The Eight Clown Commandments

1. I will keep my acts, performance and behavior in good taste while I am in costume and makeup. I will remember at all times that I have been accepted as a member of the clown club only to provide others, principally children, with clean clown comedy entertainment. I will remember that a good clown entertains others by making fun of himself or herself and not at the expense or embarrassment of others.

This seems like several commandments rolled into one, doesn’t it? I think perhaps the clowns had to pare down their number of commandments so that they didn’t have ten or more. If God can keep the rules down to ten, summed up so nicely, it would seem a bit presumptuous to have ten or more commandments just for clowns.

So I’ll break it down. Commandment 1: Don’t be a clown pervert.

2. I will learn to apply my makeup in a professional manner. I will provide my own costume. I will carry out my appearance and assignment for the entertainment of others and not for personal gain or personal publicity when performing for either the International club or alley events. I will always try to remain anonymous while in makeup and costume as a clown, though there may be circumstances when it is not reasonably possible to do so.

Yeah, like when they’re looking for the new face of McDonald’s and I get the job, suckas!

What is this International club? Do they mean, “When performing for the jet set?” vs. “when performing for poor people?”

Commandment 2: Don’t be an uppity clown who thinks he/she is worth a shit.

3. I will neither drink alcoholic beverages nor smoke while in makeup or clown costume. Also, I will not drink alcoholic beverages prior to any clown appearances. I will conduct myself as a gentleman/lady, never interfering with other acts, events, spectators, or individuals. I will not become involved in or tolerate sexual harassment or discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or any protected status.

Commandment 3: Stop the drugging and drinking. Which may be hard for you given that you are a fucking clown and probably want to escape reality. There is something pleasing and dark about a clown smoking a cigarette in back of a garage at a kid’s party. I mean, come on, let us know that you’re human, not some monster/freak.

And, like a bill before Congress, the clowns snuck in this little line item that commands them not to be racist or sexist either. So, no escapism from your plight and don’t be discriminatory, especially of anyone or anything who has protected status, like wolves and blue whales.

4. I will remove my makeup and change into my street clothes as soon as possible following my appearance, so that I cannot be associated with any incident that may be detrimental to the good name of clowning. I will conduct myself as a gentleman/lady at all times.

They are really harping on this. This seems to indicate that gentlemanly and lady-like behavior has been a real challenge for clowns. All these rules!

Also, this is an out for Commandment 3: you can get out of make-up and clown clothes and light up and have a drink! The third commandment only covers pre-show behavior!

Commandment 4 is really: If you must be a pig or a drunk, do it on your own time and not on clowning time.

5. While on appearance in makeup and costume, I will carry out the directives of the producer or his designated deputies. I will abide by all performance rules without complaint in public.

Commandment 5: Must we repeat? Don’t be an egocentric prick! You’re a clown, the lowliest of all performers save the mimes.

6. I will do my very best to maintain the best clown standards of makeup, costuming, properties, and comedy.

Now this is getting tedious. Commandment 6: Don’t be a slob.

7. I will appear in as many clown shows as I possibly can.

This seems a bit intrusive on your personal life. I mean, clown money don’t pay the rent. Clown’s gotta work a day job. I don’t really see how this is anyone’s business but the individual clown’s. But, you know, misery loves company and if you’re only clowning at the fun events: a birthday party here, carnival there, you’re not doing the down and dirty work of hospitals and nursing homes.

Commandment 7: Committ to Da Clown Life with everything you’ve got.

8. I will be committed to providing an atmosphere free of discrimination and harassment for clowns of all ages to share ideas and learn about the art of clowning.

Commandment 8: Don’t be an elitist. Anyone can learn the seltzer bottle trick or take part in getting out of the clown car or walking like a duck. You aren’t the first clown and you’re certainly not going to be the last.