Uh-Oh: Clown Shortage Looms in US
It's no laughing matter, say clown organizations
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Feb 17, 2014 2:04 PM CST
Updated Feb 23, 2014 10:39 AM CST
   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Good news, coulrophobes: A "national clown shortage" may soon be upon us, the New York Daily News reports. It seems as older clowns are dying, not nearly as many younger clowns are joining the ranks to replace them—leading to a drastic decrease in membership at the country's biggest clown organizations (yes, those exist) over the past 10 years. Even kids who are into clowns "go on to high school and college and clowning isn’t cool anymore," explains the president of Clowns of America International. "Clowning is then put on the back burner until their late 40s and early 50s."

"American kids these days are thinking about different careers altogether," says the president of New York Clown Alley. It probably doesn't help that clowns usually only make $300, at most, per birthday party performance. And if they have their sights set higher, well, they'll have a harder time than ever making it to the big leagues: The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, not yet touched by the looming clown shortage, has been making the audition process even more difficult. But at least one clown assures Gothamist there's nothing to worry about: "There are still a lot of younger people becoming clowns, they're just not joining the Clowns of America International. It's more of a generational thing I think. It's like joining the Shiners club or something like that."

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Showing 3 of 173 comments
Blake Cabot
Mar 19, 2014 5:33 AM CDT
There is no shortage in clowns. There is just a decreasing number of people who understands them. Clowns do God’s work. They are not scary, evil or mean. They help children in hospitals, bring joy to birthdays, and are just plain fun. With all the news about scary clowns in the UK, horror films depicting evil clowns and all, it's no surprise that the clowning industry is negatively affected. This is why, we, at ClownAntics.com, want to save clowning. Join our conversation at our blog: http://blog.clownantics.com/when-the-laughter-dies/
libproud
Feb 24, 2014 9:07 PM CST
Imagine that...a clown story gets a war going as far as baggers and the sane people...I personally love it!!!!
Justin Sage
Feb 24, 2014 7:49 PM CST
Just as well. Impersonating a police officer is a felony anyway.