If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(NPR)   Why do so many people fear clowns? WE ALL FLOAT DOWN HERE. I mean, really, are clowns GOING TO COME FOR YOUR SOUL AND DRIVE YOU MAD WITH TERROR? Or are they just fun circus attractions THAT WILL FEAST UPON YOUR ENTRAILS?   (npr.org) divider line 96
    More: Silly, John Wayne Gacy, hard-edge, Bozo  
•       •       •

3700 clicks; posted to Main » on 07 Aug 2013 at 3:15 AM (48 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



96 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

First | « | 1 | 2 | » | Last | Show all
 
2013-08-07 08:08:38 AM
The root of clown fear is the clown out of context.

A clown in the circus, in a setting where one expects to see one under bright lights and such? Jovial bringer of laughs and good times.

A clown standing in your driveway at 2am, waving at you as you look out your bedroom window with a menacing grin? Pants shiattingly scary.
 
2013-08-07 08:11:49 AM
"It's certainly understandable, although I think at the end of the day, a lot of the fear of clowns actually comes back to the person underneath the makeup.

Unless... there's nothing under the makeup...
 
2013-08-07 08:12:20 AM

CapnPlaty: The root of clown fear is the clown out of context.

A clown in the circus, in a setting where one expects to see one under bright lights and such? Jovial bringer of laughs and good times.

A clown standing in your driveway at 2am, waving at you as you look out your bedroom window with a menacing grin? Pants shiattingly scary.


I know what I'm doing next time I notice my neighbor getting hammered.
 
2013-08-07 08:12:36 AM

Cagey B: [i182.photobucket.com image 500x362]


Pfft.  A mere photoshop cannot outdo Mother Nature:

img.fark.net
 
2013-08-07 08:19:19 AM

Dwight_Yeast: Clowns worry me, but Papa Lazarou actually scares me:


In Psychoville, Shearsmith plays a one-handed clown. But he's more angry than evil.
 
2013-08-07 08:29:46 AM
farm1.staticflickr.com
 
2013-08-07 08:37:15 AM
I was afraid of clowns from the time I saw my first one, back when I was about 4.  I still remember.  Mom thought having a surprise clown at my 4th birthday party would be fun for the kids.  Sure, the other kids thought it was great.  But every grainy, 1969 photo including me at the party has a look of abject horror on my face.  Then the clown wanted to touch me!

I got over that early affliction.  But I'm still afraid of the clowns in government.
 
2013-08-07 08:45:21 AM

starsrift: I don't get the clown phobia. Being scared of a human in makeup makes as much sense to me as being frightened of women.


It's not the makeup - it's the clown that would DO that thing underneath the clown make up that others fear . . .
Makes perfect recursive sense, I swear.
 
2013-08-07 08:45:31 AM

mike_d85: They are Cosplay times the square route of Furry.


If that is yours, you sir, are a funny farker!
 
2013-08-07 08:51:05 AM

starsrift: I don't get the clown phobia. Being scared of a human in makeup makes as much sense to me as being frightened of women.


Are you scared of any humans?

Consider this: a Clown is the subject of all abuse, all ridicule, and all humor.  A clown willingly dresses up as a gross, blanked-out charicature of a human being expressly to be considered dumber than our functionally-retarded action heroes, our direly vapid blonde starlets, and plodding office drones.  If it weren't wearing the clown makeup, what would you expect such a person to be?

I'm betting the answer is, "crazy serial killer."
 
2013-08-07 08:55:43 AM
I grew up in Chicago in the late 70s/early 80s, so I thought my clown was just a Chicago/Gacy thing.  I was kind of surprised to learn that other people hate them.

The thing is this:  clowns represent cognitive dissonance.  As a very young person (the target clown demo), you are continuously taught not to trust strangers, particularly those with their faces obscured, and to not take gifts from them.  Such people are generally assumed to mean you harm.  And then your parents put you right in front of some face painted transient carney who is probably trying to ply you with sweets, balloons and toys.  It's everything they told you NOT TO DO EVER, and here they are handing you to one of these uncanny valley pedophiles like a prize trout.  If you have half a brain you would be wondering why your parents hate you all of a sudden, and be faced with the ugly truth that nobody, not even your parents is to be completely trusted.  It's no wonder that some bitterness remains.

That, and clowns are smack in the middle of the uncanny valley.  That alone should creep out about a quarter of people.

That and they're an alien species who mean us harm.  They must be put to the sword wherever and whenever they are encountered.   The only exception to this are rodeo clowns, who are people disguised as clowns, and the blue man group.  They're cool.
 
2013-08-07 08:55:53 AM
needs more sexy clowns
 
2013-08-07 09:02:21 AM

FatherChaos: [i2.listal.com image 480x360]

Now you can laugh yourself to sleep.


GODDAMMIT. THAT is the reason I'm afraid of clowns. After seeing that episode when I was like SIX I was terrified to sleep for a farking decade.
 
2013-08-07 09:05:27 AM
Well, I'm officially creeped out for today, thanks to this thread.  And I'm not even afraid of clowns.
 
2013-08-07 09:19:34 AM

durbnpoisn: And I'm not even afraid of clowns.


i.imgur.com
 
2013-08-07 09:22:16 AM
I put on clown makeup once, I looked like Captain Spalding from house of a thousand corpses.
 
2013-08-07 09:27:56 AM

TheBigJerk: starsrift: I don't get the clown phobia. Being scared of a human in makeup makes as much sense to me as being frightened of women.

Are you scared of any humans?

Consider this: a Clown is the subject of all abuse, all ridicule, and all humor.  A clown willingly dresses up as a gross, blanked-out charicature of a human being expressly to be considered dumber than our functionally-retarded action heroes, our direly vapid blonde starlets, and plodding office drones.  If it weren't wearing the clown makeup, what would you expect such a person to be?

I'm betting the answer is, "crazy serial killer."


I'm not the kind of guy to judge a man by how he puts bread on the table.
 
2013-08-07 09:30:45 AM

tamsnod27: mike_d85: They are Cosplay times the square route of Furry.

If that is yours, you sir, are a funny farker!


It is mine, and thank you.
 
2013-08-07 09:45:42 AM

Wulfman: needs more sexy clowns


Here you go:
www.malltop1.com

/hot
 
2013-08-07 09:53:50 AM

Dwight_Yeast: Clowns worry me, but Papa Lazarou actually scares me:

[upload.wikimedia.org image 300x200]


Oh man, that episode was brilliant - like a combination of Monty Python, Carnivale, and Deliverance.


you're MYYY wife now, Dave!
 
2013-08-07 09:58:01 AM

Tyrone Slothrop: Wulfman: needs more sexy clowns

Here you go:
[www.malltop1.com image 740x906]

/hot


Thank you!
www.costumeshopper.com
/hot
 
2013-08-07 10:04:15 AM
i44.tinypic.com
/that is the same guy that does Spongebob's voice
 
2013-08-07 10:08:47 AM
formerchildactors.com

A clown farked our mother.
 
2013-08-07 10:08:49 AM
I hate clowns, jesters are OK. If I found one in my house I would go all ninja on it.
 
2013-08-07 10:34:34 AM
I have actually known a few people who have BEEN clowns...sister-in-law (from hell) and her brother and two other people.  These are some scary weird people. I have never met anyone even close to normal who made that choice...so yeah, call me scared of clowns.  Of course John Wayne Gacy didn't help.
 
2013-08-07 10:37:57 AM
BTW - Mimes worry me as well.....
 
2013-08-07 10:44:37 AM

yanoosh: I hate clowns, jesters are OK. If I found one in my house I would go all ninja on it.


Jesters are even more dangerous. They will poison your hamhock.
 
2013-08-07 11:32:34 AM
i106.photobucket.com

I know how to take care of clowns.
 
2013-08-07 11:47:42 AM
I fall under the "no fear of clowns" camp here. I've known a few who trained as clowns, and judging by their acts they didn't come off as creepy or scary because they didn't invade a child's space unbidden. My friend with whom I play in a brass band has an act involving hula hoops. He'll occasionally wear a clown wig but no makeup -- he has a friendly- and expressive-enough phiz, and kids are naturally drawn to him and his antics. (He also holds a degree in theater from Northwestern University.) Another friend who went to clown college and does birthdays wears minimal makeup and keeps a good boundary during his act.

Good clowns are aware of this phobia or potential for it.

Also fascinating to me is the higher cultural value Latin Americans (and Mexicans in specific) place on clowns, They seem to be less afraid or suspicious of them, and their clowning traditions come from basically the same source as ours.
 
2013-08-07 11:51:52 AM
I hate clowns and pretty much anything in the Uncanny Valley.
 
2013-08-07 11:54:14 AM
What about the harlequin?

images.wikia.com

oops, I meant Harley Quinn.
 
2013-08-07 11:57:02 AM
31.media.tumblr.com

"Still afraid of clowns?"

*WHAM*

"Still afraid of clowns?"

*WHAM*

"Still afraid of clowns?"

*WHAM*
 
2013-08-07 12:00:09 PM
The part that creeps me out about clowns is the white faces with coffee/tobacco stained teeth. I just stare at their yellow teeth.
 
2013-08-07 12:30:39 PM
What about Shakes the Clown? Bobcat's finest role.
 
2013-08-07 12:31:42 PM

fireclown: I grew up in Chicago in the late 70s/early 80s, so I thought my clown was just a Chicago/Gacy thing.  I was kind of surprised to learn that other people hate them.

The thing is this:  clowns represent cognitive dissonance.  As a very young person (the target clown demo), you are continuously taught not to trust strangers, particularly those with their faces obscured, and to not take gifts from them.  Such people are generally assumed to mean you harm.  And then your parents put you right in front of some face painted transient carney who is probably trying to ply you with sweets, balloons and toys.  It's everything they told you NOT TO DO EVER, and here they are handing you to one of these uncanny valley pedophiles like a prize trout.  If you have half a brain you would be wondering why your parents hate you all of a sudden, and be faced with the ugly truth that nobody, not even your parents is to be completely trusted.  It's no wonder that some bitterness remains.


Well, there was a dramatic cultural shift against clowns in the '80s, I'd say. Starting after the Gacy trial (he was convicted in 1980) and with the development of the "slasher" style horror movie, people finally realized that clowns are creepy and disorienting. The transgressive aspects of the clown that you mentioned above became highlighted, especially taken out of context from the circus or the stage. Starting about mid 80s, there were a huge number of twisted clowns in very popular forms of media: Stephen King publishes It in 1986, Killer Klowns from Outer Space comes out in 1988, Jack Nicholson puts on the whiteface Joker makeup in 1989, and Tim Curry scares the piss out of everybody as Pennywise in the movie version in 1990. There was the clown zombie in one of Romero's Dead movies who eats a child at a birthday party. The toy clown in Poltergeist. Michael Keaton in Beetlejuice (well, the white makeup, anyway). Terry Pratchett writing about the Fool's Guild in Ankh-Morpork. I'm pretty sure R.L. Stine wrote a bunch of evil clowns into the Goosebumps series that all the kids were reading in the early '90s. Simpsons did it in 1992.

That's enough examples, you get the point. But I'd say the whole thing really kicked off with Gacy. After that, pop culture just latched onto that evil image and now it has its own page at TVTropes.
 
2013-08-07 12:36:19 PM
In ancient times, clowns were used to represent the dead (pasty skin, colored lips, etc.).

It's no wonder that deep in every kid's DNA, they see a clown and their instincts are telling them that there's a freaking zombie trying to get close to them.

/But Carl still won't go into the f*cking house!
 
2013-08-07 12:41:07 PM
And for DOUBLE-WTF, there's S&M Clowns like Ouchy.
ts3.mm.bing.net
 
2013-08-07 12:44:17 PM
i.imgur.com
 
2013-08-07 12:44:25 PM

phyrkrakr: ...Well, there was a dramatic cultural shift against clowns in the '80s, I'd say. Starting after the Gacy trial (he was convicted in 1980) and with the development of the "slasher" style horror movie, people finally realized that clowns are creepy and disorienting. The transgressive aspects of the clown that you mentioned above became highlighted, especially taken out of context from the circus or the stage. Starting about mid 80s, there were a huge number of twisted clowns in very popular forms of media: Stephen King publishes It in 1986, Killer Klowns from Outer Space comes out in 1988, Jack Nicholson puts on the whiteface Joker makeup in 1989, and Tim Curry scares the piss out of everybody as Pennywise in the movie version in 1990. There was the clown zombie in one of Romero's Dead movies who eats a child at a birthday party. The toy clown in Poltergeist. Michael Keaton in Beetlejuice (well, the white makeup, anyway). Terry Pratchett writing about the Fool's Guild in Ankh-Morpork. I'm ...


I think what you're seeing is the downfall of circus popularity/practicality as television advanced.  The ratio is altered because there is no longer a reason for a clown to be present virually anywhere.
You also still have prior examples of frightening or evil clowns.  The Greatest Show on Earth (1952) which won 2 Oscars and features a fugitive who never removes his clown makeup even offstage for fear of being arrested.  I'm fairly certain that Steven King was inspired by a young freind who was afraid of clowns when writing It (I'm vaugly remembering an interview), but he almost exclusively played on commonly existing phobias and fears in his writing.  In fact the theme of It seems to be just that, playing on existing fears.
 
2013-08-07 12:52:12 PM
I guess I'm one of those who's scared of clowns even though I grew up watching Blinky the Clown, Blinkys Fun Club here in Denver.  Just never trusted them.  Too loud and scary to a little girl.  I was also taken to the circus every year growing up and got to see plenty of clowns, and it was just upsetting to me.  So, Blinky never really scared me too much, but I didn't trust him either, even when he sang the birthday song every day on his show.  He was actually a pillar of the Denver community and his antique shop on Broadway is still in business, even though he passed away last year.   The old man's bedroom when he was growing up was decorated in clowns and when I first moved in here, we didn't have a bed for a couple of weeks and were sleeping on an air mattress.  Well, to keep the mattress from getting holes in it, he had lain down an old quilt of his under the mattress.  When we got our bed and had deflated the air mattress, I found that the quilt was a clown quilt his mother had made.  I told him that if I'd any idea I was sleeping on top of clowns, I would have not been able to sleep, period.  He still gives me grief over that.  His mom offered to send him the rest of his clown stuff from Illinois, I talked to his sister and said, yeah, don't let her do that.  So now his sister teases/threatens me with a bunch of old scary clown decor coming in boxes.  She thinks it's funny, and I guess I do too, a little bit so long as the boxes never arrive.  If they do, they're going straight into the shed without a single word.

/hates clowns
 
2013-08-07 01:29:04 PM
Clown porn. Don't google it, don't look at it.
 
2013-08-07 02:27:23 PM

verbaltoxin: Clown porn. Don't google it, don't look at it.


Oh come on, that's not even fair.

Now I GOTTA.
 
2013-08-07 02:29:25 PM
I just generally find clowns to be creepy... not really scary.
 
2013-08-07 02:31:33 PM
i.imgur.com
 
2013-08-07 04:40:11 PM
Too many evil clowns in the media.

Same thing with the killer Santas you know.
 
2013-08-08 12:56:07 AM
I know a guy that does Clown Porn.

Yes.

CLOWN PORN.
 
Displayed 46 of 96 comments

First | « | 1 | 2 | » | Last | Show all

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


This thread is closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »






Report