The end of Bozo: Clowns are on the decline

By Joy Perrone,

According to clown experts, the age of the clown may soon be coming to a close.

Clown phobics across the world can breathe a sigh of relief. The New York Daily News reports that clown organizations such as Clowns of America are showing steep declines in membership.

The clown is literally a dying breed, explains Clowns of America International President Glen Kohlberger. “What’s happening is attrition. The older clowns are passing away," he said.

Getting new clowns from the younger generations is incredibly difficult, largely due to the heavy push for teens to go into college or trade schools.

Kohlberger admits that "clowning just isn't cool anymore" and youngsters with clowning hobbies will "put it the back burner until their late 40s and early 50s” in favor of going to a less stigmatized career.

The World Clown Association has noticed a similar drop in numbers as membership rates fall from 3,500 to 2,500 since 2004. Cyrus Zavieh, the president of New York Clown Alley, told the Daily News that clowning is a potentially lucrative profession, with many clowns in his agency charging $300 for birthday parties or other engagements, but admits that American teens are “thinking about everything other than clowning” when it comes to a career.

CBS News reported a far different financial outlook for the clown, claiming that most clowns only make $15 an hour at parties.

Interestingly enough, circuses have raised the bar when it comes to clowning, and now expect much more from their performers. Ringling Bros. keep just 26 clowns on their roster, making it a harder profession for hopefuls to break into.

Are you sad to see the clown die out?

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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