US Clown Shortage Is Nothing To Laugh About

Sad Clown
Sad Clown (Photo credit: Smabs Sputzer) (CC)

Are we moving towards a post clown society, or have the clowns morphed into trolls?

via Geekosystem

 If you’ve noticed that clowns today seem a little older and more desperate than you might expect, that’s not just your innate clown bias talking–the US is currently experiencing an unprecedented shortage of the nightmare inducing funny guys. We’re also facing a fuel crisis and terrible droughts, but come on: this is a matter of national morale.

In an interview with The New York Daily News, The Clowns of America International President Glen Kohlberger warned that unless immediate action is taken, the time-honored profession of clowning may soon be just a horrifying memory.

Explains the ambassador for old-school buffoonery, “What’s happening is attrition. The older clowns are passing away.”

When older clowns move on to the big top in the sky, Kohlberger says the youth of today aren’t waiting to fill their over-sized shoes, possibly due to the profession’s poor pay (or it’s overall scariness.)

Kohlberger explains that most clowns earn just $200 or $300 per appearance–which seems like a lot to me as a non-clown, especially if the performer is pennywise, but perhaps there’s a lot of overhead I’m not accounting for.

Deanna Hartmier, President of the World Clown Association, says nearly all of the organization’s members are over 40–in other words, young blood must get involved ASAP for the organization to continue once the old guard retires or passes away.



  • Thurlow Weed

    For $300 per gig I would heed the call up. Three gigs per day, minus the cost of balloons and confetti, hop on Obamacare, that sounds like the career in show biz I never pursued and always regretted every day of my coal miner life.

  • BuzzCoastin

    I don’t believe there is a shortage of clowns in der homeland
    the governmentis for example is loaded with clowns
    there is however
    a shortage of funny clowns

    The more pity, that fools may not speak wisely
    what wise men do foolishly.

    By my troth, thou sayest true; for since
    the little wit that fools have was silenced,
    the little foolery that wise men have
    makes a great show.

  • echar
    • American Cannibal


  • VaudeVillain

    Fun fact: I have genuinely considered learning the clown trade.

    I have experience in folk theater and have done some stage work, including observational and physical humor as well as improv and even some dance (which I am fucking terrible at).

    If anyone knows where I could go to actually learn the clowning craft, I would absolutely be interested. Obviously, I’d like it to be local(ish), to home: somewhere in New England would be a good start.

    I’m being totally serious here.

  • InfvoCuernos

    So I guess they weren’t counting the increased numbers among the ranks of juggiloes?

  • Rhoid Rager

    The clown population is inversely proportional to the amount of McDonald’s ‘restaurants’. Ronald has successfully defamed the noble profession of the jester.

    • Anarchy Pony

      I don’t know if I’d equate clowns and jesters.

      • Jin The Ninja

        i agree. while a ‘circus’ is the word i could use describe the world-at-large, i wouldn’t say it resembles bakhtin’s carnival, with the jester serving as the subversive anarchist- putting social hierarchy and convention on its head.

        • Rhoid Rager

          I stand correct, gentlemen. 😉

  • Spasmodius

    There’s no shortage, they just all got stuck in a clown car somewhere whlist attempting to break the record.

  • Liam_McGonagle

    No worries. We’ve got midterms coming up in November.

  • ÿ

    Won’t somebody PLEASE think of the children!!!

  • American Cannibal

    Yep. Here in the good ol’ US of A, it certainly feels like me against the world.

  • ÿ

    As long as people are krumping, the world of clowning is safe.