Pop Rocks: My Five Favorite TV/Movie Clowns

Was Bozo creepy? Damn right he was. But he was wholesome.
Was Bozo creepy? Damn right he was. But he was wholesome.

I think we all know that clowns are creepy. Even when they weren't supposed to be, in the days where they had their own TV shows and piled out of tiny cars at the circus, we all knew the truth. It took only a few decades of exposure to clowns in film and television for someone to turn them into the manifestation of all things evil. Now, we have clowns randomly wandering around small towns from England to California looking menacing and hanging out on the streets at night. My friend, who is deathly afraid of the foam-nose wearing devils, once saw someone in a clown mask in the drive through at Shipley's late one night, no doubt buying coffee so he could stay awake and scare the crap out of people.

I, for one, prefer the clowns as, you know, clowns, pranksters and goofballs who make us laugh because they are silly, not terrifying. At the very least, let's make them intelligent and not mime-like, with their silent stares and desire to spill blood. Here are five of my favorites that fit the bill.

Pop Rocks: My Five Favorite TV/Movie Clowns

5. Fizbo

When Cam on Modern Family first emerged in full regalia as "Fizbo," I was hooked. Cam's irrepressibly lovable tramp is a mere extension of Cam himself, but it makes for some wonderfully hilarious moments on an already hysterical sitcom.

Pop Rocks: My Five Favorite TV/Movie Clowns

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4. Jack

Next to the ESPN Sportscenter ads, this may be the most clever long-running television ad campaign in history. Whoever thought it would be a good idea to bring to life the giant clown head that adorned drive through menus at Jack in the Box was running on Don Draper level that day.

Pop Rocks: My Five Favorite TV/Movie Clowns

3. The Joker (Jack Nicholson)

With all due respect to the greatest Batman nemesis of all time, Heath Ledger, no Joker in the history of the the Dark Knight series was as entertaining as Nicholson. Like so many roles, Nicholson's brilliance was in the fact that his character didn't appear to be dramatically different from his public persona, I'm assuming minus the serial killer tendencies.

Pop Rocks: My Five Favorite TV/Movie Clowns

2. Eric the Clown

There were two clowns that prominently appeared in Seinfeld, Crazy Joe Davola as a mentally unstable Pagliacci, and Jon Favreau playing Eric the Clown. George is beside himself over the fact that Favreau's character doesn't have a clever name or know who Bozo was. To quote Eric, "You're hung up on some clown from the '60s, man!"

Pop Rocks: My Five Favorite TV/Movie Clowns

1. Krusty

No clown has ever been as funny as Herschel Shmoikel Pinchas Yerucham Krustofski (a.k.a. Krusty the Clown) on The Simpsons. The burned out, children's clown and corporate shill has given fans of the long-running cartoon sitcom some of the best moments of the series.


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