A Pennywise clown cosplayer attends the Dia de Finados celebrations in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Our research shows that coulrophobia, or fear of clowns, is mainly triggered by being unable to understand their facial expressions.
The Circus by Georges Seurat (1891).
Musée d’Orsay, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Patrice Schmidt
An expert in the circus in literature and culture explains the root of its resonance as a political metaphor – and why circus performers object to it.
Lisa F. Young / Shutterstock
Clowns and jesters have positively contributed to society for centuries.
Clowns in American circuses were once considered a form of adult entertainment.
ArtMarie/E+ via Getty Images
Today’s creepy clowns are not a divergence from tradition, but a return to it.
Puppets Woody Peg the pirate and Salty the seagull were created by puppeteer Juanita Dawn.
Amid the uncertainty and pain in the world magnified by COVID-19, puppeteers and jesters get away with telling hard truths and inciting cathartic laughter.
Randy Newman and Hildur Guðnadóttir have been nominated for their scores for ‘Marriage Story’ and ‘Joker,’ respectively.
Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, Hildur Guðnadóttir: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images
In ‘Joker’ and ‘Marriage Story,’ sometimes the absence of sound can pack as much of a punch as dramatic music.
Tim Curry as Frank-N-Furter in 1975’s Rocky Horror Show.
The Rocky Horror Show and its star, Frank-N-Furter, debuted in 1973. His character owes much to older performance traditions.
© Phil McCarthy
These professional entertainers are trained and paid to go round hospitals cheer up children with music and laughter.
Peter Byrne/PA Wire/PA Images
It’s all in the faces they pull.
Bokic Bojan / Shutterstock.com
The wider truth behind all those ‘scary’ clowns.
Sometimes you don’t know whether to laugh or cry.
'Clowns' via www.shutterstock.com
Random clown sightings don’t make everyone laugh. A psychologist who has studied creepiness explains why clowns are especially adept at making us squirm.
In the realm of pop culture, ‘killer clowns’ have really proliferated and fostered coulrophobia – the fear of clowns.
When Australian singer and TV personality Mark Holden appeared as a clown recently on Channel 7’s Dancing with the Stars, his supposedly “bizarre” behaviour sparked furious debate and complaints to the…