Clown

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A clown.

A clown is a kind of entertainer, or performance artist, who performs physical comedy and stunts to amuse others. They usually wear grease paint makeup that hides their real face, a large wig with brightly-colored hair, and baggy, padded clothing. Clowns pretend to be clumsy, but must be agile and athletic in real life, to perform their job well.

Many clowns belong to a circus, while others freelance or have a talent agent who helps them find work. Some clowns study at a clown college or clown school, where they learn acrobatics, juggling and other physical skills, and ways to interact with an audience. Others learn from experienced clowns, or through study and practice.

Clowns in popular culture[change | change source]

A hobo clown.

Clowns are sometimes mentioned in other forms of entertainment. Pagliacci is an opera by Ruggero Leoncavallo, about clowns. This theme was borrowed by Smokey Robinson, when he wrote "The Tears of a Clown" working with Stevie Wonder. Red Skelton was a popular entertainer, who performed clown routines on television.

Ronald McDonald is a clown character who is the mascot of McDonald's restaurants. (Jeff Giuliano, who performed Ronald for many years on television, later became a vegetarian.)