Saturday, August 6, 2011

Happy National Clown Day

The first week of August is National Clown Week. Says who? Richard Milhaus Nixon, that's who. He made it so on August 2, 1971 via Presidential Proclamation 4071. We like to think his clown name was Tricky Dick.

Traditionally, the Saturday of Clown Week is Clown Day. So if you know any clowns, thank them for their work and just enjoy the show.

The NCW site acknowledges the uptick in coulrophobia, the fear of clowns, which seems to have flourished mostly since the 1980s and really gained momentum via the Internet and Web.

The Typing Monkey's official position on people claiming to be afraid of clowns: knock it off, no you aren't.

We are sure there are a number of legitimate cases of diagnosable clown phobia. But just because circuses aren't as popular as they once were and a few horror movies have stained your memory, don't dismiss all clowns. A skilled clown is preserving a centuries-old tradition and slapstick is one of the puresest forms of comedy that translates across borders.

Hooray! Clowns!

[Illustration by Louis Slobodkin, from his book Millions and Millions and Millions!; Vanguard, 1955. Courtesy of his Website.]