Friday, April 8, 2011

Remembering the Class Clowns

Remembering the Class Clowns

You remember him or her - usually a him, because most class clowns are boys. To him, the classroom was a stage, and he was the main attraction. He was the kid in class who was an up-and-coming Jay Leno. Always able to turn any situation into a joke, he was very popular with his peers. He was so revered for his sense of humor and his quick wit that even some of his teachers often appreciated the levity that he could bring to a dull and boring subject. But then, there was the class clown who was not funny, who was disruptive to the class and teacher, and who was not liked or respected by his classmates.

Some teachers would try to steer the talents of the class clown into constructive activities within the classroom by giving him a starring role in classroom skits and simulations. When he injected some humor into classroom discussions without being too disruptive, these teachers laughed at his humor along with the other students. They let him know that they recognized his special talent and honored it as being a vital part of that delicately balanced ecosystem that is the school classroom.

Now, for the class clown who was a disruptive influence in the classroom - you know, the one who made fart noises in the back of the classroom while the teacher was attempting to engage the class is the discussion of a serious topic; the one who whispered a one-liner that cracked up the back row; the one who bounced a wad of paper off the back of the head of another student; the one who answered a teacher’s question in a falsetto voice that elicited giggles from the other students. Whatever it was, it' was inappropriate, disruptive, and infuriating. And sometimes, it was probably funny as hell. His jokes and stunts had nothing to do with the subject matter in the classroom. This child was seriously in need of professional help. According to child psychologists, this kid, who suffered from low self-esteem, was trying to win the positive feedback of his peers with his antics; and when he didn’t get it, he overcompensated by becoming the class clown.

Class clowns often show great leadership qualities. The story is told of a class clown who, when the teacher left the classroom for just a moment, organized all the students to stand up at their desks when she returned. When the teacher entered the classroom, she saw all the students standing at their desks and asked them to sit down. They remained standing. The teacher said, “Alright, if you want to play that game, you can stand there in silence for the rest of the period." Suddenly, upon cue, all of the boys began heavy breathing and continued it until the teacher went absolutely bonkers.

The antics of some class clowns border more on mischief. One time, a kid took a photo with his camera phone of a teacher who had dozed off in class while the students were meant to be doing an assignment. He later posted the picture on the web. Another student put Super Glue on the blackboard duster so that it became all but welded to the teacher's palm. Then there was the kid noted for his "machine-gun spit.” Those students who witnessed it said it was quite impressive. This kid could deliver 30 globules of spit in 15 seconds. Students knew better than to get him angry with them, because they knew he would give them the famous “machine-gun spit.”

Some famous comedians who were once class clowns include Jim Carrey, Janeane Garofalo, Henry “the Fonz” Winkler, and George Carlin. In fact, George Carlin even recorded an album called “Class Clown.”

If Socrates were alive today and teaching in some of our schools with these class clowns, he would gladly drink the hemlock.

Video. George Carlin - Class Clown (1972)

QUESTION OF THE DAY: If you or any of your classmates were class clowns, what were some of the things you did to drive your teachers to want to retire early?


  1. Whit, as you may well imagine, I was much to sophisticated, shy, reserved and well mannered to be a class clown.....(stop laughing it's rude).....but I sure enjoyed hanging with the clowns..the good and the bad and the ugly....But I do think you are right in your assessment of the clowns..I think Carlin's mind was brilliant. Same goes for a few others...Pryor, Bill Black, and Robin Williams...

  2. TAB:

    In the pantheon of comedians, I would rank George Carlin in first place, Robin Williams in second place, and Richard Pryor in third place.

    George Carlin was not just a comedian; he was also a modern philosopher.

  3. A friend of mine used to see how small a piece of paper he could use on which to turn in his algebra homework. Got it down to a piece not much smaller than a matchbook cover. Used to drive the teacher nuts. I waited until college to work on my "clownness" I would make paper airplanes and sail them to the front when the prof had his back to the class. He always seemed to know it was me, though. Don't know why, although the it could be the toilet papering of his car, or the lit jack-o-lantern on the hood of his car, or the vaseline on the handle of his briefcase, or....................

  4. Ed:

    It would appear that you were a late bloomer in regard to being a class clown. I hope your antics didn't drive the professor to retire early in his career. :)

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  6. I was the class clown at my school and I drove my teachers bananas with my crazy shenanigans and sharp-wit. Remembering the time Mr. Ushrey made me stand in the corner for masterbating during his lecture still makes me laugh to this day. One time I made this guy eat his own pooh for no particular reason other than the fact that he was a nerd. He swore he'd kill me! Jokes on him, he killed himself senior year after I stole his girlfriend. LOL! This other time I was having sex with my Spanish teacher Ms. Pena in her classroom. She was bent over her desk and I was banging her doggy style like a pitbull with rabies. The prankster in me said that I was squandering a golden opportunity that I would regret for the rest of my life. So after cumming, I threw the jizzed filled condom at the back of her head, and the semen spilled allover her hair, neck, and back. Pulling that little prank was worth the summer school I had to attend after Ms. Pena failed me. Women can be so petty at times.