Thursday, September 23, 2010

Clowning Around (Part 1)

Coulrophobia. noun. An abnormal or exaggerated fear of clowns.

For some reason, a fear of monsters, aliens, Bob Sagat, or spiders is an acceptable phobia. A kid with a pet spider will usually almost end up accidentally killing Harry Potter. Get an owl, weirdo.

Me? Hell, I'm afraid of the Heat Death of the Universe and the Grey-Goo Apocalypse. Look 'em up, lazy.

But unlike evil creatures, arachnids, or galactic catastrophe, there is one group that is supposed to happily entertain us, and instead disturbs the crap out of people: clowns.

Clowns are supposed to be funny performers for children and adults alike. They can be found at the circus, carnivals, rodeos, and even at clown college.

"Balloon-Animals 101" is such a joke class. Wait... is every clown class a joke class..? And is "class clown" a redundant title at a clown college...? WTF ???

Clowns have been around since at least the middle ages, when they would entertain crowds before witch-burnings. Later, they adopted absurd outfits and white faces to hide out amongst English society.

Queen or clown? No one knows how to tell the difference...

At some unknown time following the Middle Ages, clowns divided into four different sects:

1. Funny Clowns
2. Sad Clowns
3. Mimes
4. Avatars of Satan

Third Strike is going to help clear up which clowns are safe and which kind you should avoid at all costs. When you are in doubt, it is safest to assume that any clown will try to eat you.

Krusty the Clown
Krusty is a television clown who drinks, smokes, and enjoys the company of prostitutes. He has a pacemaker and frequently struggles to cope with life--to the point that he has been known to abandon his career and identity completely. He has also been to jail and is an occasional target of assassination for his former partner Sideshow Bob. He has had trouble with the IRS and still has difficulty making wise fiscal decisions. Overall, despite his circumstances, Krusy is harmless.

Classification: Sad Clown

Evil Krusty Doll
This Krusty doll's switch was accidentally set to "Evil" by the manufacturer. Bart Simpson brought it home, and it tried to kill Homer Simpson.

This clown can attack with a butcher knife his size, but it has the appearance of the harmless TV clown. Underestimating this devilry will cost you dearly.

Classification: Avatar of Satan

Homer the Clown

Somebody obviously watches too much of The Simpsons on DVD.

Yes, Homer himself once trained as a clown. Then he was attacked by the mob.

Occasionally Homer can be a danger to those around him. But even then he is one funny guy. As a clown, he was no different.

Classification: Funny Clown

Homer's Clown Bed

Homer made Bart a clown bed.

Beds can't talk.

Classification: Mime

Sweet Dreams!

"Man goes to doctor. Says he's depressed. Says life seems harsh and cruel. Says he feels all alone in a threatening world where what lies ahead is vague and uncertain. Doctor says "Treatment is simple. Great clown Pagliacci is in town tonight. Go and see him. That should pick you up." Man bursts into tears. Says 'But, doctor...I am Pagliacci.' "

-joke is an excerpt from Watchmen by Alan Moore.

Classification: Sad Clown

To Be Continued...


  1. believe or not but I swear I suffer from that since I was a child: Clourophobia. No joke.

  2. Yeah, I can see why! Clowns are weird, man! More of them soon to come... read at your own risk!

  3. I've never really been terrified of clowns, but I definitely see the scary factor.

  4. There are some more creepy ones in the part 2... I think the "scary clown" is almost as common in tv/film (if not more) as the regular clown.

  5. I've never really understood the root of this phobia, but I think that today a lot has to do with the media portrayal. (ex. the examples you've given.) It does probably have some deep historical background, though, to explain it.

  6. I think you are right about that, Joseph.

    I have also heard that the phobia is related to the common reaction to the grotesque/misshapen.

    For example, the discomfort some people might have around handicapped people might be linked to the fear of clowns; the exaggerated features and unusual appearance of clowns (supposedly) could cause the aversion due to some basic human instincts towards what "another healthy person" looks like, and an avoidance of things that which does not fit the mold.

  7. i think I have a general aversion to face paint. Don't like clowns pantomimes or Joel Grey (Cabaret gave me nightmares)