Category Archives: Clown

What is an ” AUGUSTE ” clown?

In 1869 an american acrobat called Tom Belling was working in Circus Renz in Berlin. He was banned from the ring for three weeks for being incompetent through drink. He was larking about outside the ring entrance wearing a ringmaster’s costume inside out and a ginger wig back to front when he was spotted by Herr Renz who shoved him through the curtains into the ring where he landed in a heap. His look of surprise and efforts to scramble out brought hoots of laughter and shouts of “Auguste-Auguste” from the crowd, which was Berliner slang for “clumsy clot” The name stuck and ever since this term has been used to describe a clumsy clown who wears ill fitting clothes and falls about, getting into trouble.

Coco The Clown

Coco, a geat circus clown

The photo above is of Michale Polakovs whom I had the great pleasure and honour to meet whilst studying the performance art of clowning in the USA many years ago. He was typical of a wonderful “Auguste” clown.


Who is your favourite clown and why?

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Don’t see a doctor see a clown!

Why humor and laughter is good for you…

  • decreases or attenuates classical stress hormonal responses. there is a decrease in serum cortical, growth hormone, plasma epinephrine. There is no significant increase in serum prolactin, beta-endorphin, adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH), and plasma norephinephrine.
  • increases salvary immunoglobulin A (slg A ) concentrations that protect against some viruses. It increases significantly after a humor episode and those who consistently use humor have a higher initial sigA concentration.
  • increases the disease fighting  immune cells by increasing spontaneous blastogenesis ( immune cell proliferation ) and decreasing Cortisol, a hormone that suppresses immune capability.
  • has an effect similar to the effects of taking physical exercise. Muscles are activated, heart rate increases and respiration is amplified with increased oxygen exchange. Mirthful laughter is involves extensive skeletal muscle participation.
  • opposes directly those emotions ( rage and fear ) which have been specifically recorded as being associated with the precipitation of heart attack.
  • increases creativity.
  • relieves anxiety and tension by serving as an outlet for hostility and anger, providing a healthy escape from reality and lightening the heaviness related to critical illness.
  • provides emotional distance from a problem so that it can be seen from a new perspective. Humour doesn’t make any problem smaller but it makes it part of a bigger picture.
  • increase rapport with others and crates social bonds.
  • indicates a patient’s mental health. Abnormal laughter is often the first obseverable symptom of mental problems.
  • emotional tears ( from laughter or crying ) have a higher protein concentration than those caused by another source and may be an excretion of toxic substances caused by stress.

from the work of Norman Cousins, Dr Raymond Moody, Dr Lee S Berk, Dr Arletter Lefebvre, Dr William F Fry and Vera Robinson, R.N. Ed.D

Now you have read the evidence call a clown immediately, it may not cure you but at least you’ll feel better.

Share a funny experience and make someone laugh!

What’s the funniest thing that ever happened to you?

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A tribute to Michael Polakovs “Coco” a brilliant clown

I was lucky enough to meet Michael Polokovs whilst on a clown course in the USA in 1999. I remember sitting on the porch of his log cabin, in the sunshine chatting to him about his career. He talked about his family, his memories of England where he lived and worked for most of his life. He reminisced about Blackpool, fish and chips, the circus and places he’d visited. I think he considered England his home even though he had eventually retired to America. He was a very warm and friendly person and most generous in giving advice to new clowns. His wife was lovely too.
I saw Coco perform a couple of times and he was totally relaxed and in control whilst in character. He use to have a string running down his back which when he pulled it made the hair of his wig lift up on either side. Very funny! He also impressed me with his look. His costume was perfect. Coco was too me very easy on the eye.
My experience of meeting Michael Polakovs has certainly influenced me and I hope made me a better clown. This You Tube video is a fitting tribute to Michael, a real gentleman and a great clown.


Have you ever met someone who has left a lasting impression on you?

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What can politicians learn from the clowns?

Look back in history and many of the great kings and rulers had a jester or fool at their side. The court jester was in a very privileged position. He could say anything he liked without fear of persecution. Some of these so called fools became very influential.  Richard Tarlton, clown and jester, was said to be one of the few people who could ” undumpish ” Queen Elizabeth 1st. Archy Armstrong was jester to King James 1st. William Sommers ( known as the poor man’s friend ) was jester to Henry V111th and was said the have the ear of the king. Clowns have always had freedom of speech. In todays modern society people have to be very careful about what they say for fear of offending someone. Clowns speak without prejudice or mallice and can sometimes say what everyone else is thinking and get away with it.

What can politicians learn from the clowns?

Here are thoughts of a clown about life, truth and failure:

The Importance of the Truth

clowns they say the truth.

For us to be a clown , we need to overcome the fear of saying the truth.

The clowns do truthful things when they reveal and expose their vulnerability, their  ridiculous side or the ridiculous side of the situation and especially when they fail.

We’ve been educated to be clever and to succeed.

In our lives we listen to things like : ” we need to win ”

“you have to be the best”

“life is a competition”

“don’t be stupid”

We become very neurotic and tense about it, forgetting the pleasure that there is in living.

To fail is part of life.

As the clown exposes his / her failure, he/she is representing us, all our failures, representing our fragility, our lost naivety, our hopes of being a free soul.

I am a gullible person.

I just can’t help myself to believe and trust in what people tell me.

Of course I pay the price and of course I get hurt with disappointments in being let down in my trust.

But that is part of the game.

To be a clown really transformed my life and it all becomes  mission.

I stopped fighting against it. I just accept how I am.

I forgive and love myself and try my best to use this gift of clowning to represent other people who are like me.

So have a look inside yourself for a moment and appreciate everything you are.

The good things and the bad things, without judgement.

Open your eyes and look around.

Be truthful.

You are going to see that you are not alone, that there are many people like you with all your difficulties and with the same kind of feelings.

Society needs stong leaders. We expect our leaders to act with honesty, openness and integrity. Sometimes politicians forget who they are and who put them in power. Perhaps our elected leaders should have a court jester or clown to keep them in touch with reality.

What do you think?

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