Tears (and fears) of a clown

Oct 13, 2011

COULROPHOBIA. Fear of clowns. More common than you might think. We got a bad case of it after hearing all the nasty stuff people dressed like clowns are doing.

Besides selling hamburgers and squeezing into Volkswagens, clowns have been committing robberies and even murders…

A Google search for “clown robber” had over 4 million results (and rising). It’s simple enough to throw on a cheap mask to hold up a 7-11, but recently this robber went all out, in full clown regalia with face paint and floppy shoes: "Maxton Food Lion robbed by man in clown costume Sunday."

The usual suspects

Clowns have had their share of bad press. John Wayne Gacy was an amateur clown before he changed professions. Clown-horror movies haven’t done much to help, and the fact that clowns are actually scary adds to the mix. We found this after-school TV Bozo fairly creepy:

Much less frightening, yet curious that that the son of a famous clown (Jerry Lewis) would do a song like this. It’s Gary Lewis and the Playboys with "Everybody Loves a Clown:"

And finally, some happy clowns playing with Judy Collins on The Muppet Show:

Every week on “Record bin Roulette,” KPLU’s John Kessler and John Maynard put an insightful and fun spin on a century's worth of discarded vinyl. The feature is published here and airs on KPLU 88.5 every Thursday during Morning Edition, All Things Considered and on Weekend Saturday Edition.