U.S. Clown Shortage, Missoula Clown Says Not To Worry - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

U.S. Clown Shortage, Missoula Clown Says Not To Worry

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MISSOULA -

It's no joke, the U.S. is seeing a serious decline in it's clown population. The presidents of some of the worlds largest clown groups said they have experienced a plunge in memberships over the last decade.

ABC FOX MONTANA's Ashley Sanchez found out, one local clown isn't too worried about the industry. Uncle Curly the clown said there will never be a shortage people willing to put on the nose to make people laugh.

For about the last 30 years, Thomas Plovanic  has donned the white powder, green nose, and curls, transforming into his alter-ego Uncle Curly the clown.

"It's a vocation, it's a calling," Plovanic said.

He started his Missoula-based business, Montana Clown Work, in 1997 after years of knowing he was born to clown.

"It's really so delightful to be able to go through my magic show, and have those 20 first grade kids scream and holler and laugh," Plovanic said.

Plovanic's love of children and learning, made him a natural in the industry. He's now one of Missoula's only clowns, performing at parties, sending singing telegrams, and bringing Curly's Funtastic Kids Zone at local fairs and festivals.

"I think Missoula specifically, has the kind of culture that welcomes and supports artistic expression like clowning. That's what clowning is all about," Plovanic said.

According to some of the world's large clown organizations, the younger generations aren't interested in clowning. The president of the World Clown Association said as the older clowns retire or pass away, membership has dropped from 3,500 to 2,400 over the last decade, leaving a shortage in clowns.

"Ha, shortage, I have a shortage of hair," Plovanic said.

Plovanic said there may be less clowns, but there will never be a shortage in the number of people who put on the red nose, or fill the big shoes.

"There's never going to be a shortage of people willing to do goofy things, and put on goofy costumes to make people laugh," Plovanic said.

He's not planning on quitting any time soon, and for now Montanans, can count on Uncle Curly to be their local jokester.

"Artistic delight, there's nothing better, as far as I'm concerned. That's what keeps me coming back," Plovanic said.

He said he'll be in Missoula performing at parties and sending telegrams, until the summer when he travels with fairs and festivals.

 

 

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