For people who are creeped out by clowns (I’m not one of them), this may come as welcome news. For circuses and carnivals and the like, not so much. Side note: I was not aware there was a “World Clown Association” – I think we’ve got some politicians that should be members.
Send in the clowns — please!
As the “Greatest Show on Earth” returns to Brooklyn Thursday, circus folk fear a national clown shortage is on the horizon.
Membership at the country’s largest trade organizations for the jokesters has plunged over the past decade as declining interest, old age and higher standards among employers align against Krusty, Bozo and their crimson-nosed colleagues.
“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.”
The sassy Scarlett Sullivan of New Jersey is featured in the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus’ all-new performance called ‘Legends.’
He said he wouldn’t release specific numbers, citing the privacy of the members.
Membership at the World Clown Association, the country’s largest trade group for clowns, has dropped from about 3,500 to 2,500 since 2004.
“The challenge is getting younger people involved in clowning,” said Association President Deanna (Dee Dee) Hartmier, who said most of her members are over 40.
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.