Clowns were America's first stand-up comedians in the days of one-ring circuses. When the tents were expanded to three or more rings, clowns became speechless characters with exaggerated makeup and gags.
Each and every clown is unique in both makeup and costume, because clowns consider their performing characters to be extensions of their personalities, a window to their soul. They fall into one of the following clown categories:
Harlequin: Ever a thief, ever in love, ever in trouble, ever slipping out of trouble! The shrewd harlequin wore a tight-legged, full-sleeved, diamond-patterned costume with a black mask and white ruffled shirt.
White-faced Clown: Descended from early Greek theaters, this classic clown performed with a white-painted face to be better seen in dim light. Today's white-faced clowns sport pompons, great baggy trousers and pointed hats.
Auguste: The German term for "fool," this clown type is the least intelligent but possible the most beloved! Using a flesh tone base with highly exaggerated facial features, the August is the most zany and flamboyant.
Character or Sad Tramp/Happy Hobo: Assuming false airs, this clown soon loses his dignity. Scruffy and red-nosed from whiskey, he clumsily tries to help himself but inevitably gets into more and more trouble!