…comes to New Mexico.
Trump sends emissary to recruit cabinet members.
…comes to New Mexico.
Trump sends emissary to recruit cabinet members.
❝ Police say a fearful 11-year-old Georgia girl who took a knife to school told officers she needed the weapon to fend off clowns.
…The girl was arrested…at Burney-Harris-Lyons Middle School in Athens amid reports and social media posts about clowns frightening children in Georgia and other states.
❝ An Athens-Clarke County police report states the girl said she needed the knife to protect her and her family because she had heard the stories about clowns jumping out of the woods and attacking children.
Police…released the girl to her mother on a charge of possession of a weapon on school grounds.
❝ In Coweta County, southwest of Atlanta, police were investigating a suspicious Facebook post by a man claiming to be “The Newnan Clown,”…
The profile, which has since been made private, said, “If I see you, I will get You!!! I want kids and all”…
❝ In neighboring Alabama, law enforcement officials are warning that people involved in a rash of creepy clown hoaxes across the state could be prosecuted.
Not certain what’s creepier: Kids so afraid of clowns they think they need to be armed or the kids who don’t think first of trusting their safety to their parents, teachers or maybe even the local coppers?
When Australian singer and TV personality Mark Holden appeared as a clown recently on Channel 7’s Dancing with the Stars, his supposedly “bizarre” behaviour sparked furious debate and complaints to the network, demonstrating the problematic nature of the clown figure today.
The clown has a long history, ranging from the court clowns of ancient Egypt and imperial China, and trickster figures of Native American cultures, through the “sanctioned fool” of Renaissance drama and zanni of the commedia dell arte, to mainstay of the circus in the 19th century…
The decline of touring companies and vaudeville reduced the visibility of the clown in the later 20th century. While clowns still operate in the circus and theatrical entertainments, they are more likely to be found in children’s entertainment, therapeutic and community fields…
…It’s our awareness that there is an offstage self that generates much of our uneasiness around this figure.
In the early 19th century Joseph Grimaldi made the clown a star attraction of British pantomime. As he endured personal tragedies, alcoholism and chronic pain, he also became representative of the “sad clown”, of the clown as a divided figure, split between his comic on-stage identity and melancholic off-stage self…
So, when the jovial onstage figure, whose very existence seems designed to make us laugh, is revealed to be a depressed alcoholic (Grimaldi), or rage-driven killer (France’s Jean-Gaspard Deburau), or convicted sex-offender (Australia’s Jack Perry, the “Zig” of Zig and Zag).
Undoubtedly, the most notorious of such cases is that of John Wayne Gacy, an amateur clown who was convicted of killing 33 boys and young men in Illinois in the 1970s…
One of the most notable influences was Stephen King’s novel It (1986), filmed in 1990 with Tim Curry as the murderous supernatural being which takes human form as “Pennywise the Dancing Clown”.
The ubiquity of the “dark clown” trope is evident in itself becoming the stuff of comedy, as in Seinfeld episode The Opera, and the character of Krusty the Clown, a depressive with substance-abuse issues, in The Simpsons.
The context is unimportant; but, I spent a short while on the inside of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus. I met Emmett Kelly there. Most clowns I ever met don’t like to break character as long as they are in makeup. And Kelly was always in makeup.
Which meant he never spoke to anyone – including everyone he worked with. Because Weary Willie didn’t speak.
You can build a scary plot just out of that.
Police in London have dealt with over a hundred incidents involving ‘clowns’ in the past year – and crime statistics show it is no laughing matter.
The Metropolitan Police responded to 117 incidents featuring the word ‘clown’, a Freedom of Information request by regular contributor to the Independent on Sunday Richard Osley has revealed.
The incidents include once case of assault where the suspect had “clown like” shoes on, another assault where the suspect was dressed as a clown with a painted face and a burglary where the suspect’s hair is described “like Krusty’ the Clown.”
A “malicious communication” incident saw someone be threatened with a visit from henchmen in ‘clown’ masks…
And in 39 incidents the victim was called a clown as an insult. In one instance the victim was wearing a Pierrot suit when he was robbed, according to the FoI…
In November last year, police in Norfolk vowed to track down pranksters dressing up as clowns and offer them “strong words of advice” after two “alarming” reports of people being chased – but added that dressing up as a clown is not actually illegal.
How did they ever manage to keep Parliament off the clown-crime roster?
They wear silly clothes, have comedy hair, and are traditionally hired to entertain children. So why are clowns so damn scary?
In Blackpool, the organisers of the Showzam circus festival have decided the phenomenon of coulrophobia — fear of clowns — warrants some investigation…
Coulrophobia is one of the top 10 most common phobias. It even has celebrity sufferers: Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe, Johnny Depp, and even rap star P Diddy are all said to have the fear, so much so in Diddy’s case that he is reported to have once demanded a “no clowns” clause in a contract.
Depp, whose phobia dates back to having nightmares as a child in which he would see clowns’ faces leering at him, once explained that it was the painted faces and fake smiles that upset him. “There always seemed to be a darkness lurking just under the surface, a potential for real evil,” he said. “I guess I am afraid of them because it’s impossible — thanks to their painted-on smiles — to distinguish if they are happy or if they’re about to bite your face off.”
Showzam’s director, Claire Turner, agrees that it often seems to be the barrier created by the facepaint that’s the problem, so the workshop will start with participants meeting the man behind Mooky, the festival’s star clown, without his make up on, in his normal clothes.
By the end of the session, third generation circus performer Laci Endresz Jnr will be in full costume, in a process of graded exposure recommended by Peter Kinderman, a professor of clinical psychology at Liverpool University. “The clown phobia seems to come from terrifying clowns like the one in Stephen King’s It,” Turner says.
“At the workshop people will gradually see Laci’s transformation to Mooky, as well as getting an explanation about clowns, what they do and where they come from.”
When I was a kid I actually ran away from home to join the circus. Met some truly cool clowns – and that was about it. Everything else turned out to be a niche market business.