Bozo the Clown's Larry Harmon Dead and Why Some Fear Clowns

Bozo the Clown

i find their bright colors and goofy over the top attitudes intimidating. specifically, as a child at my younger cousin's birhtday party, a clown chose to dress me up and put grease paint on my face. they made me into a frowny hobo clown, the kind with the 5 o'clock shadow. immediately after the party my mom took me to a large grocery store with her and i had to walk around while people pointed and laughed at me. quite traumatic. Source - I Hate Clowns

Bozo the Clown's alter ego is dead. The man behind the red nosed, orange haired, big foot fellow that entertained adults and kids and scared the bejesus out of countless others, died at age 83 of congestive heart failure.

Larry Harmon purchased the copyright and trademark for Bozo back in the 1950's. He was instrumental in bringing Bozo to literally millions of kids via the Bozo Show, plus 156 Bozo cartoons. Harmon also trained 200 "Bozos" for local tv stations. Was Harmon also instrumental in perpetuating the phobia known as coulrophobia, or clown fear?

According to, coulrophobia is relatively common even though there has been very little scientific research. About cites an article written by the BBC where a University of Sheffield study of 250 children found clown motifs, "frightening and unknowable".

Clowns just have an inherent evilness. I went to the circus last year, just to test my fear and see if I was ok with them... let me tell you, once one got about 2 rows away from me I almost pissed myself, so NOPE, at 27 I was still scared of those evil bastards. They are like dogs in the way that once they smell the fear they come after you. Source - I hate clowns

Joseph Durwin, writing a review article for Trinity University cites two accepted theories as to why our society is "collectively afraid of clowns". The first has to do with a child's "negative" experience with a clown, the second, Durwin states, are the evil clowns of mass media. While Bozo wasn't one of his evil clown counterparts, he was a product of mass media whose show was beamed into countless kids homes in the 50's and 60's.

Ronald McDonald

While Bozo was famous back in the 50's and 60's, it was another clown, Ronald McDonald, who has become an international icon as the mascot of the fast food hamburger chain, McDonalds. Every time a kid enters a McDonald's restaurant he's bombarded by Ronald statutes, pictures, cheap plastic toys, and videos.

And then there are the so-called "evil" clowns of mass media. Their numbers far outweigh the kinder, gentler Bozo or Ronald.

The list of mass media "evil" clowns include Pennywise, the clown from Stephen King's novel and miniseries, It, the movie, Killer Klowns From Outer Space, the clown doll in the movie Poltergeist, and the movie Clownhouse.

While these movie clowns perpetuate the myth of the so-called evil clown people who suffer from coulrophobia or fear of clowns often report that it was a personal encounter with a clown when they were a child. The website, I Hate Clowns, an anti-clown community, lets people post their own personal experiences that led them to come to the conclusion that they hate clowns.

It's not normal for someone to smile all of the time. You just know that beneath the adipose greasepaint and the multi-hued ribbons, a bitter man is waiting for his cigarette break. But he's waiting with a smile on his face. It's the kind of smile that deceives children and deflates balloon animals. Source - Why Shouldn't People Be Afraid of Clowns?

Someone from the forum, I Hate Clowns, wrote a list of reasons as to why they hated clowns:

Personally (and thank you Eris for telling me about this tribe) there are a lot of reasons I hate clowns, but none because of something tramatic happening to me. Lets see...let me list the reasons why I hate clowns...

1) The are suppose to believe that this is a happy person, with a grin always planted upon their face...but beneath the makeup could be the world's most evil man/woman you will ever know. They are hiding...and it is frightening to know that they aren't what they are trying to put forth. Well at least to think that.

Read more of Bozo: Our Love/Hate Relationship with Clowns at


Source - Phobia Secrets Revealed
Source - Bozo the Clown's Larry Harmon dead at 83
Source - Wikipedia
Source - monstropedia
Image - Clown 1
Image - Bozo
Image - Ronald McDonald
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