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Is There a Real "Clown College"?

Updated on August 7, 2012

And now, "Bozo, and Butchie Boy . . ."

How many times have we, as children, heard that famous introduction?
How many times have we, as children, heard that famous introduction?

And now, even more clowns

Bozo and friends on the "Bozo's Circus" show on WGN-TV, Chicago.
Bozo and friends on the "Bozo's Circus" show on WGN-TV, Chicago.
Emmett Kelley as "Weary Willie," a clown he created and used in the Depression Era.
Emmett Kelley as "Weary Willie," a clown he created and used in the Depression Era.
Famous cartoon of the world's most-famous clown, Emmett Kelley.
Famous cartoon of the world's most-famous clown, Emmett Kelley.
Clowns only add to the happy atmosphere when they put on a good show.
Clowns only add to the happy atmosphere when they put on a good show.
Two clowns on break discussing a production or personal dilemma.
Two clowns on break discussing a production or personal dilemma.
"say cheeeese!"
"say cheeeese!"
Wonder what is on this clown's mind?
Wonder what is on this clown's mind?
The prettier the girl, the prettier the clown.
The prettier the girl, the prettier the clown.
People of all ages love clowns.
People of all ages love clowns.
The proverbial happy-go-lucky clown.
The proverbial happy-go-lucky clown.
Wow, who said that all clowns are happy and jovial? These guys could star in a Stephen King movie.
Wow, who said that all clowns are happy and jovial? These guys could star in a Stephen King movie.
Even a clown can have a bad day. (See expression on the clown's face.)
Even a clown can have a bad day. (See expression on the clown's face.)
This clown is taking make-up to a whole new level.
This clown is taking make-up to a whole new level.

Attention Simone and all of the editors at HubPages: of all the hubs I’ve labored to write, “this” hub just may be the one that wins me some kind of a HubPages award. Well, you can’t blame me for dreaming. Can you? Sincerely, Kenneth.

Today, I would like to talk about clowns. Time was, I loved clowns. I was seven at the time. And like all of my toys and diversions, clowns grew boring, and I let them fade out of my life as I grew into adulthood.

Okay, I know that it sounds very anti-American of me to say this, but, “I am disturbed by some things that go with being a clown.”

I don’t know why nor can I give you a sensible explanation, I am just overly-analytical of clowns and their backgrounds. I have lost sleep at night pondering clowns.

I guess this all started about a year or so ago, when I was watching a brilliant documentary on The Discovery Channel about “unusual jobs,” and wouldn’t you know it. The vocation of “clown,” wasn’t mentioned. That got me to thinking. And getting upset at the same time.
I mean, really. Why not mention clowns? They are as important as oyster shuckers aren’t they? Yeah, right on, clowns! We have your back.

Actually, I do not know exactly where to begin this story. It has so many area’s that I cannot touch on the segments that are so wide and various. It would take a team of hubbers to do this story justice.

I can start by saying that there will always be a warm spot for “Bozo, The Clown,” and Emmet Kelley, for these guys were “the best,” when it came to being clowns. They were, in my view, “master clowns” among clowns.”

It is funny now that I find myself writing this hub, I never dreamed of being a clown when time came for me to choose an occupation and settle down. That bothers me. I think I would have made a very decent clown.

To start. I do not think that any young boy or girl, when the thought of jobs pops inside their heads, immediately to go their parents and say, “daddy, (or mommy), I know what I want to be when I grow up.”

Their dad or mom will of course, drop what they are doing and reply, “what’s that, “Little Billy?” And “Little Billy, with twinkling eyes will say, “ a clown, daddy. (or mommy). A clown!”
Alfred Hitchcock couldn’t touch this for a scene in a horror film about “Clowns Gone Bad.” By Paramount, of course.

So years pass. “Little Billy Wilson,” continues to dream of being a clown. He talks about his clown-dreams to everyone he meets including his pastor, Rev. Dooley Whitworth, a humble messenger of God for over 20 years. But upon hearing “Little Billy’s” dream, he gently tries to tell him the harsh realities that await him when he embarks on a career of being a clown. Rev. Whitworth is always willing to listen to a troubled youth.

“Little Billy,” with even-brighter twinkles in his eyes says to Rev. Whitworth, “thanks, pastor, but I live in America, where people who dream can do what they set out to do, and I’m gonna be the best clown you ever saw.”
What a determined youngster. Wish that more “Little Billy’s” existed in our society.

Of course, to shorten the story, “Little Billy,” finished all of his schooling, including college, and sought out to fulfill his dream of being “the best,” clown in the world, but he was derailed by a pair of sultry, blue eyes who belonged to a “Tiffany Anne Westbrook,” a rich socialite from Brooklyn. The two, although from different worlds, fell madly in-love and Billy, the adult, went to work for “Tiffany’s” dad who owned a shoe factory. But the benefits were good. “Tiffany’s” dad gave them a rent-free house, a used-Studebaker and short hours for Billy, his humble son-in-law.

Now back to reality.

Am I, a sometimes-sensible man in 2012, given to wild imaginations about unobvious areas of life, to believe that somewhere in our vast world, “is” an institution for the training and grooming of “clowns?” A regular “clown college,” as it were? I have never, in my 58 years of living, heard of such a place.

I know that clowns have to get their start somewhere, so let’s suppose, for time’s sake, there “is” a “clown college,” in existence.

What would be it’s name, “Bozo U?” Or “Baggy Pants University?” I mean, wouldn’t it stand to reason that a college that trained clowns would have to have a funny name? What aspiring clown would attend a college named, “University of Solemn Endeavours”? I sure wouldn’t.

You may think that I am joking, but I am not. I mean to get to the bottom of this “clown case,” so I can sleep well at nights.

What would a “clown college,” have to offer by way of courses? Here is a possible list:
1. Seltzer Bottle 101
2. Climbing Out of a Small Car Studies, Part 1 and 2
3. Pies In The Face, Advanced Studies.
4. Hiding One’s True Emotions by noted “Baggy Pants University,” professor, Sir Erik Creamley, retired circus, carnival clown, mentor to Buster Keaton.
5. Falling From High-Wire, Remedial Studies.

That would make a world of sense to me if I were to want to pursue a life of hiding behind white face make-up, red hair and red rubber nose that honks when grabbed.

And as for this “clown college,” I do have a few serious questions. (Did you think that I would jump, head-long into a college for “clown studies,” without asking a few questions first?”

And what about the dean of this, “Baggy Pants University”? Would he resemble Red Skelton, the humble, funny “clown master,” as Jerry Lewis called him, or “dean Vernon Wermer,” of the cult-classic, “Animal House?” Think about it. A clown college would certainly need someone experienced in the field of comedy to command such a rare institution, don’t you think?

And would he be referred to a “dean,” but a “ring master”? We have to face this, people, for the sake of our children and grandchildren who are secretly watching clown movies on DVD’s that “you,” buy thinking they are all Sponge Bob Square Pants DVD’s. Yeah. I got your attention now, haven’t I?

A few more serious questions I would love to pose about “clown colleges,” are simple queries to answer. Have you ever read any of my hubs with questions that required the reader to have a college degree in order to answer them?

Would wild, out-of-control “frat” parties on the campus of a “clown college,” be viewed as normal, extracurricular activities, or a transgression?

Oh how my mind has been working overtime on this one, folks.

Instead of “keggers,” these students, or future clowns, would have “Pies-In-The-Face Gluttony Sessions,” with all of the grape Kool-Aid you can drink.

For the well-known college party known all across the U.S.A., the “Toga Party,” these lucky clown students would throw endless “costumer parties,” but attendees would come dressed in their best street clothes because five days a week, clown students are in campus attire: Clown suits.

And hey, what about classroom discipline? We cannot leave this valuable area out of “clown colleges.”

If a student “doesn't” cut-up, cause mischief, and pull pranks in class, does he or she go to the dean’s office for needed-correction? “and for “not” being funny, rambunctious, and down-right hard-to-handle in “Ms. Tyler’s, ‘Using The Rubber Chicken Class,” you are hereby put on a two-day punishment to “be as funny as you can” while standing in the center of the hallway in front of your fellow clown students and make them laugh until I am sure that you have learned what humor really is. That’s all. Good day,” “dean Shin Digg,” would say then make his rubber nose “honk,” as the transgressing clown-student leaves the dean’s office.

You see? (and friends, I have waited patiently for soon-to-be two long years to use this phrase), “being a clown is not a funny business.”There are serious things one must think about in order to be a good clown.

What about the food served in the student cafeteria? Would it consist of “trick” ice cubes with fake flies frozen in them, and “fake” dog poop being placed in the clown students’ break-away, “trick” chairs?

Oh yeah, what about the clown college sports program? What sport would be “the” “cash cow,” Barnum-Bailey Circus Competitions, with rival circus companies meeting each Saturday in the college outdoor arena to see whom can set up their circus in the shortest time?

I can see that. Really. ESPN would have to devote another item on Sports Center. Hello, Colin Cowherd. Maybe Scott Van Pelt. I don’t really care.

Before I end my lecture, I give you this list of

“People Who Would Not Make Good Clowns” . . .
1. Kenny Rogers
2. Jack Palance (City Slickers)
3. George W. Bush
4. Eric Clapton
5. Barbara Streisand
6. Raymond Burr
7. Ed Sullivan
8. Ricky Shroder
9. John Schneider (“Bo,” of Dukes of Hazzard)
10. Jerry Seinfield

In the event that one of the hard-working clown students were, God forbid, to fail his or her mid-terms, or finals, with questions like: “How many squirts are there in a rubber daisy worn on your lapel?” and be sent to see the dean. How would the dean explain the clown student’s inability to pass the clown college studies program?

The dean’s letter to the clown student’s parents might start out by saying, “Dear Mr. and Mrs. Drydert, I am afraid that I have some rather sad news to tell you.

You see, your son, Tommy, or as you fondly call him, “tater,” has met with some difficult areas of study at our institution and as of today, he is no longer a part of our student body.

We hate to see, “tater,” errr, Tommy leave us, but you see, Mr. and Mrs. Drydert, Tommy is, how can I say this in a mild way . . .
“not that funny.”

“tater,” I’m sorry, Tommy, has been sent to my office a number of times during his time at our fine clown college, for being “stuffy,” in class; “too serious” in assembly and frankly, really “dry” when it came to pulling pranks on the girl students.

Have you talked to “tater,” I mean Tommy, about the possibility of a career in working children’s birthday parties and Shriner’s parades?

Females are as good, maybe better

than guys in playing a happy clown.
than guys in playing a happy clown.


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    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Geez, dogmommy, didn't know that. Goes to show you that parody is never as funny as a reality. Thanks for telling me. I wish you would become one of my followers so you could send me ideas, suggestions and ways to impove my hubbing.

      Happy Labor Day!

      Kenneth . . .who does NOT own a rubber nose, FYI

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Hi Kenneth,

      There actually IS a clown college in Sarasota, FL, home of Ringling. I had a neighbor who attended many years ago, and I now find myself living a few hours away. I am petrified and I avoid Sarasota at all costs.

      Alas, no carny college that I know of, although many of the old carny and circus people reside in Gibsonton, FL. Florida is chock-full of scary folks! :o)

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      6 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Thanks, Debra, so much. You made my Friday.

      Be good.


    • profile image

      Debra Emerson 

      6 years ago

      This was really funny. I agree with what everybody wrote. You are good!

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      6 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama


      LOL, you are one funny lady. Thanks for making my day a LOT brighter. Glad you cannot see how Im dressed. Blue hair poofed out; Orange nose; Work boots . . .who am I kidding? YOU, catgypsy. Just clowning around.


    • catgypsy profile image


      6 years ago from the South

      No need to apologize Kenneth. I have to admit I kept my eyes away from the pics while I read this...haha!

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      6 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, Angela/sis,

      Thanks so very much for liking this hub. That helps me know if I am doing what I need to to make my followers happy. And that IS my main goal: To make you and ALL OF MY WONDERFUL FOLLOWERS, happy. I am serious.


    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      6 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Dear Catgypsy,

      Thank you, DEAR friend, for the hilarious story about the girl who DID go to a clown school. Or carney school. That was a good one. And I apologize sincerely for NOT KNOWING you have a clown phobia. Many people have that. I do to an extent, a clown who doesn't talk, just stands there in his scarecrow disguise . . .I get to worrying about what he's up to.

      Sincerely, Kenneth

      PS: So sorry. Again.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      6 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Thank you, Patty, for your sweet remark. Creepy? I can see that with so many weird-o's doing nasty things dressed as clowns. I like ONLY THE GOOD CLOWNS who help raise money for underprivileged kids and those deserving children in St. Jude's Children's Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. Those guys (and girls) need a big pat on the back.

      Patty, come back to see me anytime. OK?


    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      6 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hey, Starmom,

      Thanks a bunch for your compliment. Uh, oh, someone has just dumped a bucket of strawberry slush on my head . . .hate to run, but a shower is needed for another "friend," is about to throw a box of fireants on me too . . .HELP!

      Was that a good clown routine???


      PS: I still think that clowning is in my DNA.

    • Angela Blair profile image

      Angela Blair 

      6 years ago from Central Texas

      Great Hub -- being a huge fan of clowns and other funny folks, this Hub was right down my alley -- thanks -- super read. Best/Sis

    • catgypsy profile image


      6 years ago from the South

      This is so funny because when I graduated from high school, I was told that one of the girls I knew had gone off to clown school. I kid you not!

      About ten years ago at a reunion I saw her and asked her if she went to clown school. She got kind of huffy and said, "well, it wasn't clown school, but that's just part of what you learn." Apparently she went to circus school...not sure what you call it. So yes, there is a sort of clown school!

      The other funny thing is that I have a serious clown phobia. I completely panic when one gets near me and have always had this and still do to this day!

    • Patty Kenyon profile image

      Patty Kenyon 

      6 years ago from Ledyard, Connecticut

      Funny and Interesting!!! Clowns are creepy to me, but I used to like Bozo the Clown!! This was a fun read!!! Thanks for sharing!!!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      haha, totally cool!!!


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