Even though the art of clowning has roots dating back to ancient history, the more common or celebrated clowns were part of the rich history throughout the Middle Ages, vying for the respect and admiration of their kings and nobleman. The earliest funnymen were called “fools”; however, they were far from foolish. They often said wise and clever things which influenced their kings. Some royal courts in Europe had fools to entertain them. It was then that fools were given the name Court Jesters. Fools and Court Jesters who were privileged characters as long as what they said and did amused their masters. These were often gifted musicians, mimics, dancers, tumblers and acrobats, full of humor and arrogance. They dressed in colorful costumes with bells on their hats and their shoes. Much like the clowns of today, they could provide humor on demand.
Today, there are three classic “types” of clowns. The “Whiteface” clown is jovial and kind. Their face is completely painted in white, with eyebrows, nose and mouth outlined in black and red. The “Auguste” clown is the most comedic of all clowns with their troublemaking antics and slapstick comedy. Their face makeup is a variation of pink, red, or tan rather than white and their features are exaggerated in size. Their mouth is thickly outlined with white, called a muzzle, as are the eyes. And finally the “Hobo” clown. They’re at the bottom of the barrel in the clown world, usually charged with cleaning up after the other clowns. Their face is usually painted a flesh-colored pink or tan with a 5 o’clock shadow. The costume is often a sloppy fitting dark coat that’s patched or tattered.
Many clowns though, will never be seen at the circus, on TV or in the movies. You’ll see them instead at parties, store openings and hospitals. They are ordinary everyday people with ordinary jobs who clown whenever and wherever a laugh is needed. They are special people indeed! People love to laugh and it’s good for the soul. Hundreds of clown events are held throughout the world every year. They include educational seminars and conventions where classes and workshops are offered to help improve clowning skills.
However, when it comes to Halloween costumes, every happy-go-lucky character has to have an equally evil dark side to give the costume wearer many choices to pick from; and clown costumes are no exception. On the dark side of clowning we have the evil and demented twisted jokers and the creepy killer clowns that haunt our nightmares. Many adults have a fear of clowns; this fear is called Coulrophobia. Horror films have played up to the evil clown hype giving many a true fear of these deviant clowns. But what fun they do make when dressing up for Halloween!
No matter what type of clown you’re going for; whether a fool, court jester, comedic or killer, you’ll find all your clown costume needs here!