Clowns are comic performers, stereotypically characterized by their colored wigs, stylistic makeup, outlandish costumes, and unusually large footwear. Jennifer Miller (born 1961 is an American Circus Entertainer, Writer, and Professor at the Pratt Institute in Circus Amok is a New York City-based circus and theater troupe that produces free outdoor performances every year in the NYC parks The term costume can refer to Wardrobe and dress in general or to the distinctive style of dress of a particular people class or period Footwear consists of Garments worn on the feet, for protection against the environment and Adornment.
Clowning, in its most basic form, can be described as one form of drama without a fourth wall; however, there are other types of drama that are lacking the element of a fourth wall as well. The fourth wall is the imaginary wall at the front of the stage in a Proscenium Theater, through which the audience sees the action in the world of the play In other words, a clown acknowledges his audience. The clown's humor today is often visual and includes many elements of physical comedy or slapstick humor. Physical comedy also known as Slapstick is a comedic performance relying mostly on the use of the body to convey Humor. Slapstick is a type of Comedy involving exaggerated physical violence or activities which exceed the boundaries of common sense such as a character being hit in the face with
Clowns spread in cultures of any time and place, because they meet some deeply rooted needs in humanity: violation of taboos, the mockery of sacred and profane authorities and symbols, reversal of language and action, and a ubiquitous obscenity. A taboo is a strong Social prohibition (or ban) against words objects actions or discussions that are considered undesirable or offensive by a group culture SACRED was a Cubesat built by the Student Satellite Program of the University of Arizona. The original meaning of the adjective profane (from the Latin for "in front of or outside the Temple " was to refer to items not belonging to the church Obscenity (in Latin obscenus, meaning "foul repulsive detestable" is a term that is most often used in a legal context to  An interesting example can be found in the Native American clown societies. For indigenous peoples in the United States other than Hawaii and Alaska see also Native Americans in the United States.
Clowning is a form of entertainment that has appeared in some manner in virtually every culture, including the bushmen in Africa. In most cultures the clown is a ritual character associated with festival or rites of passage and is often very different from the most popular western form. A festival is an event usually and ordinarily staged by a local community which centers on some unique aspect of that community A rite of passage is a Ritual that marks a change in a person's social or sexual status In Europe, up until as late as the 19th century the clown was a typical everyday character, and often appeared in carnivals. Carnival is a festival season which occurs immediately before Lent; the main events are usually during February and March The performance is symbolic of liminality - being outside the rules of regular society the clown is able to subvert the normal order, and this basic premise is contemporarily used by many activists to point out social absurdity. Liminality (from the Latin
During the 16th century the Commedia dell'arte also became a huge influence on perceptions of the clown in Europe, an influence which passed through pantomime, into vaudeville and on to the touring circuses of the 19th and 20th centuries. Commedia dell'Arte ( Italian: "the comedy of artists" is a form of Improvisational theatre that began in Italy in the 16th century Pantomime (informally panto) (not to be confused with a Mime artist, referring to a theatrical performer of mime is a performance genre traditionally found Vaudeville was a Genre of variety entertainment prevalent on the stage in the United States and Canada, from the early 1880s The Commedia took influences from the grotesque masked clowns of carnivals and mystery plays, and began in market places as a way to sell vegetables. Mystery plays and Miracle plays are among the earliest formally developed plays in Medieval Europe. It became incredibly popular throughout Europe amongst both the general public and the courts. The stock characters of the commedia originally included the Zanni - peasant clowns, Pantalone, the old Miser, Il Dottore - The Banal Doctor, and then grew from there to incorporate the Lovers, Arlecchino, Pedrolino, and Brighella, who have survived into the twentieth century in one form or another.
It is important to note that a whiteface character does not always wear the classic whiteface makeup. Clowns have always been an integral part of the American Circus. Additionally, a character can wear traditional whiteface makeup and be an auguste.
Traditionally, the whiteface clown uses "clown white" makeup to cover his or her entire face and neck with none of the underlying flesh color showing. In the European whiteface makeup, the ears are painted red. Features, in red and black, are delicate. He or she is traditionally costumed far more extravagantly than the other two clown types, sometimes wearing the ruffled collar and pointed hat which typify the stereotypical "clown suit".
The whiteface character-type is often serious, all-knowing (even if not particularly smart), bossy, and cocky. He is the ultimate authority figure. He serves the role of "straight-man" and sets up situations that can be turned funny.
Some circus examples include Pipo Sossman, François Fratellini (the Fratellini family), Felix Adler, Paul Jung, Harry Dann, Chuck Burnes, Albert White, Ernie Burch, Bobby Kaye, Jack and Jackie LeClaire, Joe and Chester Sherman, Keith Crary, Charlie Bell, Tim Tegge, Kenny Dodd, Frankie Saluto, Tammy Parrish, Pennywise, David Konyot (Circus Barum and The Toni Alexis trio) and Prince Paul Albert. François Fratellini was a famous Circus clown He performed as an elegant Whiteface. Frank Bartlet Adler (better known by his stage name Felix Adler) ( June 17, 1895 &ndash February 1, 1960) born in Clinton IA was
The auguste character-type is often an anarchist, a joker, or a fool. He is clever and has much lower status than the whiteface. Classically the whiteface character instructs the auguste character to perform his bidding. The auguste has a hard time performing the task given which leads to funny situations. Sometimes the auguste plays the role of an anarchist and purposefully has trouble following the whiteface's directions. Sometimes the auguste is confused or is foolish and is screwing up less deliberately.
The contra-auguste plays the role of the mediator between the whiteface character and the auguste character. He has a lower status than the whiteface but a higher status than the auguste. He aspires to be more like the whiteface and often mimics everything the whiteface does to try to gain approval. If there is a contra-auguste character, he often is instructed by the whiteface to correct the auguste when he is doing something wrong.
The character clown adopts an eccentric character of some type, such as a butcher, a baker, a policeman, a housewife or hobo. Hobo is a term that refers to a Subculture of wandering Homeless people particularly those who make a habit of hopping freight trains. Prime examples of this type of clown are the circus tramps Otto Griebling and Emmett Kelly. Emmett Leo Kelly ( December 9, 1898 &ndash March 28, 1979) a native of Sedan Kansas, was an American circus performer Red Skelton, Harold Lloyd, Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin would all fit the definition of a character clown. Richard Bernard “Red” Skelton ( July 18, 1913 &ndash September 17, 1997) was an American comedian who was best known as a top Harold Clayton Lloyd Sr ( April 20, 1893 &ndash March 8, 1971) was an American Film actor and producer Joseph Frank "Buster" Keaton ( October 4 1895 &ndash February 1 1966) was an Academy Award -winning American
The character clown makeup is a comic slant on the standard human face. Their makeup starts with a flesh tone base and may make use of anything from glasses, mustaches and beards to freckles, warts, big ears or strange haircuts.
The most prevalent character clown in the American circus is the hobo, tramp, or bum clown. There are subtle differences in the American character clown types. According to American circus expert Hovey Burgess, they are (in order of class):
Some circus examples include Barry Lubin, Tom Dougherty, Bill Irwin, David Shiner, Geoff Hoyle, John Gilkey, Peter Shub, Poodles Hanneford, Bluch Landolf, Larry Pisoni, John Lepiarz, Bobo Barnett, Happy Kellams, Fumagalli, Charlie Cairoli, Bebe, Jojo Lewis, Abe Goldstein, Rhum, David Larible, Kenny Raskin, Oleg Popov, Rik Gern and Bello Nock. Bello Nock, usually known simply as " Bello " is a Clown performed by Demetrius Alexandro Claudio Amadeus Bello Nock (born 1968
In clown duos, Clowns often rely on the Joey & Auguste framework, or Manipulator/Victim. The Joey & Auguste Framework is often used widely in such comic works as Looney Toons. Looney Tunes is a Warner Bros Animated cartoon series which ran in many movie theatres from 1930 to 1969 Simply put, the two clowns, who for whatever reason are competing for survival, desperately rely on each other; without each other, they live a meaningless, and perhaps even more perilous adventure. For example, when Sylvester finally catches Tweety Bird (or thinks he does) he becomes so ridden with guilt that he nearly commits suicide.
The Ringmaster relationship is the addition of an ur-manipulator, or ur-victim to this chemistry. This often takes the form of a mutual enemy or nemesis. An example of this situation might be as follows:
A husband comes home late, he's drunk, and has a collar covered in lipstick. His wife wants to know where he's been, and a manipulator-victim relationship occurs. Suddenly their child enters the scene, and the dynamic changes in an attempt to avoid traumatizing him/her. The child wants to know why there's a strange man in their bedroom, and the manipulator-victim dymnamic shifts during the next argument. Then it turns out that the child has constructed this elaborate ruse in order to steal cookies and watch late-night TV without notice, giving him ur-manipulator status.
This is an example of a ringmaster situation. Clowns in the ringmaster position are often character clowns, where Joey and Auguste duos are typically made up of a Whiteface Clown and an Auguste.
Many Native Tribes have a history of Clowning. The Canadian Clowning method developed by Richard Pochinko and furthered by his former apprentice, Sue Morrison, combines European and Native American clowning techniques. The Canadian Clowning Technique is a mask-based style of performance created by Richard Pochinko. Richard Pochinko (1946-1989 was a notable Canadian Clown trainer who developed his own style of performance training known as the "Pochinko method"
In this tradition, masks are made of clay while the creator's eyes are closed. A mask is made for each direction of the medicine wheel. Medicine wheels, or sacred hoops were constructed by laying stones in a particular pattern on the ground During this process, the clown creates a personal mythology which explores his or her personal Experiences and Innocenses.
A rodeo clown is a cowboy, or animal wrangler, dressed in wild costumes — almost always oversized and consisting of loose fitting layers of clothing to protect them from, and to distract, rodeo bulls, broncos, etc. A cowboy is an animal Herder who tends Cattle on Ranches in North America, traditionally on horseback and often performs a multitude of See also Animal training In North America a wrangler is someone employed to handle Animals professionally especially horses, but also other Bronc riding, either saddle bronc or bareback bronc competition is a Rodeo Event that involves a rodeo participant riding on a Horse The looseness of the layers allows a rodeo clown to shed portions of their attire in the event of its being snagged -- as on an enraged bull's horn.
There are two distinct types of clown characters, which originated in Commedia dell'Arte but which still hold some favor today, Pierrot and Arlecchino. Commedia dell'Arte ( Italian: "the comedy of artists" is a form of Improvisational theatre that began in Italy in the 16th century
The Pierrot, or "French clown", derived from the commedia dell'arte character Pedrolino - the youngest actor of the troupe, deadpan and downtrodden. WatteauPierrotjpg|thumb|200px|Watteau's sad Commedia dell'arte player of Pierrot ca 1718–19 traditionally identified as "Gilles" ( Louvre)]] This article is about the country For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic France topics. Commedia dell'Arte ( Italian: "the comedy of artists" is a form of Improvisational theatre that began in Italy in the 16th century Although Pedrolino appeared without mask, Pierrot usually appears in whiteface, typically with very little other color on the face. Like Arlechinno, Pedrolino's character changed enormously with the rising popularity of pantomime in the late 19th century, becoming Pierrot. This clown character prefers black and white or other a simple primary color in his or her costume. (le Pierrot is often female, and has also been called "Pirouette" or "Pierrette". When Bernard Delfont was made a life peer, he chose "Pierrot and Pierrette" as the heraldic supporters of his coat of arms. Bernard Delfont Baron Delfont ( 5 September 1909 &ndash 28 July 1994) born Boris (or Boruch Winogradsky, was a leading In the United Kingdom, life peers are created members of the Peerage whose titles may not be inherited (those whose titles are inheritable are known as Hereditary A coat of arms or armorial bearings (often just arms for short in European tradition is a design belonging to a particular person (or group of people ).
Harlequin, or Arlecchino, a character originally from the Commedia dell'Arte, is a "motley" clown. Harlequin ( Arlecchino in Italian, Arlequin in French) is the most popular of the Zanni or comic servant characters from Commedia dell'Arte ( Italian: "the comedy of artists" is a form of Improvisational theatre that began in Italy in the 16th century In the Commedia, Arlecchino always carries a cane with which to strike the other performers, although this cane is normally taken from him by the other performers and used against him. This is believed to be the origin of the slapstick form of comedy. Slapstick is a type of Comedy involving exaggerated physical violence or activities which exceed the boundaries of common sense such as a character being hit in the face with A slapstick (battacio in Italian), is a prop with two flat flexible wooden pieces mounted in parallel so that the two sticks slap together when the implement is struck, causing a slapping sound, exaggerating the effect of a comedic blow. Italian ( or lingua italiana) is a Romance language spoken by about 63 million people as a First language, primarily in Italy. Despite the slapstick, Arlecchino is not malicious, but mischievous, the slapstick being a classic example of carnivalesque phallic imagery (see also the commedia masks' noses). Like a cross between the characters of Puck and Nick Bottom in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Arlecchino is nimble and adept at the same time as being clumsy and dim, and is normally the 'messenger' character in a comedy — the catalyst for mayhem. This article is about Puck the character in Shakespeare's play for the mythological figure this is based on see Puck (mythology Puck, also known Nick Bottom is a character in Shakespeare 's A Midsummer Night's Dream who provides Comic relief throughout the play and is famously known A Midsummer Night's Dream is a romantic comedy by William Shakespeare, suggested by " The Knight's Tale " from Arlecchino has a female counterpart, Arlecchina, or Rosetta, but more often he is in love with the character of Columbina, a straightforward and intelligent maid, who is usually given the prologue and epilogue. Arlecchino has other derivatives with slightly different features: Traccagnino, Bagattino, Tabarrino, Tortellino, Naccherino, Gradelino, Mezzettino, Polpettino, Nespolino, Bertoldino, Fagiuolino, Trappolino, Zaccagnino, Trivellino, Passerino, Bagolino, Temellino, Fagottino, Fritellino, Tabacchino, whose names could all be considered funny-sounding names, even to an Italian. The belief that certain words are inherently funny, for reasons ranging from Onomatopoeia to Phonosemantics to Sexual innuendo, is widespread Italy (Italia officially the Italian Republic, (Repubblica Italiana is located on the Italian Peninsula in Southern Europe, and on the two largest Arlecchino's name is probably derived from "hellech" plus the diminutive suffix "-ino", meaning little devil. In the same way, "Trufflino" is "Little Truffler", Trivellino is (Arlecchino's) "Little Brother", and so on. The Harlequin often loses much of Arlecchino's character in pantomime, as he becomes more of a ballet character, to a large extent stripped of dialogue and subversive content.
In the circus, a clown might perform another circus role:
Frameworks are the general outline of an act that clowns use to help them build out an act. Frameworks can be loose, including only a general beginning and ending to the act, leaving it up to the clown's creativity to fill in the rest, or at the other extreme a fully developed script that allows very little room for creativity.
Shows are the overall production that a clown is a part of, it may or may not include elements other than clowning, such as in a circus show. In a circus context, clown shows are typically made up of some combination of Entrées, Side dishes, Clown Stops, Track Gags, Gags and bits.
"Business" is the individual motions the clown uses, often used to express the clown's character. A "gag" is a very short piece of clown comedy which when repeated within a bit or routine may become a "running gag". Gags may be loosely defined as "the jokes clowns play on each other". Bits are the clown's sketches or routines made up of one or more gags either worked out and timed before going on stage or impromptu bits composed of familiar improvisational material. A gag may have a beginning, a middle and an end to them, or they may not. Gags can also refer to the prop stunts/tricks or the stunts that clowns use, such as a squirting flower.
Entrées are feature clowning acts lasting 5-10 minutes. They are typically made up of various gags and bits, and usually use a clowning framework. Entrées almost always end with a blow-off. (The blow-off is the comedic ending of a show segment, bit, gag, stunt or routine. )
Side dishes are shorter feature acts. Side dishes are essentially shorter versions of the Entrée, typically lasting 1 - 3 minutes. Side dishes are typically made up of various gags and bits, and usually use a clowning framework. Side dishes almost always end with a blow-off.
Clown Stops or interludes are the brief appearance of clowns while the props and rigging are changed. These are typically made up of a few gags or several bits. Clown Stops almost always end with a blow-off. Clown stops will always have a beginning, a middle and an end to them. These are also called reprises or run-ins by many and in today's circus they are an art form in themselves, originally they were bits of "business" usually parodying the act that had preceded it, If for instance there had been a wire walker the reprise would involve two chairs with a piece of rope between and the clown trying to imitate the artiste by trying to walk between them with the resulting falls and cascades bringing laughter from the audience. Today they are far more complex and in many modern shows the clowning is a thread that links the whole show together .
Among the more well-known clown stunts are: squirting flower; the "too-many-clowns-coming-out-of-a-tiny-car" stunt; doing just about anything with a rubber chicken, tripping over ones own feet (or an air pocket or imaginary blemish in the floor), or riding any number of ridiculous vehicles or "clown bikes". A clown car is a prop in a Circus clown routine A common example of such a routine involves numerous Clowns emerging from a very small car to humorous effect A rubber Chicken A clown bicycle or clown bike is designed for comedic visual effect or stunt riding Individual prop stunts are generally considered to be individual bits.
There are lots of amateurs practicing clowning skills and appearance. An amateur is generally considered a person attached to a particular pursuit study or science without formal training or pay Improvisation and imitations of famous clowns are common for amateur clowns. Improvisation (also called extemporization) is the practice of acting singing talking and reacting of making and creating in the moment and in response to the stimulus of While it is usually poor (and could be considered even blasphemy), a piece of artistic sense can sometimes be found even in children animators. Blasphemy is the disrespectful use of the name of one or more gods. An animator is an Artist who creates multiple images called frames and Key frames that form an illusion of movement called Animation when rapidly displayed It is not too expensive for amateur clown to lease costume, and even home makeup (except for the white color) will do an attractive effect for the spectators.
Private costume parties usually have at least one amateur clown present at the event and, even with a few cheap clown tricks, there are always plenty of joyful receptions for the character. A costume party ( American English) or a fancy dress party ( British English) mainly in contemporary Western culture, is a type of Party
Some people find clowns disturbing rather than amusing. Coulrophobia is an abnormal or exaggerated fear of Clowns The term is common but it does not appear to be used in psychology It is not uncommon for children to be afraid of disguised, exaggerated, or costumed figures — even Santa Claus. Ute myths feature a cannibalistic clown monster called the Siats.
Clown costumes tend to exaggerate the facial features and some body parts, such as hands and feet. This can be read as monstrous or deformed as easily as it can be read as comical.
The irrational fear of clowns is known as coulrophobia. Coulrophobia is an abnormal or exaggerated fear of Clowns The term is common but it does not appear to be used in psychology Some have suggested that a fear of clowns may stem from early childhood experience, when infants begin to process and make sense of facial features. The significant aberrations in a clown's face may frighten a child so much that they carry this phobia throughout their adult life. 
It can also be said one's response to a clown might depend on where it is seen. At a circus or a party, a clown is normal and may easily be funny. The same clown knocking on one's front door at sunset is more likely to generate fear or distress than laughter or amusement. This effect is summed up in a quote often attributed to actor Lon Chaney, Sr. : "There is nothing funny about a clown in the moonlight. " In the Space To Care study aimed at improving hospital design for children, researchers from the University of Sheffield polled 250 children regarding their opinions on clowns; all 250 children in the study, whose ages ranged between four and sixteen, reported that they found clowns frightening and disliked clowns as part of hospital decor. The University of Sheffield is a research University, located in Sheffield in South Yorkshire, England. Coulrophobia is an abnormal or exaggerated fear of Clowns The term is common but it does not appear to be used in psychology  
The British arts and music festival Bestival discarded its 2006 clown theme because many adult ticketholders were afraid of clowns. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom, the UK or Britain,is a Sovereign state located The Bestival is a music festival on the Isle of Wight, England. Coulrophobia is an abnormal or exaggerated fear of Clowns The term is common but it does not appear to be used in psychology