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Poster for Shakes the Clown
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Shakes the Clown

Director: Bobcat Goldthwait Run Time: 87 min. Format: 35mm Rating: R Release Year: 1991

Starring:  Julie Brown,  Steve Bean, Bobcat Goldthwait, Bruce Baum, Kathy Gri, Robin Williams

The clown community is as perverse as you always thought in Bobcat Goldthwait’s SHAKES THE CLOWN. Presented in 35mm!

In my first stand-up acts there wasn’t material even. You know, I’d go on stage and cry and read a Dear John letter or gut fish on stage. I could be odd – and it’s what interested me as a comedian. – Bobcat Goldthwait

Upon its release in 1991, Betsy Sherman’s famously referred to Shakes the Clown as “the Citizen Kane of Alcoholic Clown Movies” in her Boston Globe review. And it’s true, this outrageous comedy directed and starring comedian Bobcat Goldthwait is uniquely amazing and borderline genius. Dueling clowns are pitted against each other in the all-clown town of Palookaville. Shakes is a kid’s party clown who spends all of his spare time getting really drunk who gets framed for his boss’s murder. So what does he do to clean up the bad clown element taking over his town? He goes undercover as a mine. Gold.

Part of Nitehawk’s summer program COMEDIANS IN FILM (Late Nite).