The first week of August marks International Clown Week! But, do you know where the idea for the clown car came from? Do you know what the world record is for the number of clowns in one car? Here is everything you need to know about the infamous clown car!
Where did the clown car originate?
The clown car was first introduced in the 1950s by Lou Jacob of the Ringling Bros Circus. Lou Jacob is known for many things in the clown world, like popularizing the red rubber ball nose many clowns use today, but most famously, he is known as the creator of the clown car. After four years of prototypes and various accidents, Lou perfected the vehicle. During his solo performances, he would fit his 6-foot body into a custom 23-inch-tall frame. This act served him for over 40 years in his career, and Cecil B. DeMille memorialized it in his 1952 movie, The Greatest Show on Earth. His original car, explicitly fitted for Jacobs and run with a washing machine motor, currently stands at the Ringling Brothers Circus Museum in Sarasota, Florida.
How do they manage to fit so many clowns in one vehicle?
The answer is simple! They take out everything inside the car. They removed the seats, consoles, door panels, and anything else that takes up valuable interior space. The driver sits on a milk crate while other clowns will contort themselves and their props to accommodate a large number. They tint the windows, so the audience never knows what will come out next, and the number of clowns in the car is seemingly endless.
How many clowns can fit in a vehicle?
You need to do some math to get a rough idea of how many clowns can fit in a car. Take the height and weight of the ASC (American Standard Clown), which is 5 foot 8 inches and 158 pounds. On average, each clown approximately takes up three cubic feet. With these measurements, mathematically speaking, about 40 clowns would be able to fit inside a car with 120 cubic feet inside. However, during a show, only about 14 to 21 clowns would typically fit into the car. The number is less because they would need some breathing room, space for their props, and the ability to exit the vehicle quickly. The current record was made in 2013 when 31 clowns in a small French town fit into one Citreon2CV.
Check out http://internationalclownweek.org/ for more clown facts!
Picture Credit: Lou Jacobs King of Clowns Facebook Page