Let’s be honest, clowns are the creepiest things in the history of mankind. They wear oversized polyester clothes, intentionally distort their faces with caked-on makeup, speak in weird voices, and have really stupid hobbies (**they are also adults who choose to hang out with little children). So, despite this list of glaring oddities, why are they regarded as whimsical, humorous characters and deemed appropriate for children’s décor and parties?
Although the popularity of clown entertainment has decreased over the past decade or two, their freakishly large grins still haunt the rooms of babies and children ( and possibly some disturbed adults) across the globe. A simple google image search of “clown memorabilia” yields endless page scrolls of terror. I can’t speak for everyone (just almost everyone), but if my parents had decorated my nursery with images of clowns, I would probably pee my pants at the sight of anyone wearing too much makeup for the rest of my life (and in New York, that would be every two minutes). My older brother has a similar opinion: “They’re good in a pinch if you are having trouble finding a pedophile to do magic tricks.” Of course, that is assuming they are human.
I, personally, survived a traumatic experience when, at eight-years-old, my mother forced me to be a clown for Halloween after the genie costume she sewed was three sizes too big. One can only imagine the horror I felt walking around in public in those clothes–to possibly be mistaken for one of them. Only one year before The Halloween Ordeal of 1992, I became acquainted with “Pennywise” after watching the TV mini-series “It”, based on the Stephen King novel and starring America’s beloved Richard Thomas; prior to my dream-infiltration by Pennywise, “Killer Klowns from Outer Space” introduced the notion that clowns are actually aliens. One has to appreciate these films’ honest portrayals: behind every maniacal smile there is a full set of fangs.
I try to promote clown awareness during Halloween as a healing exercise. If you haven’t received one of my homemade greeting cards in the past, come by my place on October 31st. My “treats” are gentle warnings and dentist-approved.
For those of you who have hired clowns, used them as decor, or find them “charming”…you need to take a good hard look in the mirror and admit you have a problem and need help. I suggest therapy.
***To see the scariest clown in Manhattan, walk by The Mad Hatter Pub on 3rd Avenue and 26th Street in October