Bad news if you run a circus, great news if you are knee-quakingly terrified of clowns: The clown industry's talent pipeline is perilously close to running dry. Go and hug your children/pets, because the days of pants-shitting clown nightmares are almost over.
The New York Daily News has the EXCLUSIVE REPORT. See, membership at the biggest trade organizations for clowns has dropped precipitously in the last 10 years, thanks to disinterest, "higher standards among employers" and plain and simple old age:
"What's happening is attrition," said Clowns of America International President Glen Kohlberger, who added that membership at the Florida-based organization has plummeted since 2006. "The older clowns are passing away."
They just don't make 'em like they used to. You'd think there'd be a warehouse somewhere in Brooklyn, full of baristas training as ye olde timey French clowns, but according to the president of the World Clown Association, it's damn near impossible to keep young people interested. Maybe because they get sick of receiving "can't sleep, the clowns will eat me" bumper stickers at every birthday?
Kohlberger said that it's difficult getting younger people who develop an early interest in the many facets of clowning to stick with it on the professional level.
"What happens is they go on to high school and college and clowning isn't cool anymore," he said. "Clowning is then put on the back burner until their late 40s and early 50s."
"American kids these days are thinking about different careers altogether," according to the president of New York Clown Alley. "They're thinking about everything other than clowning."
And so the art of clowning rides its sad, wobbly novelty jalopy into the sunset, sad honking growing gradually fainter as it recedes in the distance.
Photo via Getty.