International Clown Week is this week

Somehow it escaped me that this week is International Clown Week. I don’t really celebrate it per se. In fact, I mostly shun this kind of stuff.

The problem is that the kind of clown stuff that I am interested in (and hopefully, if you are reading this, you are interested in too) is not the cutesy stuff, of which most things like International Clown Week seem to perpetuate. I am interested in the funny, not the cute. See the examples on the left as the emblems of what I think of as cute. And although it’s not perfect (I don’t love Stupid as a Synonym for clown, although I do love The Stooges as a synonym for clowns) See my take on an emblem above.

You can find out more at the celebration at Apparently, Richard Nixon (Mr. Clown himself) was the guy who signed the proclamation for National Clown Week in 1971.

Clown week is promoted primarily by Clowns of America International (COAI) a group that has as its purpose to bring together serious-minded amateurs and professionals. They have a number of “Alleys” around the country (and world, even) and host competitions in paradability, ballooning, facepainting, gags, and other stuff. Most of the performers in the group are amateurs, people who clown as a hobby, and take very seriously the Clown Commandments

I love a lot of the ideas behind COIA, and I suppose I follow a lot of the Clown commandments (I don’t show up drunk at a gig– not because it’s a commandment by an organization that is invested in keeping up the good name of clowns, but because it’s good business sense) but I got into being a clown as a theatre artist, to create shows and plays, and not to join organizations or for my love of the word Clown. And while my goal for clownlink is in some ways exactly the same as the goal behind COIA, I don’t think we share the same aesthetic or vision of clowning (although a lot of the elements are the same, I’m sure.) I’m not big on the competitive aspect.

But to each his own, and if this will bring more exposure for good clown-work–and good clowns– who am I to judge? More power to you, COIA!

If any of my readers are members of COIA, please comment below. I’d love to find out what you like about COIA, and why you are a member, and what you get out of it. Perhaps I’m missing the boat here.


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