For The Love of Clowns!

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closeup_color_clown_vector_154422Okay, listen up! As I sit here propped up by my funny bone, I’m thinking about clowns. Oh get a grip all you wackadoodle clown-hating people out there. I’m talking about the good old-fashioned kind of clowns; the big footed Bo Bo’s that made us laugh before they morphed into twisted freak shows.

Good clowns: Some people feel a cold wetness, like a leaky grave, when they think of clowns. But when I think of clowns, I remember the Ringling Circus clowns in baggy britches doing walkabouts in the hippodrome between acts, and making me giggle until cream soda gushed out of my nose. I think of the endearing pantomimes of Red Skelton’s tramp clown, ‘Freddie the Freeloader,’ who made my whole family laugh and cry with his brilliant TV performances. And I think of rushing home from school to watch Clarabell the Clown cause all kinds of horn-honking mischief on the Howdy Doody Show. Yes, I’m that old and those were the clowns of my generation.

Bad clowns: Okay, so maybe these ‘Joeys’ do have a gruesome past. Centuries ago, clowns were crude and often gruesome entertainment for adults, not meant for children. And we did have a few bad seeds over the ages that gave Chuckles a twisted rep. Unfortunately, we seem to remember those more than the many who made us laugh.

Freaky clowns: Sadly clowns around the world have been victimized by the movie industry, producing clown-hating psychological horrors like Stephen King’s ‘Pennywise Dancing Clown’ in IT and the mind-rotting antics of ‘Twisty the Clown’ in American Horror Story. After seeing these violent graphic images, they become recorded in our brains, and remain in a constant state of replay, replay, replay…making it difficult for many to separate fact from fiction.

Clown sickness: We even have a name for this irrational fear of clowns…coulrophobia! And while clown-fear is spreading at an alarming rate, thankfully it is not recognized as an official disorder. (No, you cannot take sick time from work!)

Send in the clowns: Early in my lifetime, clowns clomped around in exaggerated shoes and made us laugh as masters of slapstick and pure silliness. And even today, bullfighter clowns are the brave souls who risk life and butt to save rodeo riders from being stomped to death, by some angry snot-snorting bovine with his balls in a twist! And really…is there anything funnier than a gazillion clowns tumbling out of a small car? C’mon Coulrophobics…loosen up and admit the humour in that one.

Bravo! In my view you’ve simply got to be a great person to dress up like a clown, hidden behind all that tomfoolery, and simply want to make people laugh…not kill, maim or drop from the bedroom ceiling in the dead of night to slice you into bloody bite-sized chunks…but simply make you laugh.

Final word: Harry S. Truman once said, “Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day.”

But I’ll bet if a clown did it, it would crack you up and release you from the dark side.

Now don’t wait for a fresh turd to cross your path – come into the light and let a good old-fashioned clown make you snort cream soda out of your nose.

See you between the lines and on Twitter @PatSkene

 

20 responses »

  1. And how about the clowns who deliver all occasion balloons? They still deliver in my city…I love them! I have always had a fondness for clowns and am fortunate enough to own 2 Red Skelton prints which I cherish. Bring in the clowns!

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  2. Well good for you for remembering the ‘Red Skeleton’ kind of good clown. Unfortunately, once the Hollywood freak show turned them into frightening killing machines we kind of forgot the good ones, too busy looking over our shoulders for the ones coming after us. I agree with you and Janice, bring back the good image! Maybe you can start a ‘save the clown image’ online petition! I’ll sign.

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  3. Your title says it. Who would ever interpret the phrase “clowning around” to mean murdering or mutilating someone? I love clowns. Always have always will.

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  4. My favourite clown was Red Skeleton! And didn’t Lucille Ball do a clown routine too? Love children’s Birthday Party clowns too…..I wonder if kids do that anymore? Parties have gotten so expensive and elaborate. Keep the scary ones away from me….they give me nightmares!

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    • Thanks Britt Girl…Red Skelton seems to be a favorite among clown lovers. Yes, I think they still do children’s parties, but with whole families growing up hating clowns, they can’t be as popular as they once were. Sadly the evil clowns have prevailed.

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  5. I love this! Send in the clowns huh! Right into my nightmares to only schedule their jack-in-the-box leap from my closet. I love that you love them, however between their makeup, hair and hidden weapon they are the devil’s trifecta of a practical joke for me! Great post and when Chucky comes knocking I’ll send him on down to your place.

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  6. Oh, Pat, what a delightful post this is. I grew up with the same clowns you did and remembering their antics still makes me smile. I have a clown mask I wore as a child to top of a clown outfit my mom made me for Halloween, my favorite costume ever. It hangs on a guest bedroom wall. My grandchildren won’t sleep in that room unless I remove the mask and hide it away in another room. How sad. I wish I could help them come into the light of good clowns.

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  7. My daughter and granddaughter are the same way. It’s too bad the movie industry has ruined this enjoyment for so many of the younger generation. Thanks for your comment. “A little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants.” Remember Chuckles from the Mary Tyler Moore show? 😊

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  8. Plus it’s a tough job! My singing partner, Craig, did a considerable stint of time donning the orange wig and funny hat. At one performance a kid kept yelling, “You haven’t been funny yet, I’m not laughing!” I felt so sorry for Craig. Just putting on the outfit is an act of courage.

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