Fears of a Clown, it's a Knockout, and Jeux Sans Frontieres
Big surprise! A study by the University of Sheffield relating to children's hospital-ward decorating has determined that most kids don't like clowns, calling them 'scary', according to Yahoo! article, Don't Send in the Clowns.
Well gee, I wonder why? Could it be their creepily deceptive appearance: the fake shoes, outrageous hair, the 'nature says stay away' make-up? Or maybe it's because many children are, thankfully, leery of strange adults expecting them to laugh at something that's not remotely funny?
Clowns aren't funny when they're supposed to be. But to me, they're absolutely side-splitting hilarious when they're doing every day stuff and they think no-one's watching. I remember spying on the Tour to Tanglewood clown during the Saturday post-ride festivities a few years back, as he tramped over to his car on the uneven grass, tried to open the car door with oversized gloves, shoved his head into the car to retrieve his lunch box and soda without knocking his wig off...I was rolling on the floor by this point. And late one night in Germany during Karneval many years ago, while negotiating a tight bend on icy village roads, I came up on two clowns trying like hell to park a car. I almost wrecked.
Along the same funny lines are the old 70s TV shows from Europe "Jeux Sans Frontieres", or "It's a Knockout" - as Peter Gabriel sings "Dressing up in costumes, playing silly games...". Again, this includes normal adults disguised as freaks in big, bouncy get-ups, this time going over various obstacle courses with an inevitable topple. Thanks to the popularity of Youtube for letting me reminisce with a laugh, about the Belgian Kings, and Penguins, and giants. How I wish somebody here in the US would revive that TV show, and I have wondered why it never made it over here. Perhaps somebody tried but the legal fees were prohibitive? Would Americans not be able to laugh at themselves in that way, or wouldn't find it humorous? Perhaps Americans are so competitive, the contestants dressed up as court-jesters would end up in a brawl? Actually, that'd be pretty funny.