back to article Stephen King's scary movie reboot provokes tears from 'legit clowns'

The imminent release of a new film adaptation of Stephen King's horror novel It has caused upset in the world of professional clowning. The clowns' concerns – doubtless accompanied by mimed theatrical sobbing, oversized hankies and streams of water from fake flowers – have been publicised by their professional body, the World …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It is worrying for the legitimate clowning industry as they could all lose their jobs and that would leave some pretty big shoes to fill.

    1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese

      ^--- Comment Of The Week, right there.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I should Coco

    2. macjules Silver badge
      Coat

      Yes, very unfortunate. But you must admit that they do tend to get fired a lot.

      1. Tikimon

        ..."they get fired a lot".

        Out of cannons!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Trollface

    "the World Clown Association."

    Is that a new name for the United States Congress ?

    1. Zippy's Sausage Factory

      Re: "the World Clown Association."

      Actually if you could swap the two organisations over, I think the USA might be a lot better run...

    2. Chemical Bob
      Coat

      Re: "the World Clown Association."

      The Trump Cabinet...

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The book came out in 1986, the Tim Curry miniseries in 1990. The "damage" is already done, guys...

    If I were you, I'd be more concerned with Juggalos, anyway.

    1. chivo243 Silver badge
      Trollface

      "If I were you, I'd be more concerned with Juggalos, anyway."

      Now that seems insane...

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon

        Don't forget the classic B movie - Killer Clowns from Outer Space

        1. VinceH
          Thumb Up

          "Don't forget the classic B movie - Killer Clowns from Outer Space"

          It's Killer Klowns from Outer Space - but upvoted anyway for referencing something I immediately thought of when reading the article.

          I must watch that again.

    2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Coat

      " the Tim Curry miniseries in 1990. "

      Ah the delightful Mr Curry, the go-to guy for louche (and a bit sinister) characters.

      I've often pictured a group of grumpy clowns sitting around their clubhouse (The WCA offices I suppose) throwing darts at a dart board with Stephen Kings face on it, grumbling "It's all his fault."

      Best clown story so far. From the film "Spy."*

      Rayna: There was a woman in my home village in Bulgaria. Should couldn't even sell her body. She just stood in the street dressed as a clown, doing magic tricks and crying constantly. You remind me of her.

      *It's not a good advertisement for Bulgaria either.

  4. Evil Auditor Silver badge

    King: when I was a kid I was scared of clown. Now clowns fear me.

    Seems fair.

  5. Anonymaus Cowark
    IT Angle

    It wasn't It.

    I am scared of clowns already since I saw 1988 an episode of Dr Who (The greatest show in the galaxy). Well before the TV Series IT in 1990. (There we have an IT angle!)

    1. Argh

      Re: It wasn't It.

      1988 was a good year for terrifying children with things they might see each day. "The Happiness Patrol" in Doctor Who that year also had that killer Bertie Bassett as well.

      1. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: It wasn't It.

        1988 was a good year for terrifying children with things they might see each day. "The Happiness Patrol" in Doctor Who that year also had that killer Bertie Bassett as well.

        The sour faced ladies of the patrol were scary enough.

        With May still as P.M. - I'd not bet against Britain looking a little familiar to that episode once Brexit kicks in.

        1. Mark York 3 Silver badge
          Childcatcher

          Re: It wasn't It.

          As well as the cannibal grannies in Paradise Towers.

          Going further back Terror of The Autons (With some of the outside action taking place around a circus, keeping with the clown theme) by Robert Holmes - I'll let the man himself explain:

          ""He started telling me about the guidelines he felt the programme should follow. ‘Two or three seasons ago,’ he said, ‘we had some clot who wrote the most dreadful script.

          It had faceless policemen in it and plastic armchairs that went about swallowing people. I might tell you, there were questions in the House.

          Mrs. Whitehouse said we were turning the nation’s children into bed-wetters’. Could it be that he was referring to my ‘Terror of the Autons’? ‘Tut, tut’, I muttered, feeling the job slipping away. ‘how awfully irresponsible’.

          The elements in the story all came from plastic again. At the time there was a soap powder distributing plastic daffodils outside supermarkets, and I remembered all the warnings about children not being allowed near plastic bags. Then it all came together – I suddenly realised that all you need is a four-inch square of clingfilm to suffocate someone, and the spitting daffodils followed on.

          As for the doll and the armchair, well, there were some Danish troll dolls on the gimmick market at the time and I thought they were horrible, so I used that idea. Also, those plastic inflatable armchairs were all the rage, which is why I wrote in McDermott – specifically to kill him off in that chair!"

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Easily remedied I think...

    "The WCA has expressed fears that adverse publicity surrounding the film's killer clown character Pennywise will lead to cancelled bookings and financial difficulties for its members."

    Isn't that what an insurance is for?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Insurance

      Insurance *might* cover cancelled bookings, but it wouldn't cover loss of business arising from people just not booking at all

  7. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

    Pterry portrayed clowns much more accurately

    1. Kane Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      @ Prst. V.Jeltz

      Obligatory:

      “No clowns were funny. That was the whole purpose of a clown. People laughed at clowns, but only out of nervousness. The point of clowns was that, after watching them, anything else that happened seemed enjoyable.”

      ― Terry Pratchett, Men at Arms

      .

      .

      .

      Where's the damned Pterry icon, El Reg?

  8. BoldMan

    Will it fail the same way as the Tim Curry version which was excellent until the fucking awful monster was revealed at the end at which point everyone burst out laughing but NOT because it was a funny clown?

  9. Scott Pedigo
    Gimp

    Spawn Spawnned An Evil Clown

    My favorite clown is the evil one in the 1997 film Spawn (based on the comic).

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120177/mediaviewer/rm3321600256

    1. EddieD

      Re: Spawn Spawnned An Evil Clown

      Nah, Frasier Crane even before Sideshow Bob...

      1. Alister Silver badge

        Re: Spawn Spawnned An Evil Clown

        One of the scariest portrayals, which my daughter still refuses to watch, is Bradley Walsh in the Sarah Jane Adventures:

        http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1285083/

        I never thought of him as an actor, just a gameshow host and former footballer.

        1. Mark York 3 Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: Spawn Spawnned An Evil Clown

          I try not to think of him at all, but it may be inevitable.

          Icon because that's the mental image I get when thinking of Mr Walsh.

        2. h4rm0ny

          Re: Spawn Spawnned An Evil Clown

          In my tinier years, I recall watching a TV series set in a lighthouse. One episode had ghost clowns and a scarecrow that came to life and crashed through the window. Probably my first ever exposure to something scary. Well, it's scary when you're six years old. So scary clowns go a long way back.

          And if you want really old examples, there was The Man Who Laughs, an old film from 1928 about a disfigured man in a circus.

          1. seanj

            Re: Spawn Spawnned An Evil Clown

            "a TV series set in a lighthouse..."

            Round The Twist?

            http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0103529/

            1. h4rm0ny
              Pint

              Re: Spawn Spawnned An Evil Clown

              Ha! Yes, that was the one. Round the Twist. I think I was too young to really understand it but I remember the scarecrow coming to life and crashing through a window to grab the girl. And she was the character I identified with so it was extra scary to me.

              Loved it, though.

          2. magickmark
            Childcatcher

            The Man Who Laughs

            An excellent film and many think was the inspiration for the 'Joker' from Batman

            See here

            https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=The+Man+Who+Laughs&newwindow=1&dcr=0&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjspufw95LWAhUHPFAKHUXYDz8QiR4ImgE&biw=1200&bih=816

            and here:

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Man_Who_Laughs_(1928_film)

            Have fun kiddies

  10. ukgnome
    Childcatcher

    Nuclear War - nope

    A.I. - nope

    Guns - nope

    Bombs - nope

    Knives - nope

    Sluts - nope

    Clowns - agghhhh run away, ugh they are horrible and want to possibly kill you maybe.......

    Won't somebody think of the children

  11. TRT Silver badge

    The WCA?

    Do they expect to be taken seriously?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The WCA?

      I guess so but I just think they are going to be left with pie on their face.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The WCA?

      They were going to drive to Washington to protest, but as soon as they all got into the car, it fell apart.

    3. Korev Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: The WCA?

      Maybe they red nose something that we don't...

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: The WCA?

        If all the clowns go out of business, will we be treading on eggshells?

        1. Geoffrey W

          Re: The WCA?

          I remember an episode of The Avengers (Steed, not Marvel) where there were killer clowns running round. In it there was this guy who had all the clowns faces painted on eggs and I thought that's just too silly. Now I find it was true. Gosh!

          Tomorrow I'll discover there really are man eaters from Surrey Green, and Cybernauts. Eeek!

  12. GreggS

    So what's released on September 8th?

    1. TRT Silver badge

      September the 9th.

  13. AndrueC Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    I'm quite impressed that so far no one has posted the lame joke 'I wish they'd just stop clowning around'.

    Well done, folks.

  14. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    I'll just leave this here, and then go hide under my duvet...

    That toy clown from the 1982 Poltergeist movie. I never liked that very much.

  15. Evil Auditor Silver badge

    Survey

    Is there someone out there who likes clowns?

    Please only respond if you do so.

    1. tiggity Silver badge

      Re: Survey

      It takes minimal imagination to dream up an image of a type of clown & outfit I would like ...

    2. Locky

      Re: Survey

      There are 2 types of people in the world. Those who are scared of clowns

      And clowns

    3. Mephistro

      Re: Survey

      I do. Not all of them, of course, but some of them are good at comedy, juggling and controlling masses of children.

      Hmmm... may be we should choose professional clowns to run our governments. I doubt they'll do it worse than the amateur ones running the show nowadays.

      8^)

      1. Chris G Silver badge

        Re: Survey

        Mephisto. " controlling masses of children."

        That's because the poor little mites are terrified of them.

        1. Scroticus Canis
          Trollface

          Re: Survey - That's because the poor little mites are terrified of them.

          Works for me (once the screaming stops).

    4. Tom Melly

      Re: Survey

      I like them, I suppose. I mean, I'm certainly not frightened of them, and a good clown is a good clown.

  16. Mark Manderson

    only clown that scares me....

    is Amber Rudd.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why do Clowns think they are funny or entertaining?

    Slapstick and prat falls and mishaps are funny - they make us laugh at bad things happening to other people (schadenfreude). I get it. But why do they think adding a clown face and dress make this funnier?

    Or maybe their creative art of ballon making - again, a skill and entertaining, but not more so because of big shoes and a red nose.

    They are pointless distractions to what are already funny and entertaining activities for kids.

    Is adding a 'scary as fuck' persona part of their perverse joy derived from being scary?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why do Clowns think they are funny or entertaining?

      What about ventriloquist's dummies? They're meant to be funny and entertaining, but can be quite scary as well. ISTR an movie (starring Anthony Hopkins?) about a ventriloquist's dummy that turns animated and evil

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Why do Clowns think they are funny or entertaining?

        Woke up sober, read this, then showed up to work hammered. Such is the life in IT.... I hope the El Reg Censors pass this through. It's funny to me, at least.

        Fsck clowns. Fsck 'em with a donkey dsck. For every child (future Gacy) you make laugh, you make a dozen other recoil in horror and laugh just because they hope it won't get them killed (and eaten).

        Balloon animals? The reason you forge balloons instead of steel is because you're less likely to get stabbed to death from the forged balloons vs forged blades after distributing them to the minors...

        I'm sorry you (clowns) decided it was more 'profitable' and 'satisfying' to choose a job that makes you paint your face in white and whore yourself out (world's creepiest geisha?) to the amusement of others, and now you're pissed that someone pissed on your moneymaker.

        Oh, boo-hoo. Paint on a sad face and show it to the lady at the unemployment office. Just like you do every week. "I can't find a real job, because my calling in life is to be a clown!'

        The only things you and the social worker will agree on are:

        You can't find a real job.

        You're creepy.

        You should *NOT* be allowed to be around children.

        You chose your career path poorly.

        Makeup is essential to your job.

        Things you and the social worker will disagree on:

        While makeup is essential to your (geisha) jobs, you can't expect the state to pay for your personal usage of makeup to dance in front of the mirror to 'wild horses' while tucking your dong.

        Cold calling people to ask them if they want a clown to show up at their residence or job isn't considered an interview.

        Getting punched in the face repeatedly with a brick after showing up anyway isn't a job interview.

        When children scream and run from you, you should realize that you aren't welcome wherever you are. (circus, fair, party, public, your own home, etc)

        In short.... the WCA (world clown association? Whiney C**nts Association? I dunno) needs to realize that clowns, much like the passenger pigeon, the dodo, Netscape Navigator, and Internet Neutrality have all become endangered or extinct. Use the fact that you live in your parent's basement and don't have many bills to treat yourself to a trade school, and learn a practical skill. Like undertaking or pet autopsy, or prize bull semen collection or something similarly creepy.

        I won't care if you show up to un-knacker my toilet on a holiday weekend, so long as you don't do it in clown makeup. If you do, I'm gonna remove that makeup with repeated rounds of buckshot.

        Fsck clowns.

        1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese

          Re: Anonymous Coward #2

          Just a suggestion, but have you considered switching to decaff?

        2. Stevie Silver badge

          Re: Why do Clowns think they are funny or entertaining?

          All this shirt-talk from an AC who can't fix a toilet?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Why do Clowns think they are funny or entertaining?

            Obviously, you haven't eaten at the same fast-food places as I have. Especially after a hard night on the spirits.

            As for decaff... I fail to see how that helps. I don't like clowns whether I'm sober, tipsy, goobered, drunk, or flat-out 'hang on to the lawn so I don't fall of the earth' fscked up.

            Oh, you meant to put whiskey in the decaff, correct? That I can do!

        3. Sir Runcible Spoon

          Re: Why do Clowns think they are funny or entertaining?

          " I hope the El Reg Censors pass this through. It's funny to me, at least."

          It's funny to us as well, just perhaps not for the same reasons :)

          El Reg will always let this stuff through, because it would be criminal to remove such a farcical rant.

        4. disgruntled yank Silver badge

          Re: Why do Clowns think they are funny or entertaining?

          Once more I go forth to forge in the smithy of my soul the uncreated balloon poodles of my race?

          I can see how one could forge blades and perhaps documents. But balloons?

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Why do Clowns think they are funny or entertaining?

            "I can see how one could forge blades and perhaps documents. But balloons?"

            FAKE BALLOON!!!

        5. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Why do Clowns think they are funny or entertaining?

          So... the WCA kicked you out, did they?

      2. Francis Boyle Silver badge

        ventriloquist's dummies?

        All clowns are scary and all ventriloquist's dummies evil. Anyone who says anything different is just a shill for big clown/big dummy. (Which is like the military industrial complex but with more pratfalls and and absolutely terrible jokes.)

      3. Captain DaFt

        Re: Why do Clowns think they are funny or entertaining?

        What about ventriloquist's dummies?

        I have a friend that, as an adult, will still not go into an attic alone because of one.

        When he was a wee lad, he was at his grandmother's house, and roaming around, he went to the attic.

        Propped by the attic window was a ventriloquist's dummy.

        When he walked toward it, its eyes popped open.

        Probably jarred open by the vibrations from his footsteps in a creaky attic, but much panic and screaming ensued, I was told.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why don't they retrain as jesters?

    1. Frumious Bandersnatch

      Q "Why, sirrah, may a caudled fillhorse be deemed the brother to a hiren candle in the night?"

      A "Withal, because a candle may be greased, yet a fillhorse be without a fat argier."

      1. Alister Silver badge

        'If you preface your next remark with nuncle, i'faith or marry, it will go hard with you.'

        1. Teiwaz Silver badge

          'If you preface your next remark with nuncle, i'faith or marry, it will go hard with you.'

          'How do feel about prithee?'

  19. Tikimon
    Devil

    TIME TO RETRAIN

    Professional clowns losing business due to clown fears? EXCELLENT! Nobody really likes them! The only reason everyone hires clowns is because... well, you're supposed to right? Clowns for kids? Even if they terrify the kids?

    Momentum has carried clown parties far enough. Let 'em fade away already. Find a NEW CAREER!

    Hey, the tech industry is perfect, hit 'em up.

    1. Robert Moore
      Pint

      Re: TIME TO RETRAIN

      Momentum has carried clown parties far enough. Let 'em fade away already. <BR>Find a NEW CAREER!

      Hey, the tech industry is perfect, hit 'em up.

      One clown managed to go pretty far in US politics...

      1. Captain DaFt

        Re: TIME TO RETRAIN

        One clown managed to go pretty far in US politics...

        Just one? You haven't been paying US politics much attention, have you?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: TIME TO RETRAIN

          Just one? You haven't been paying US politics much attention, have you?

          Well, only one who wears obvious clown make-up and a hilarious wig.

  20. ukgnome
    IT Angle

    I am ashamed of this but.....

    What's the IT angle

    1. Alister Silver badge

      Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right, here I am stuck in the middle with you...

    2. Stevie Silver badge
      Pint

      IT Angle

      See what you did there ukgnome. I'll pour this e-beer down the nearest drain for you.

  21. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    If there's one thing I hate more than a quoted tweet that repeats word-for-word what the linked source says, it's an artilce that quotes a tweet then embeds that tweet so we can read the "wisdom" imparted twice.

    Quite detracted from the other witty brilliance embedded in the article.

  22. PMB2017

    Clowns are creepy. Who needs them? Get a real job, clown!

    1. Mark York 3 Silver badge
      Coat

      I pity the fool.

  23. Mark 85 Silver badge

    I'll take an opposing view... clowns teach children something valuable. That people are not always what they appear, be they the nice next door neighbor who shares cookies, PHB's, assholes in general, or politicians. I find those people scarier than clowns but then I was raised on Emmett Kelly... What's next? Should we get rid of anything scary in the world? Life is a bitch and some things (clowns included) are good for us to learn.

    Suck it up snowflakes, it's a very scary world out there and there's worse things than a clown running around.

    1. Toni the terrible

      Yes, Boris the Political Clown

  24. Chris G Silver badge

    Remember the TV show 'Bones'?

    The lead guy Booth hated clowns and shot a plastic one on top of an ice cream van, I could sympathise with that.

    A few years ago my step daughter had an Italian boyfriend Alessio, who worked as a clown entertainer, the funniest thing I ever saw him do was drive his van over an unmarked drop at the edge of a carpark.

    He was jumping up and down, screaming and allsorts, all he was missing was his trousers falling down and being smacked around the head with a plank,

    I was tempted though ( the plank, not the trousers).

    1. VinceH
      Coat

      "who worked as a clown entertainer"

      Wait, what? His job was to entertain clowns?

      1. Toni the terrible

        and who needs entertaining more, miserable... clowns.

  25. disgruntled yank Silver badge

    clown alerts

    Many, many Halloweens ago, I was working with an editor whose side job was at Town Clowns. She made me up in clown face late in the afternoon. I was a bit nervous when I went to the bank to cash a check, but the staff didn't call the police, though I think the teller might have smiled. I went on to my favorite bar, where nobody appeared to care.

    I never had the urge to do up in clown face again, but it seems a shame that one can't do so without alarming the neighborhood.

  26. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Coat

    Amazed no one has done....

    It's fun to stay at the W-C-A, it's fun to stay at the W-C-A

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Remember...

    If attacked by clowns, go for the juggler!

  28. DJSpuddyLizard

    If not for them...

    If it wasn't for clowns, we wouldn't have krump, then we'd all be sad.

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