Episode 32: A History of Creepy Clowns


We've all been talking about IT and our traumatizing childhood experiences with clowns, right? Do you remember our friend June Gregory who taught us about the history of horror tropes? Well, we're combining these things together and bringing back June, this time with a lesson on the history of creepy clowns!  And of course we've also got a bundle of new recommendations for you, plus some extra links if you'd like to read more after the show about clowns. 

P.S. Happy fall!! 


IT (2017) - movie

Insexts - comic series

Dear David - Twitter story 

Belle Dee - Artist

Dreamcatcher - Novel

Sirens of Scream are:

Melissa Megan- @Lissapunch

Jackie DeVore- @Jackietherobot

Sierra Houk- @sierrahouk

Guest: June Gregory

Sirens on Twitter- @sirensofscream

Tumblr- Sirens of Scream

Email - SoS@meganerdmedia.com

Banner art by Menton3

Editing by Drew Devore 

Break Music- Richard Bellis - Source of the Clown

End Music- Bobby Goldsboro - See the Funny Little Clown


Further Reading

Beard, Mary. Laughter in Ancient Rome: On Joking, Tickling and Cracking Up. University of California Press, 2015.

Hugill, Beryl. Bring on the Clowns, Chartwell Books Inc, 1980.

Leach, Robert. “Punch and Judy and Oral Tradition”. Folklore, Vol. 94, No. 1 (1983), 75-85.         http://www.jstor.org/stable/1260170

Otto, Beatrice K. Fools are Everywhere: The Court Jester Around the World. University of Chicago Press, 2007.

Radford, Benjamin. Bad Clowns, University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque.

Stott, Andrew McConnell. The Pantomime Life of Joseph Grimaldi: Laughter, Madness, and the story of Britain’s Greatest Comedian.

Sumi, Geoffrey S. “Impersonating the Dead: Mimes at Roman Funerals”, The American Journal of Philology, Vol. 123, No. 4( Winter, 20002) 559-585, http://www.jstor.org/stable/1561967

Welsford, Enid. The Fool: His Social and Literary History.

Rotella, Carlo Rotella Un Clown Biologique, American Scholar, Vo.74, No.4, 50-56,    http://www.jstor.org.proxy177.nclive.org/stable/41221325  

Mathur, Maya, “An Attack of the Clowns: Comedy, Vagrancy, and the Elizabethan History Play”, Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies, Vo. 7, No. 1(Spring-Summer, 2007)33-54,http://www.jstor.org.proxy177.nclive.org/stable/40314233 

*****Joseph Grimaldi’s autobiography is available for free download on several sites and in several formats


Clown Films: He Who Gets Slapped, Carnival of Souls, Stitches, The Last Circus, Clown, Scary or Die (The segment Clowned), Killer Klowns From Outer Space, Children of Paradise, 100 Tears, Clowntergeist, All Hallow’s Eve (2013), Shakes the Clown, 31, Vulgar, House of 1000 Corpses, The Devil’s Rejects, Mockingbird, Clownhouse, Fear of Clowns, Fear of Clowns 2, Gacy, Killjoy series