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PBS Explores the Origin of Killer Clowns

PBS has just premiered a new digital series, “Origin of Everything”, hosted by Yale Doctoral Candidate, Danielle Bainbridge. The new weekly series will be the studios’ first show launched on dual platforms, with episodes uploaded each week to YouTube and Facebook simultaneously.

This week’s episode dives into clowns, focusing on both the history of the jesters themselves and, more specifically, how they went from being ubiquitously loved pranksters to the creepy, menacing variety found in films like Stephen King’s It.

When did clown get so terrifying?!?

Well, sure the answer is partly from 1980s horror movies like IT and Killer Klowns from Outer Space, but the reality is much deeper than that. From the Middle Ages through the Renaissance to 19th Century England, clowns have always been around to bring a little chaos. And the truth is, up until the late 1800s they were NEVER for kids. So while Pennywise might be back in the terrifying new IT remake, the truth is terrifying killer clowns are nothing new. Which frankly is even scarier.



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