Clowns All Around

Jan 30, 2012

Here's a quote: "A clown is funny in the circus ring. But what would be the normal reaction to opening a door at midnight, and finding the same clown standing there in the moonlight?"

Sounds like a 21st century post-modern take on clowns, but it actually comes from Lon Chaney, the horror movie star who died in 1930.

Almost one hundred years ago, somebody understood that clowns can be scary. To Chaney, it was all a matter of context. What we've almost forgotten in our 21st century post modern mood is the first part of Chaney's statement. Clowns are funny.

That's the part we have to remind ourselves about. Thanks to Stephen King, a raft of B-Movies, Insane Clown Posse and maybe Krusty the Klown, we've reached a point where the dark side of clowning almost overshadows the pure fun of it. We'll look at clowns from both sides on today's show.

Leave your comments below, e-mail colin@wnpr.org or Tweet us @wnprcolin.