(Photo: Melissa Wiese)
I do not wish to unduly alarm you, dear readers. But nor do I want for our attention to deviate from an emerging crisis: America is running out of clowns.
The largest clown professional organizations report rapidly shrinking numbers of members. For example, the World Clown Association has dropped from 3,500 to 2,500 members over the past decade. The problem, it and other clowning organizations claim, is that older clowns are dying off and younger people are not taking up the rubber nose of honor:
“American kids these days are thinking about different careers altogether,” said Zavieh, 44, who has worked under the moniker Cido for nearly two decades.
“They’re thinking about everything other than clowning.”
At the same time, professional standards for clowns have become more stringent:
The 95-year-old Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus has even implemented a more rigorous hiring process to find just the right jester.
As a result of the more challenging tryouts, just 11 clowns out of 14 who were selected from 531 applicants to attend a rigorous 14-day boot camp at the Ringling Bros. Clown College last year were offered jobs with the world-famous circus.
How can America avert a critical clowning shortage?
-via American Digest