Written by Samantha Baines

In The News

Please honk off

Haven’t we got enough shit to be worrying about without clowns appearing? Samantha Baines thinks so.

creepy old clown statueDear Clowns,

If you are making children laugh at parties and have a flair for shaping balloons, you are welcome. If you are auditioning for a horror movie and have popped to Homebase to buy an axe to go with your latest outfit, you have a problem and no amount of squirting flowers and red noses can help you. On a side note, the flu jab is now available which might help with the red nose.
Yours, Concerned Clown Lover

As the films Saw through to Saw 27 taught us, clown faces can be scary. Seeing a human-sized clown wielding a chainsaw on your way home from work doesn’t exactly sound like good old-fashioned pre-Christmas fun, so it’s no wonder people are taking to social media to share their shock.

Clown ‘sightings’ are growing in numbers, with videos and images of creepy clowns spotted around London and beyond being shared on social media by the bottomless bucketful. Some adventurers are even organising ‘clown hunts’ to find the big-footed critters – well, we do need a replacement for Pokémon Go, although I’d much rather stumble across a Pikachu.

I just wanted to check something though: we’re not properly scared of ‘creepy clowns’, are we?

I know we thought we’d got through most of the bad this year: Brexit, Bake Off, Brangelexit and Bowie. We were on the home straight to mulled-wine fuelled Christmas cheer and January bankruptcy. The very last thing we expected was clowns.

Nevertheless, we just can’t let these fancy dress enthusiasts get us down; we need to hold them at a distance on a tightrope. There are so many things now that are scarier than lonely Londoners dressing up as circus dwellers, like Donald Trump opening his mouth again, or North Weezy’s Honey G doing a duet with Snoop Dogg on TV. Or our money, like, not being worth anything.

So creepy clowns can honk off. Sorry to the clown population but we don’t have time for you right now.

Apparently this madness all started in America, as did another super-sized nasty – Trump – so us lot can’t really take the blame. We can also use this excuse if Trump becomes President and ruins the world. “It all started in America, it has nothing to do with us,” we’ll say as he’s paraded down Oxford Street and pictured having a Sunday roast with Nigel Farage in Clapham.

Perhaps this clown infestation is all part of some more ‘locker room banter’ from Trump as he is the head clown and must be bored of grabbing pussies and ignoring assault. Perhaps he’s sent an army of horrible clowns to terrorise us in the hope we’ll forget all of the other ignorance he has uttered. Well it ain’t gonna work; we can sort of cope with snow now, so we will unicycle all over these clown sightings.

But for now, I will be avoiding Piccadilly and Oxford Circus and carrying a bucket full of glitter with me as a distraction. Clownopalypse beware!

If you want something creepy for Halloween:The Dark (Comedy) Night Rises, 8pm on 31 October at Foundation Bar, Covent Garden, London. Find tickets here.


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Written by Samantha Baines

Comedian and actor who can't tolerate dairy. Has won some things (mostly raffles) and strings words together for Time Out, The Guardian and BBC Radio London. Photo: Steve Ullathorne.