Clowns Plan Rally Outside NYC Movie Theater
September 14, 2017 8:39 AM   Subscribe

Professional Clowns Plan Rally Outside NYC Movie Theater, Blaming Movie 'It' for Drop in Business John Nelson, who runs Clowns in Town with a partner, says his business has gotten several cancellations in the last couple of weeks, and he's blaming the supernatural horror movie for scaring the public.
posted by grobertson (82 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
 
....and the scary clowns randomly wandering around streets wasn't hindering things?


Also: picture being a person innocently walking up to this theater to see "It", and picture seeing a whole mob of clowns standing outside.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:44 AM on September 14 [57 favorites]


wedemandtobetakenseriously.jpg

If you ask my wife, though, they don't need any help to be designated as "terrifying". Ask her, she'll tell you one tried to assassinate her, but I was present at the time and she was hit in the head by a soft sponge ball the clown was playing catch with children with.
posted by AzraelBrown at 8:47 AM on September 14 [14 favorites]


At the same time there will be a rally of Jokers two blocks down on the right.
posted by bondcliff at 8:49 AM on September 14 [21 favorites]


EmpressCallipygos: "picture being a person innocently walking up to this theater to see "It""

Even worse, imagine stepping out of this theater after seeing "It"
posted by chavenet at 8:49 AM on September 14 [46 favorites]


I'm sure this will accomplish the goals of the professional clowns, and will in no way backfire by further depressing demand for their services.
posted by Spathe Cadet at 8:51 AM on September 14 [10 favorites]


If the new season of Bojack Horseman taught me anything, it's that it's ok to be totally creeped out by clowns.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:52 AM on September 14 [4 favorites]


Clown strike!
posted by thelonius at 8:52 AM on September 14 [1 favorite]


I went to a conference in St. Louis about a decade ago and the hotel I was staying in was a hosting a clown conference at the same time.

Elevator rides were very awkward but totally worth it because every time I would hold the open door button and let them out first and then say "Could you believe those fucking clowns?" to whoever else was still there.

I consider that my lifetime's worth of revenge on clowns.
posted by srboisvert at 8:54 AM on September 14 [45 favorites]


Sheesh... use this as an opportunity. Stop with the weird face paint? the traditional "clown" outfits? Try something different?

This is so lame in so many ways that it actually makes me dislike clowns even more than I did before.
posted by jeff-o-matic at 8:54 AM on September 14 [3 favorites]


No.

What spiders are to some people, clowns are to me. No matter how big, how small, how scary or how cute, they want to kill me and suck out my juices.

Spiders > Clowns.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 9:01 AM on September 14 [1 favorite]


I'm sure people's coulrophobia is all the fault of Stephen King and not John Wayne Gacy.
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:04 AM on September 14 [10 favorites]


Hey clowns, if you're all so harmless what's the deal with needing to paint on those smiles? Kinda makes a guy think it's because there's no smiling coming from the inside. Who you trying to fool with that eh?



Seriously clowns, give it up. It isn't the media tricking people into disliking clowns, you've always been scary as fuck. Ditch the face paint and the funny violence and then maybe people won't worry about what's going on behind those soulless monster eyes of yours.
posted by gusottertrout at 9:06 AM on September 14 [7 favorites]


scariest clown of all time imo

this was the first hit for the words "scoopy clown" so i know im not alone here
posted by entropicamericana at 9:10 AM on September 14 [2 favorites]


On one hand, I have no doubt that It is harming the clown business. On the other hand, what exactly do they expect to accomplish with this? The studio isn't going to pull It from the theaters. On the remaining multitudinous hands of my true form are the bloody remains of those who saw me in my clown visage.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 9:11 AM on September 14 [4 favorites]


My feelings on this are surprisingly difficult to juggle.
posted by RolandOfEld at 9:12 AM on September 14 [11 favorites]


Ive never met someone of any age who enjoys clowns. They are tolerated, at best, similar to mimes. I will always be baffled by those who choose these as professions.
posted by pleem at 9:12 AM on September 14 [6 favorites]


I wonder if clowns aren't basically the coal miners of live entertainment, desperately clinging to their outmoded, largely unnecessary industry in the face of a market that no longer has a demand for their services.
posted by Strange Interlude at 9:15 AM on September 14 [21 favorites]


With Halloween right around the corner, I would seize this opportunity and become a scary clown for a Halloween themed party. Sort of like how Knott's Berry Farm becomes Knott's Scary Farm this time of year.
posted by cazoo at 9:17 AM on September 14 [1 favorite]


I wonder if the clown as scary as fuck thing is a modern development? Did our grandpeoples have clown issues as well? Within context of a circus, are clowns easier to take? I find the whole clown thing immensely interesting and feel there should be in-depth cross disciplinary studies between history departments and psychology departments on clowns.
posted by herda05 at 9:17 AM on September 14 [3 favorites]


sorry clowns but Poltergeist came out in 1982. it scared my kid sister so badly that to this day you can just say the word "clown!" at her and she flinches. this cat got out of the bag long before IT.
posted by supermedusa at 9:24 AM on September 14 [4 favorites]


I have a feeling that every clown there will have business cards and flyers on hand. They cannot seriously expect to have any impact on theaters choosing to show "It", because that's already over. On the other hand, now they're in the paper.

As far as the scary clown thing goes, clown makeup is exaggerated for the purpose of making facial expressions visible from a distance. It's stage makeup turned up to maximum. Unfortunately, that exaggerated effect that's necessary if you're playing to the last row turns out to hit the uncanny valley close up.
posted by Karmakaze at 9:28 AM on September 14 [5 favorites]


Really? Now a clown rally? Things sure are weird around here lately...
posted by Bob Regular at 9:29 AM on September 14 [1 favorite]


I used to hang around a group that had a lot of crossover with new circus arts folks, and even before that I didn't like clowns. Afterwards I decided that they can all mainly fuck right off.

It didn't help their cause when I asked a middle aged ostensibly adult guy who should know better about consent to go away and stop pestering with his clown schtick. He should have known better because he's a trained counselor and therapist, for fuck's sake.

He turned that into a small clown mob directed at me by suddenly calling out "Hey, we've got a clown hater here! We've got a clown hater!'" which resulted in a whole bunch of clowns doing their sickly sweet and snarky clown schtick at me at the same time.

And I remember being glad I didn't have a knife in reach because I definitely thought about stabbing them right in the face because what the fuck are you doing pinning me into a corner like this with your clown bullshit?

I'm not... properly phobic about clowns but they definitely squick me out. I don't like them and think they're aesthetically deeply unpleasant and unsettling in ways that never scan as "funny, humorous or entertaining." I feel the same way about mimes, but maybe slightly less.

For me I think it has everything to do with the excessive social license taken by many clowns from behind the facepaint and distracting clothes. It's an unpleasant mix of unchecked ego and maudlin drunkenness, the not so merry prankster. The Trickster God - but hapless and hammy.

I think have nearly the same emotional response when I see a video of a monkey taunting other monkeys or another species of animal, like that one video where gibbons are hanging upside down from branches and taunting, slapping and pinching at an enraged cheetah.

I also think that these days most clowns are getting more out of being a clown than what other people are getting out of them being a clown. Like modern clowns are possibly cosplaying and engaging in a public kink.

Like, we get it. You really like being a clown.

But why? You know you can be funny, lighthearted and humorous without the weird face paint and costume, right? You can also be all kinds of other roles and things? Why the shield and camouflage of the clown schtick? What are you hiding from yourself?
posted by loquacious at 9:30 AM on September 14 [18 favorites]


I wonder if the clown as scary as fuck thing is a modern development?

There's a (possibly apocryphal) quote attributed to Lon Chaney, silent film and early horror star, along the lines of "there is nothing funny about a clown after midnight," so it goes back to at least pre-WWII.
posted by Shepherd at 9:30 AM on September 14 [9 favorites]


Some of my favorite stage performers have been clowns. They just doubled down on their act and their skills, instead of doubling down on scary makeup.

There's no rule that says clowns have to wear that sort of outfit. Get better at juggling and telling jokes, and cut it out with the makeup.
posted by explosion at 9:30 AM on September 14 [4 favorites]


Some of my favorite stage performers have been clowns.

Robin Williams. He also did mime. There's a picture of him on the net of him in mime facepaint and I wish I could unsee it.

Robin Williams may reinforce the point about clowns being a bit troubled. I love him to bits, but he was dealing with a lot.
posted by loquacious at 9:33 AM on September 14 [3 favorites]


We have friends that are professional clowns. They travel all over the word delighting people (their acts are non-verbal). They even had a clown wedding. They have a family show in New York in the spring and I'm excited to take my kids. They often work in the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade, and the year we went in person, we kept telling the people around us that we knew someone in the parade. At least, we spotted her- on stilts! She ran over, bent down and gave us a huge hug. You have not lived until someone on stilts is coming at you like they're falling and then SURPRISE no it's just a hug. The people around us were impressed.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:36 AM on September 14 [10 favorites]


explosion: There's no rule that says clowns have to wear that sort of outfit. Get better at juggling and telling jokes, and cut it out with the makeup.

I've never been afraid of clowns, but I've always liked Bill Irwin and I don't recall ever seeing him in 'clown' makeup -- and he says he understands why clowns are scary.
posted by AzraelBrown at 9:44 AM on September 14 [4 favorites]


I actually kinda like clowns. I mean, i don't go out of my way to find them or whatever, but my reaction to seeing one has always been "oh, cute" rather than "eeeeeeeeek". (I also was on a walking tour lead by a guy who had at one time been a clown for Ringling Bros., and he had some cool stories about exactly how the overstuffed-clown-car thing worked.)

In terms of "It", though - the other day I was coming off my subway and beginning the long walk down the platform to the exit at the far end. And - about 15 feet ahead of me in the crowd I suddenly spotted - a red helium baloon.

The crowd eventually shifted to the point that I saw it in the hand of a little kid who had clearly just come from a birthday party or something, but I still gave that red baloon a wide berth and let them get even further ahead of me just in case.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:44 AM on September 14 [1 favorite]


I'm baffled by the continued existence of clowns. I know no one who finds them amusing or funny, they're just kind of annoying. I'm not phobic, nor is anyone I know personally, but at best clowns are kind of pointless, and at worst they're obnoxious.

To me they're a weird anachronism, an artifact of old commedia dell'arte that has somehow survived to the present day despite not being worth keeping.

And yet, there must be some people who actually like them, or else they'd vanish.

Who are the people who hire clowns? Do they really like them, or is it just nostalgia, or what?
posted by sotonohito at 9:46 AM on September 14 [4 favorites]


Next thing you know they'll want to have their dentistry skills taken seriously.
posted by grumpybear69 at 9:47 AM on September 14 [3 favorites]


And but seriously how is this children's show not creepy AF.
posted by grumpybear69 at 9:52 AM on September 14 [2 favorites]


I mostly just want to see how many cars they take to the protest.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 9:55 AM on September 14 [32 favorites]


The real problem with this thread is distinguishing when people are complaining about the clown from It as opposed to the more usual complaints about "that clown from IT."
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:56 AM on September 14 [8 favorites]


Even bulls hate them! Actually, I'm more of a pro-clown person, although I appreciate that, like prog-rock, they aren't for everyone.
posted by TedW at 9:58 AM on September 14 [1 favorite]


Here's a hot take: coulrophobia isn't about all kinds of clowns. I don't think most people who register fear of clowns are thinking of the clowns of commedia dell'Arte or the many traditions of clowning in non-Western cultures. It seems like it's centered on a very specific type of clown that emerged out of the circus tradition in the US, and even more specifically out of Bozo the Clown and his many imitators. I also don't think the tradition of having clowns at children's birthday parties (and attendant fears of child abuse) is a thing outside the US, but I could be wrong about that.
posted by Cash4Lead at 9:59 AM on September 14 [3 favorites]


I mostly just want to see how many cars they take to the protest.

*sigh* take your favorite
posted by entropicamericana at 10:00 AM on September 14 [13 favorites]


The Trickster God - but hapless and hammy.

Just remember, every Trickster God has a story where they look silly and week and foolish and another where they kill and eat someone more powerful than them. Also, most come back from the dead at some point or other.

Just sayin'.
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:01 AM on September 14 [11 favorites]


The clown rally is being reported as a fake.
posted by JimInLoganSquare at 10:02 AM on September 14 [2 favorites]


For those who didn't follow my link, it was a rodeo clown being tossed around by a bull. Those guys are truly some bad-ass clowns.
posted by TedW at 10:03 AM on September 14 [1 favorite]


As opposed to "bad ass-clowns." Remember: the hyphen you save may be your own.
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:07 AM on September 14 [6 favorites]


I go to a lot of circus shows. I've seen some unfunny clowns, but I've also seen quite a lot of extremely funny clowns.

I'll note that very few of them wear traditional clown make-up these days, though.
posted by kyrademon at 10:09 AM on September 14


You have not lived until someone on stilts is coming at you like they're falling and then SURPRISE no it's just a hug.

It's even more of a surprise when they unfold their feeding proboscis. This used to be a real problem back when I was a kid.
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:11 AM on September 14 [19 favorites]


The clown rally is being reported as a fake.

A fake rally of people with false facial features wearing unreal clothing protesting a fictional story shown using moving pictures that simulate reality.

This is exactly what 2017 needs.
posted by srboisvert at 10:12 AM on September 14 [6 favorites]


I think for some in my age cohort, the Fear might have its origins in a clown-adjacent bit of family TV from the early 80s: the notorious "Sylvia" episode of Little House on the Prairie, in which a young girl is terrorized by a rapist who wears a mime mask. (Trigger warning: horrifying screenshot.)
posted by Atom Eyes at 10:16 AM on September 14


> "This is exactly what 2017 needs."

The only thing required now is some kind of short, pithy phrase for news that purports to be factual news, but is alleged by one or more parties to be false instead.
posted by kyrademon at 10:17 AM on September 14


I think the fear of clowns has the same roots as the fear of mascots, animatronics, and mall Santas. Imagine you're a kid, your brain hasn't figured out how the world works yet, and here's this ... person? It doesn't look like a person. It talks like one but in a voice that's too big and all wrong. It wants you to come near it and love it. When you don't, it teases you and laughs at you. You look around to your parents for help and they won't help you. They're pushing you towards this huge, colorful man-animal-thing, and if you don't want to go they get mad, because it's for you, it's there for you --

Not every kid is this anxious about new experiences, which I suppose is why these traditions persist for generations. But just enough of us are.
posted by Countess Elena at 10:22 AM on September 14 [10 favorites]


There was a live-action local Bozo show in Los Angeles when I was a widdle kid and I was in the 'peanut gallery' for one episode. I was one of the first kids eliminated in a 'musical chairs'-like game and L.A.'s Bozo got a little rough with me personally getting me out of the game area. And that was the most positive clown role model in America. (After the show and off-camera, he had a drawing for the parents who accompanied the kids, and my mother won what was then a new-fangled grilled cheese sandwich gadget. I had bitterness with my grilled cheese for years after that.)
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:25 AM on September 14 [8 favorites]


I once rode a roller coaster with four clowns in full makeup and gear. They were doing a photo thing for the circus next door, and I was in the row behind them.

Best moment was when the attendant reached down to check the fat clown's lap bar and he cried in mock indignation "I BEG YOUR PARDON, I barely know you."
posted by delfin at 10:26 AM on September 14 [7 favorites]


I have known some clowns and circus people. Not super-close friends, but some co workers and other acquaintances. The disturbing part about the whole scene is how fucking seriously the whole thing is taken. That "clowning" is an ancient art that is to be respected, that elephants are TOO treated well in circuses and love performing and now are sad that they have to be non-circus elephants.

I get that there's a skill set here and a history. But as soon as you take a stance as a "serious" clown performer (I know a guy who moved to Sedona and became a "New Age Clown" in the early 90s) the entire idea is turned upside down.

Ventriloquists are creepy too. But there doesn't seem to be many butt-hurt ventriloquists out there. And bear-baiting has a long history, too. Maybe some things just need to go away.

ON TOP OF THAT... our American concept of "clowns" is inspired by ridiculing immigrants... the patchwork clothes, oversized shoes, red noses (alcohol!) and tears were aping Irish and German immigrants. Hell, there's an entire sub-class of clowns that imitate homeless people and migrant workers! Look at clowns from other eras, they did not have these attributes.
posted by jeff-o-matic at 10:29 AM on September 14 [4 favorites]


Personally, I classify "clown fear" along with "the word moist is somehow gross" in the category of "things I don't get myself but will shrug about and say OK if you feel that way, but many of the people who do feel that way will nonetheless go to GREAT LENGTHS to explain to me why their reaction is the correct one and I should have it too".
posted by kyrademon at 10:29 AM on September 14 [17 favorites]


The clown rally is being reported as a fake.

You have disappointed one of my co-workers, who was all set to go watch after work today.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:33 AM on September 14 [2 favorites]


I wonder if the clown as scary as fuck thing is a modern development?

Smithsonian.com to the rescue!

I like rodeo clowns & juggly acrobatic clowns, except for those pretentious/grotesque Cirque de Soleil jerks. If your shtick is just paint and acting like a goof, I have no time for you.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:35 AM on September 14 [2 favorites]


It's not phobia, per se--for me it's of a piece with the frisson-cringe-discomfort I often get when someone acting or singing is focused on, or performing for, me. Of course, with many clowns, there can be an aesthetic fremdschämen as well. Which I will cheerfully own is all me! Just, yeah. No, thank you.
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 10:55 AM on September 14 [6 favorites]


I also think that these days most clowns are getting more out of being a clown than what other people are getting out of them being a clown. Like modern clowns are possibly cosplaying and engaging in a public kink.
I wouldn't go so far as to assume public kink, but I do think that most modern clowns are way more into being clowns than they seem to think the rest of the world is (or should be) into watching them be clowns.

And I get it, there's something really powerful/therapeutic about putting on a different face/persona for a while; ask any kid who's ever dressed up for Halloween, or any grown-up who's cosplayed at a con, or made an elaborate steampunk outfit for a festival, or participated in some kind of living history. But one-on-one clowns make it weird and uncomfortable by making you part of their clowning performance, and yeah, the classic giant-greasepaint-leer makeup reads very strangely up close. I've never been afraid of clowns but I've never ever enjoyed interacting with them, because they're always waaaay more into it than I am.
I have known some clowns and circus people. Not super-close friends, but some co workers and other acquaintances. The disturbing part about the whole scene is hoe fucking seriously the whole thing is taken.
I've similarly heard through friends-of-friends that Shriner clowns are super territorial/competitive/backbiting. Like, each Shrine has a clown unit, and each clown unit has a clown of the year award, and all the other clowns in the unit are always jealous of/hate that guy because of course they would have been the better choice, petty intrigue like that.

And I guess I get that, too... I mean, if you're into something you might as well get really into it. But when clowns complain about people not appreciating their art there's always a certain lack of self-awareness.
It's not phobia, per se--for me it's of a piece with the frisson-cringe-discomfort I often get when someone acting or singing is focused on, or performing for, me. Of course, with many clowns, there can be an aesthetic fremdschämen as well. Which I will cheerfully own is all me! Just, yeah. No, thank you.
Yes, indeed! Oh No, Performers Coming Into Audience.
posted by Funeral march of an old jawbone at 11:02 AM on September 14 [10 favorites]


MetaFilter: Clown Unit.
posted by loquacious at 11:10 AM on September 14 [2 favorites]


My wife's derby name is a play on coulrophobia. I kept trying to get her to bout in face paint just to take the fear up a notch. She refused but mostly on the grounds that sweat is a thing.

I've said before that some of my good derby friends I have to think to remember their real names. There's a subset of that, where I wouldn't recognize them with face paint.

And if clowns are looking for someone to blame for their downfall, Gene Simmons seems as good a place as any to start, really.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 11:15 AM on September 14 [1 favorite]


I won a contest once and got to be a clown for one night at the Ringling circus. It was kind of interesting to go behind the scenes and see all these craggy, middle-aged and older guys putting the paint on and stuff, all acting like it was just another day on the factory floor.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:18 AM on September 14 [2 favorites]


The clown rally is being reported as a fake.

Aww. I was hoping it would get out of control and turn into a big pie fight and then the keystone riot cops would swoop in to break it up by spraying everyone with seltzer.
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:22 AM on September 14 [4 favorites]


What spiders are to some people, clowns are to me.

I've got some news for you about how the book ends.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 11:25 AM on September 14 [16 favorites]




I'm sure people's coulrophobia is all the fault of Stephen King and not John Wayne Gacy.

Why do we need to look for external reasons for clowns to be scary - clowns are intrinsically scary. Jaws didn't make sharks scary, it played off the fact that they already are.

A clown (1) hides its real face; and (2) replaces it with a disguise that is a hyper-memetic representation of happiness (much like the angler fish's lure or the cuckoo's egg). The only reason to appear that happy is if you are not, and if you are trying to attract (and do god knows what to) those who crave happiness. Ccoulrophobia is about survival.
posted by rtimmel at 11:53 AM on September 14 [13 favorites]


What's the one part of Cats that distinguishes it from all other musicals?...When the cats come into the audience.

I tried, dutiful husband that I am, to give my wife a "heads up" that one of the cats was approaching from her left, but she turned her head just in time to be started by a cat basically nose-to-nose with her and let out such a shocked yelp that the performer couldn't quite stifle her laughter.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 12:02 PM on September 14 [3 favorites]


Just dropping in to recommend Bobcat Goldthwait's Shakes the Clown, which is great.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:08 PM on September 14 [1 favorite]


Tig Notaro's Clown Service is also fantastic.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 12:23 PM on September 14 [1 favorite]


How come a clown rally didn't protest IT when the book came out, or the TV miniseries? Likewise I fail to remember any uproar over Insane Clown Posse giving sane clowns a bad name (posses or otherwise). Poltergeist was my intro to scary clowns, although to be fair, it made me more afraid of TV snow than clowns. I feel like this is more about clowns trying to hop on a bandwagon than clowns objecting to negative portrayal in a movie based on a 30-year-old book.

He turned that into a small clown mob directed at me by suddenly calling out "Hey, we've got a clown hater here! We've got a clown hater!'" which resulted in a whole bunch of clowns doing their sickly sweet and snarky clown schtick at me at the same time.

Clowns might not be funny, but the mental image inspired by that paragraph was hilarious.
posted by Autumnheart at 12:43 PM on September 14


My 3 year old went to a birthday party with a magic clown lady. She didn't wear make up but she did have colorful clothes and a red clown nose. The kids were each allowed to honk it so that the magic would rub off on them. She also let them hold her wand, but everytime a kid took it, it would collapse! Them she would say, "Oh no! Do be careful!" And the next kid would promise to, and it would happen again!

My kid was rapt. It was the Best Thing Ever.

In conclusion, I kinda like clowns now.
posted by Omnomnom at 12:44 PM on September 14 [5 favorites]


Clowns might not be funny, but the mental image inspired by that paragraph was hilarious.

Not if it's happening to you, and you're a woman being crowded by a bunch of guys whose whole shtik is to defy social rules and stomp across boundaries behind the anonymity of a grinning mask. It's power and chaos. And you're supposed to be a good sport.

Which, I guess, is kind of the point of coulrophobia.
posted by Omnomnom at 12:49 PM on September 14 [7 favorites]


No one has done more to make me hate clowns than Ronald McDonald.
posted by daybeforetheday at 1:47 PM on September 14 [1 favorite]




I'll just fall back on Terry Pratchett's description of clowns from Men at Arms:
No clowns were funny. That was the whole purpose of a clown. People laughed at clowns, but only out of nervousness. The point of clowns was that, after watching them, anything else that happened seemed enjoyable. It was nice to know there was someone worse off than you. Someone had to be the butt of the world.
I will also admit that my view is somewhat colored by my own brief experience in clowning, but I didn't particularly enjoy them before that.
posted by Halloween Jack at 2:05 PM on September 14 [3 favorites]


If you ask me, the real scary clowns are the ones in Congress.
posted by mcmile at 2:14 PM on September 14


They're forming an insane clown posse?
posted by zarq at 2:32 PM on September 14


So this isn't about the Juggalo march? Okay then. Carry on. Pun intended.
posted by Splunge at 3:04 PM on September 14


The ONLY clown I could ever abide was Homey the Clown from In Living Color. I always wanted to bop annoying people on the head like he did. He was the "anti-clown" I needed in my coulrophobic existence.

Halloween is going to be challenging this year, to put it mildly. Makes me wish zombies were still the current trend. I'd even prefer Juggalos, at this point. Gah.
posted by Amor Bellator at 3:39 PM on September 14


My favorite scary clowns are Stolen Babies. A little Oingo Boingo, a little heavy metal, a little accordion.
posted by Existential Dread at 4:12 PM on September 14


To me they're a weird anachronism, an artifact of old commedia dell'arte that has somehow survived to the present day despite not being worth keeping.


*sings*

RIIIIDIIII PAGLIAAACCIOOOOO
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 4:39 PM on September 14 [6 favorites]


Some joker left a small, antique clown marionette on my friend's front porch this evening. The ensuing Facebook thread (with accompanying photo) has featured increasingly hilarious accusations, counter accusations, suggestions for lifting the curse that has been visited upon their household, and terrified moaning.

I think the marionette is actually rather cute, but I haven't seen or read IT and don't have clown trauma.
posted by merriment at 6:53 PM on September 14 [1 favorite]


> Robin Williams. He also did mime. There's a picture of him on the net of him in mime facepaint and I wish I could unsee it.

From Shakes The Clown, mentioned earlier in the thread. It is justifiably dubbed the Citizen Kane of drunken clown movies, and is a must-see for everyone that has never considered the implications of the clown side of town.
posted by davelog at 9:34 AM on September 15 [1 favorite]




So this isn't about the Juggalo march? Okay then. Carry on. Pun intended.

Class Clowns: Juggalos are marching on Washington tomorrow today — and the Left should support them.
posted by homunculus at 11:38 AM on September 16 [1 favorite]


Re: the live-action local Bozo show in Los Angeles when I was a widdle kid... a cartoon history website reprinted this blurb from Variety, datelined Chicago, Aug. 8, 1960:
"Bozo, the Clown," animated cartoon tv series produced by Larry Harmon Pictures Corp. in Hollywood, is getting a format switch from WGN-TV, the Chi Tribune-owned station which carries the program five half-hours a week.
Having presented series for about a year as solely a cartoon, with interspersed blurbs, station has adapted the format pioneered by the Harmon organization on KTLA, Los Angeles, which has a "live" Bozo in replica of the cartoon character introducing the cartoons and commercials, with a daily audience of children in a circus setting. Series is now syndicated on 130 stations, with live "Bozos" operating on approximately 25%.

Yep, KTLA, the studio where the local Bozo shoved me offstage, in the days when clowns were beloved.
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:44 PM on September 16


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