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The Sad, Slow Decline of the Clown

Last updated on July 5, 2022

When I was a kid I feared clowns of all types, even the ones that silently made balloon animals and hats and swords. You couldn’t really see their true faces, they acted strangely and wore bizarre otherworldly clothing. That weird white makeup they wore…yeesh. But they didn’t come from their clown planet to hurt us mere Earthlings – they came to entertain us and make us “laugh”! Squirting flowers, pet monkeys, tiny cars, big shoes, all trademarks of the clown.

So who is this guy? Where is his white makeup? Does he have a pet? What make and model is his tiny car? Why is he trying to be non-frightening and generically non-threatening?

This clown is known as Bello. He works for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Time magazine called him “America’s Best Clown.”

Oh really? Is this what fearsome and horrifying clowns have come to in the 21st century? Wimpified lame-o’s who’s gimmick is that he has tall hair and gets into all sorts of wacky mischief? Take away the hair and turn him into a monkey and he’s Curious George. George even goes to the circus too.

Over the past years Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey has been on the ropes a little bit as people start loving more and more the weird antics of Cirque du Soleil. Is Bello the answer to their problems? Are people going to start coming to the circus to see this guy? Is he that big of a draw? Why do I feel that the answer is “no”?

I’m a dad, so I have to go. Would I go just to see this guy? Well….

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