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Professional Clowns Are Concerned About How the ‘It’ Movie Will Affect Their Careers

Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.

There are two groups who are going to feel personally victimized about the new It movie: young children, because Pennywise eats them, and real-life professional clowns. It’s no secret that most people are afraid of clowns — that’s the whole reason Pennywise appears as a clown in Stephen King’s novel in the first place. But folks who make their living as clowns are afraid the new movie will only exacerbate those fears and make it much more difficult to land grade school birthday party gigs.

Mel Magazine interviewed a few professional clowns about the movie and their responses were much the same: nobody on their end is laughing about It. “It’s gonna be bad for clowns,” said Guilford Adams, or “Gilly,” as he’s called in clown form. Nick Kane (Mr. Nick), told the site that, “It’s ruining our business.”

It’s been tough for clowns ever since the ’70s when it was revealed that the serial killer John Wayne Gacy, who preyed on men and small boys in Chicago, spent his off hours as Pogo the clown. Since then, plenty of media has sprung up featuring killer clowns, not the least of which is Stephen King’s It. Last year there appeared to be an outbreak of scary clowns, as people donned face paint and costumes and stood creepily in the woods or on street corners. Kane mentioned the clown meme, and how the It trailer was like that all over again.

We just experienced a nice break from the scary clown meme from last October. And just when things are starting to normalize, the IT trailer comes and it’s like, ‘Here we go again.’

Honestly, clowns have always been scary. It’s that uncanny valley thing. But you can’t deny the impact that the influence of something like It has on our culture. Whenever anyone thinks scary clown, they think Pennywise.

It creeps out of the sewer and into the theater September 8.

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