Volume One: Dude, Where's My Clown

Updated: Oct 24, 2018

The Clown Craze of 16'

This just shows what the world has become.

We all remember it. That weird space around Halloween when clowns began showing up all across America. What may have started as a harmless prank, quickly turned into something rather dark and twisted.

In October of 2016, the 'Clown Craze' began, mainly revolving around videos and images circulated on Twitter. Many times, whole accounts would be devoted to these clown sightings, making their appearance on everyone's timeline more of a social trend, not just a random Halloween themed joke.

A world filled with crazy, creepy, murderous clowns. While some may argue that is still a true statement, the reality is that this trend actually put a lot of people in danger. With so many of these clowns being dressed in masks covering their face, some even going so far as to brandish weapons, you really never know who or what you are dealing with in a situation like that.

This manifested itself in the videos that continued to circulate as videos of people chasing or confronting the clown attackers became more and more common. This is now the second Halloween season since then, and that social media trend as remained dormitory for now. But beware, going out in a clown costume is still a dangerous thing.

Really, long story short, it is still a dangerous time to wear a rainbow wig.

Now here we sit, a few falls removed from this trend, and some may be wondering, "Is this going to come back?"

While the common sense answer may be no, I have compiled a short list with some tips that people may find helpful in combatting these colorful characters. In case of a sighting or attack:

  • Call the terrorism hotline, or simply just call 911, not really a hard concept

  • Don't go towards the clown unless armed. This one is more of a personal suggestion.

  • If he has a little red balloon... good luck

Does that about cover it? No, probably not.

While it does seem silly to say these things, State Police in Alabama offered some similar advice when dealing with these issues back in 16'. So in case of another influx of clown sightings, just remember this list to stay safe.

Why Did Everyone Want to Be Clowns

We may have Stephen King's "IT" to thank for this. The creature of Pennywise, who once again graced american theaters in 2017, helping to "Make Clowns Great Again". Yes I know, what a terrible joke.

However, it is worth noting that IT was released a whole year after the initial round of clown sightings, making it impossible to lay blame on that movie for the sudden excitement about dressing as a clown.

And who can forget about the greatest clown of all time: the Joker.

While I want get into the debate over who the best joker of all time is, many people still have a fresh memory of Heath Ledger's portrays of the role. Many people can remember the iconic look of Jack Nicholson's Joker, a more happy original compared to Heath Ledger's dark and demented version in the "Dark Knight".

And as we speak, two more joker movies are on their way, proving that maybe this clown thing isn't just a phase in American society.

Clowns In The Media

While clowns are a very prevalent part of scary movies, how exactly do they get portrayed? Why is it that people are so attracted to these clowns?

Following the release of the Dark Knight in 2008, many people would not have labeled the Joker as a clown, but rather as Batman's greatest enemy. But the base idea for the Joker is a carnival clown.

Couple Joker's repetitive appearance in modern media with the IT movies, and clowns have a pretty healthy major Hollywood presence.

And why are we so interested in clowns? Sometimes, it serves best to listen to outside input to really see the full picture. According to the Ben Radford, author of "Bad Clowns":

“It’s a fallacy to ask when clowns went bad, because they were never really good..... From a historic, folkloric perspective, they were always ambiguous, trickster figures: the early versions of the clown are court jesters, the harlequin of commedia dell’arte, Mr Punch. Sometimes they were funny, sometimes they were horrific. The evil side of the clown character was always there.”

So what this means, is that Americans choose to be scared by clowns, knowing that they aren't really good characters, and they are always up to no good. We look for ways to be excited and terrified, and clowns are the easiest vessel by which to visualize some of our greatest fears.

Halloween 2018

While it isn't still the "Clown Craze of '16", you can still run into plenty of crazy people on October 31st. Here are some tips for how to stay safe on Halloween. And here are some other helpful tips from Chance the Rapper, because why not.

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