- Alphabetized by author or source
- People hunger for love, and clowning is a trick to get love close. As a clown I can do things that people are too frightened of Love to allow you to do.
- Patch Adams, in "Patch Adams and clowns spreading laughter at hospital" at Humankind (2 March 2016)
- With both lined up four abreast, she read me the cards. Poor drunkard of the tale. Two fortune-tellers dead. And a room full of bottles. The clown is drunk. And the cards of death wait on him. His snout is blue, and he looks like a bear. And the rag doll of death, with the clown flinging him by the arm, can't be loved by you, madness. Because he is drunk and has no river, or breakdown. Because they cork him in, unable to love him. Because stars no longer love him.
- Giannina Braschi in "Book of Clowns and Buffoons" in Empire of Dreams (1994), p. 48
Take a look at those clowns
And the tricks that they play
In the circus of life
Life is bitter and gay
There are clowns in the night
See how they run
Run from despair …
- There was Mark, whom I frightened into disguising himself in a clown's suit, so that nobody might suspect him to be a maker of literature: indeed, I frightened him so that he hid away the greater part of what he had made until after he was dead, and I could not get at him. That was a disgusting trick to play on me, I consider.
- I remain just one thing, and one thing only — and that is a clown. It places me on a far higher plane than any politician.
- Charlie Chaplin, as quoted in The Observer (17 June 1960)
- The Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army is looking for fools and rebels, radicals and rascals, tricksters and traitors, mutineers and malcontents to join its ranks.
You could be part of a fighting force armed with ruthless love and fully trained in the ancient art of clowning and non-violent direct action. You could learn ingeniously stupid tactics that baffle the powerful. You could uncover your inner clown and discover the subversive freedom of fooling.
You don't need to like clowns or soldiers, you just need to love life and laughter as much as rebellion.
- CIRCA aims to make clowning dangerous again, to bring it back to the street, restore its disobedience and give it back the social function it once had: its ability to disrupt, critique and heal society. Since the beginning of time tricksters (the mythological origin or all clowns) have embraced life's paradoxes, creating coherence through confusion — adding disorder to the world in order to expose its lies and speak the truth.
- CIRCA official site : Rebel Clowning : What is it?
- Though the clown is often deadpan, he is a connoisseur of laughter.
- Mel Gussow, about Avner Eisenberg in his broadway show Avner the Eccentric in The New York Times (21 September 1984)
- You know lots of criticism is written by characters who are very academic and think it is a sign you are worthless if you make jokes or kid or even clown. I wouldn't kid Our Lord if he was on the cross. But I would attempt a joke with him if I ran into him chasing the money changers out of the temple.
- Ernest Hemingway, in a letter (21 June 1952); published in Ernest Hemingway : Selected Letters 1917-1961 (1981) edited by Carlos Baker
- I'm a big goofball. In Australia we call it a dag. … It's quite an affectionate term, but it means your basically a big goofball. I just love making a fool out of myself. I made my living as a clown at kids' parties for about three years.
- Hugh Jackman, as quoted in The Advocate No. 898 (16 September 2003), p. 46
- A clown's makeup and character, that's all he has to sell. He loves and believes in that character.
- Emmett Kelly, quoted in The Greeley Daily Tribune (21 June 1975)
- Be a clown, be a clown,
All the world loves a clown.
Act the fool, play the calf,
And you'll always have the last laugh.
- I don't want to be called "the greatest" or "one of the greatest". Let other guys claim to be the best. I just want to be known as a clown because to me, that's the height of my profession. It means you can do everything — sing, dance and, above all, make people laugh.
- Isn't it rich?
Are we a pair?
Me here at last on the ground,
You in mid-air.
Send in the clowns.