Who is This Clown?

August 19, 2023
David Sunnyside

Whether they're hucksters with funny hats or scary killers in disguise, clowns have long been the object of fear and fascination. The polarizing characters have even inspired mass hysteria, like the 2016 rash of creepy clown sightings.

But while some people have a healthy fear of clowns, others are terrified of them, a condition known as coulrophobia. Some people are so scared of clowns that they're afraid to even watch movies or TV shows with them in them. Others avoid them altogether, relying on safe spaces, like their homes and school cafeterias, to stay away from the uninvited guests.

A jolly comedian who entertains an audience by wearing outlandish makeup, costume, and/or juggling or tumbling; a jester. A clown may also act as a social critic or play pranks on others. The term is probably derived from the name of Joseph Grimaldi, an English performer who was active in the early 1800s.

The main antagonist in Stephen King's 1986 horror novel It, Pennywise is an ancient, trans-dimensional evil entity that preys on children (and occasionally adults) in Derry, Maine, every 27 years. The shapeshifting entity takes the form of Pennywise, a troll-like clown who wears red and black face paint and clothing. It also assumes the forms of its victims' fears in order to attack them. In the 2017 film adaptation, Pennywise is portrayed by actor Bill Skarsgard. The role had previously been played in a 1990 miniseries by English actor Tim Curry.

David Sunnyside
Co-founder of Urban Splatter • Digital Marketer • Engineer • Meditator
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