15 Facts About Clowns for International Clown Week

15 Facts About Clowns for International Clown Week


(Photo: D McPherson)

Every day is something day, but forget clown day, because clowns have an entire week, from Aug 1 – 7 every year. It was even written into American law by President Nixon. To celebrate, here are 15 facts about funny men!

1 – The word clown is believed to come from the Icelandic word klunni, meaning a clumsy person.

2 – The earliest record of the word clown dates from around 1560.

3 – Clowns are nicknamed Joeys after the early 19th century pantomime star Joseph Grimaldi.

4- Grimaldi was the first panto clown to wear white face make-up instead of a mask.

5 – The full name of Krusty the Clown in The Simpsons is Herschel Shmoikel Pinchas Yercham Krustosky. He’s voiced by Dan Castellaneta.

6 – The declaration of International Clown Week was passed into US law by President Richard Nixon on August 2, 1971.

7 – Traditional clowning centres on the relationship between the ‘whiteface’ (the straight man) and the ‘auguste’ (foolish or mischievous clown).

8 – All straight man/funny man comedy double acts, such as Laurel and Hardy, are derived from circus clowning.

9 – The first circus clown was called Mr Merryman.

10 – Coulrophobia describes the fear of clowns.

11 – The world’s oldest clown society, Clowns International, was founded in 1947.

12 – The first killer clown in fiction appeared in the 1892 Italian opera Pagliacci.

13 – Johnny Burnette had a hit with Clown Shoes, written by PJ Proby.

14 – Ronald McDonald was first played by Williard Scott in a 1963 TV commercial.

15 – Serial killer John Wayne Gacy was a clown known as Pogo.

This post originally appeared on the author’s blog Circus Mania.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.



Comments are disabled for this post.