Here’s a great idea: Hire a clown to terrorize your child.
Dominic DeVille came up with the plan. The Swiss actor runs “Evil Clown,” a business in Switzerland that allows him to dress as a lunatic and scare clients for a week. Creepy messages, prank calls and a promise to attack — a promise to attack! — are all part of the package.
The grand finale gives the birthday lad or lass a face full of birthday cake.
DeVille’s schtick represents the dark side of clowning. And takes a cue from clowns who have gone bad in pop culture.
Rudy Nydegger, professor of management and psychology at Union College, knows why children may fear clowns.
“All of their colors are exaggerated so they don’t look normal in any way,” Nydegger said. “Their colors are bright and gaudy and are rarely colors from nature. But although kids like bright colors, they don’t associate them with adult faces. Remember, clowns are almost always adults who look very alien and dramatically different.”
Nydegger said clowns are often loud and do violent things. Here are some examples of loud, violent, evil, loser clowns.
Cick here for a related story about clowns that are make merry, not mayhem.
• The Joker: The chief nemesis of comic book hero Batman, the green-haired, white-faced Joker has been played by three actors on television and in the movies. Heath Ledger’s Oscar-winning take on the character was major-league psychotic in the 2008 film “The Dark Knight.” Jack Nicholson played the “clown prince of crime” as more of a nutty, murderous gangster in Tim Burton’s 1989 “Batman.” Cesar Romero’s campy, funny turn in the 1960s “Batman” television series was more wayward clown than master criminal.
• Pennywise The Dancing Clown: The sadistic, red-haired creep with the bulbous nose and high forehead scared people who watched the 1990 television adaptation of Stephen King’s “It.” Tim Curry’s versatile laugh king even knew how to turn into a giant spider.
• Doink the clown: In the surreal world of World Wrestling Entertainment, there has been a malevolent undertaker, millionaire, prison guard and tax accountant. Doink was the villainous clown wrestler in white face.
• Shaggy 2 Dope and Violent J: The rude, rhyming clowns of the hip hop act Insane Clown Posse are still on stage, someplace.
• Krusty: Bart Simpson’s favorite entertainer, the miserable, cigarette-loving Krusty is often unfunny and generally down on his luck on the long-running Fox animated series “The Simpsons.”