy stems carry terminal buds like small balloons, which burst in high summer to display delightful, star-shaped flowers with darker veins. Excellent border plants. Easy care, thiriving in fertile, well-drained soil. Choose a sunny position. Mature plants are reliably hardy.

MB 12/13/95
LM 12/17/95
SKB 2/25/96
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MB 6/17/97
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SKB 11/17/99