[ A professional clown - Kenneth Kahn, aka "Kenny the Clown" - is running for mayor of Alameda in California. The 41-year-old clown admits that even his sister won't vote for him, but he's still hopeful to win city elections in November. ]
Call me silly, but this news is no bigger surprise to me than Gary Coleman running for Miss America 2006, except that Gary Coleman is slightly more qualified. There are too many clowns in politics already, not that you didn't know that. Which makes our country a few clowns short of a circus. See, once in a while I like to tell you things you already know, just so that I sound smart. So next time you run into a politician, make sure you ask "Hey mister! Are you a clown?" Then check if all his balloon animals are ribbed and lubricated.
In this contest you are asked to photoshop politicians as clowns in any environment you choose - photos, paintings, magazine covers, etc.
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This contest is fueled by the following news: In the News:
Larry Harmon, who portrayed Bozo the clown for more than half a century died Thursday at the age of 83. It was Larry Harmon that made the character of Bozo the clown internationally famous. As popularity grew among children and adults, TV stations around the country started licensing the character and hired their own actors to be local Bozos.
In the modern value of the term the clown is the circus, a variety or theatrical actor using methods of grotesque buffoonery. Related definitions: fool, jester, buffoon etc. The word "clown" came into existence in the beginning of 16th century; originally the comic character of the English medieval theater, related to the Harlequin, the Punchinello, Ganswurst, etc. It was the rude and awkward rural guy serving by object of the sneers of city dwellers. The role of the Clown was saturated with slapstick; in its performance the improvisation moment was traditionally strong. Very soon the Clown crossed the comedy borders - for example, William Shakespeare often enters this character into his tragedies. By the 17th century the Clown has practically disappeared from dramaturgy, remaining mainly in epilogues. His name became nominal and was fixed to performers of buffoon roles in pantomimes and buffooneries. In the modern circus and variety art clowns work, as a rule, as pair or group (steady traditional clown pairs - "red" and "white" clowns).
More news: A professional clown known as Kenny the Clown is a candidate for mayor of Alameda. The clown, who is 41 years old, does admit that even his own sister has said that she will not vote for him. He admits he is running a long shot campaign. He frequently is asked whether people should really elect a clown for mayor. His own mother, Barbara, has said that her son the clown does not have a chance. His sister remarked that Kenny's candidacy makes a mockery of the political system. Kenny the Clown is said to have graduated from the University of California at Berkeley. He is running against Beverly Johnson and Doug deHaan for the mayor's office.
The first stationary circus appeared on July, 7th, 1782 in France, in Paris' suburbs - its name was "Amphitheatre Anglais". It was build by the Englishmen and its owner was Philip Astley, an Englishman. Also the name of the first comedian Billy Saunders is known, who did comic jockey numbered with the trained doggies.
In a circus art there is, perhaps, only one genre which does not have dynastic traditions - clownery. First of all, it all has to do with the true clown - the phenomenon of a unique "piece". Leaning on the traditions of predecessors, he creates his individual art world and an image which is not similar to others.
Circus clownery (English clown, from the Latin "colonus" - the crude "muzhik", the rude fellow) is a genre, which includes the performance of one or several clowns.
A unique clownish group is the laureate and the prize-winner of many international circus festivals and competitions, among which there are International contests in Monte-Carlo, Parisian "Circus of tomorrow" and the International festival of circus in Rome.
Clownery origins go back as far as hundreds of years. Once wandering actors, who were called differently in the various states, went on different cities and settlements and gave performances. In Russia there were skomorokhs (wandering minstrel-cum-clown). In France there were jugglers, in Germany - Spielmänner. In their performances the rude humor was combined with topical satire, and the distinct element of a parody exaggerated ridiculous lines of this or that character.
It is considered that the clownish job is not a childish matter and the succession in this kind of a circus art cannot be.
Gradually two clownish character-type became firmly established on the circus arena: the Auguste and the Clown.
For today clownery is the one of the most difficult, synthetic, circus genres. The clown should own acrobatics, animal acts, to be able to juggle and conjure. But to parody this or that number, pretending to be clumsy or awkward, it is necessary to own skills of a parodied circus genre professionally.
The specialization of clowns:
* Clowns-buffo. They perform colloquial or mimic sketches;
* Circus clowns. They fill a pause in a performance with comic sketches when the circus hands prepare an arena for the following number;
* The musical clowns playing various, as a rule, eccentric musical instruments and performing couplets to their own accompaniment;
However in circus practice to each clown, irrespective of its individuality, it is necessary to work in all these directions, making the repertoire from reprises of the diversified genres.
The art of creation of a comic image (masks, hyperboles, grotesque, parodies, buffoonery, and cartoons) is widely applied in the circus genre.
There are three basic clownery versions: the pantomime, colloquial and musical genres, and accordingly, there are three types of clowns: the actor of a colloquial genre, the mime and the musical clown. They can act alone, as a duet or a trio in a group. Such performances have got the name "entrées" (from the French "entrée" - entrance, clownish sketch). The content of entrées is made by "lazzi" (jokes with comedy tricks), a pantomime, couplets, "chastushka", (humorous rhyme), which contains satire in response to the latest events. Entries should be short, laconic, and metaphoric and avoid naturalism, detailed elaboration. The courageous clown conditionally demands clownish thinking and associative communications, illogical acts, paradoxes, it is accompanied by the active use of a trick requisite: colored wigs, a motley suit, grotesque make-up with an unprofitable nose, scenic effects like fountain tears, smoke puffs, blowing up subjects etc. Clowns are synthetic actors, they also have balancing skills, acrobatics, riding, animal acts etc.