Twelve Memorable Movie / TV Clowns
Clowns. You either love ’em or hate ’em. There really is no gray area when it comes to these face painting, floppy shoe wearing entertainers. Despite being an antiquated “career” choice, clowns are still very much part of the pop culture lexicon, thanks in large part to movies and television. Sure, they’re usually represented as creepy pedophiles and/or raging alcoholics, but that in no way denigrates those who voluntarily wear a multicolored suit and giant red nose for a living. Well, maybe it does, but clowns are used to being the butt of the joke. Here are a dozen classic clowns from the big and small screen worthy of praise. (Apologies to Captain Spaulding from the Rob Zombie flicks; he deserves a mention, but Mr. Zombie doesn’t like sharing clips from his films.)
12) Violator – Spawn
This rolly polly clown demon from Hell enjoys a good one-liner when he’s not planning for total Armageddon. Still hard to believe that underneath all the crazy makeup and enormous fat suit is actor/comedian John Leguizamo.
11) Killer Klowns From Outer Space
Murderous aliens dressed as clowns? Brilliant. These “klowns” are pretty darn shrewd. No one suspects they are responsible for annihilating a small town until it’s too late. Kudos to the filmmakers for devising one of the greatest titles ever.
10) Pagliaccio – Seinfeld
The Seinfeld writers had a thing for clowns; they appear in more than a few episodes. “Crazy” Joe Davola’s turn as the evil clown seeking vengeance on Jerry and Co. is one for the ages. He’s a complete weirdo who excels at martial arts. Only on Seinfeld.
9) Grimm – Quick Change
If you’re going to rob a bank, why not dress as a clown? It works for Bill Murray in the underrated heist comedy, Quick Change. Armed with a six shooter and a tiny cowboy hat, Grimm dupes the coppers and gets away with the loot. Sort of.
8) Michael Myers – Halloween
Michael Myers didn’t always sport a William Shatner mask. As a little tyke, he preferred a clown outfit. It makes for perfect attire when slaughtering your whore sister with a butcher knife. It’s these kinds of scenes that give clowns a bad name.
7) Shakes – Shakes the Clown
Comedian Bobcat Goldthwait has had an up and down career. Besides getting to bang Nikki Cox for six years, the highlight of his life is probably starring in Shakes the Clown. Shakes is a drunk loser mired in a constant state of depression, but he’s an absolute hit at birthday parties.
6) Eric the Clown – Seinfeld
Apparently, Eric never heard of Bozo the Clown. That’s sacrilegious. Well, George lets him have it for displaying such ignorance. However, Eric makes up for his youthful naivete by suppressing a blazing fire with his big floppy shoe. And yes, that’s Jon Favreau.
5) The Clown Doll – Poltergeist
A toy clown possessed by evil spirits can really ruin your day. Just ask Robbie Freeling. Robbie didn’t really like his scary looking doll, and with good reason. The damn thing tries to strangle him with its freakishly long arms. What an asshole!
4) Krusty the Clown – The Simpsons
Good ol’ Krusty. He’s been cheering up kiddies, smoking like a chimney, drinking like a fish and popping all variety of pills for over twenty years. He’s a savvy TV veteran whose desire to become an entertainer went against the wishes of his father. Krusty is the quintessential sad clown.
3) Homey D. Clown – In Living Color
The only thing Homey hates more than kids is “Whitey.” When he’s not belting youngins in the head with a tennis ball-filled sock, he’s plotting to bring down “The Man” in an angry sing-along. To put it simply, “Homey don’t play dat!”
2) Pennywise – Stephen King’s It
You’d be hard pressed to find a fictional clown more terrifying than the infamous Pennywise. The fact that Pennywise – a child murdering evil entity – disguises itself as a clown in order to lure children to their deaths is both sick and ironic. Par for the course for horror master Stephen King.
1) The Joker – The Dark Knight
It goes without saying that Heath Ledger’s portrayal of The Joker launched the iconic super-villain into a whole new stratosphere. The hair, clothes, makeup and “smile.” The Joker has it all. He’s also a raving lunatic who thrives on human suffering. Hey, every clown needs a gimmick.