Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Clowns in Pop Culture 9-30-09

Clowns have always been staple of popular culture, especially on visual culture, such as comics, tv, and movies.

Clowns can sometimes make us laugh and fill us with joy.

Ronald McDonald

This clown has been the mascot for the fast food franchise, McDonald's. Most children and families around the world know his name and recognize his face and attire. He's innocent and playful, making him a great childhood icon for years to come. His red and yellow attire symbolizes not only the McDonalds logo, but a warm color scheme indicating energy and happiness.

Bozo the Clown

Though less popular than Ronald McDonald, Bozo the Clown is still an old American childhood favorite. The character has appeared on TV since the 1950s. His red, white, and blue color scheme, though not intentional, actually indicates that this clown is of American origin, since those three colors also are from the U.S. flag.

While those two clowns have made people happy, there is another side to this coin...clowns who make people absolutely miserable.

Pennywise the Clown(It)

This is Pennywise the Clown from Stephen King's It. He may have the red hair, white face, and red nose similar to Ronald McDonald and Bozo, but the fangs he bares in this screenshot make him look threatening and scary. In the movie/novel, Pennywise actually has killed some kids in the past. This may stem from some people's fear of clowns. This book/movie may further cement those fears.

The Joker(Batman)

This may be a bit cheating, but I do kinda consider the Joker a clown, since Jokers on playing cards were meant to symbolize royal jesters, who are considered clowns as well. Anyway, this is the Joker from the Dark Knight movie. He is Batman's arch-nemesis and an agent of anarchy and chaos. He tends to be violent, brilliant, and darkly humorous at times. His face is meant to resemble a clown's face, make-up and all, and he has a colorful outfit composed mainly of Purple and Green.

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