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Opening Arguments

Klowning around

Somebody finally has the courage to state the obvious:

LONDON (Reuters) - Bad news for Coco and Blinko -- children don't like clowns and even older kids are scared of them.

The news that will no doubt have clowns shedding tears was revealed in a poll of youngsters by researchers from the University of Sheffield who were examining how to improve the decor of hospital children's wards.

The study, reported in the Nursing Standard magazine, found all the 250 patients aged between four and 16 they quizzed disliked the use of clowns, with even the older ones finding them scary.

aaaaaaaaklown1.jpgAdults dressed in funny clothes and wearing scary makeup. Who ever thought kids would like that? My former colleague Nancy Nall kept a clip file under the title "clowns gone bad," which always seemed redundant to me. If you've never seen the movie "Killer Klowns From Outer Space," I recommend it as the perfect illustration of what I'm talking about.

Posted in: Current Affairs


Karing Klown
Thu, 01/17/2008 - 12:19pm

I am a professional "caring" clown (one who specializes in visiting hospitals and nursing homes) and your "take" on clowns is not really accurate. Sure, if you show kids "Killer Clowns from Outer Space" or even "Poltergeist" they will not like those clowns and may develop a phobia, but a PROFESSIONAL clown does not wear "scary" makeup. We are trained to avoid dark colors around the eyes and are encouraged to be bright and cheerful and as appealing as possible. As for children being scared of clowns...some children are just scared of "larger than life" characters naturally...those are children who are usually also scared of Santa Claus and Chuck E. Cheese characters. But when I am in full make-up and costume....I get smiles EVERYWHERE I go, and children shout with glee, "Look, mommy, a clown!" Two problems today with clowning: 1) movies take something that was meant to be for a child's enjoyment and turn it into something of terror, and 2) too many un-trained clowns out there who think they can buy a store-bought costume and slap on some makeup and make money. There are also Clown Commandments that professional, certified clowns abide by, and we know not to force ourselves on a child or person who seems to be afraid of us. Those who are not trained do not abide by these rules, and therefore give the rest of us clowns a bad name.

tim zank
Thu, 01/17/2008 - 3:23pm

Leo, you are obviously an "anticlownite". Sensitivity training may be in order.

Bob G.
Thu, 01/17/2008 - 4:34pm

Better yet...send him as a non-matriculating student at Clown College!
(just for a semester)


(There will NEVER be another Emmett Kelly!)