Clowns of the World

Clowns of the World is website about the different types of clowns around the world.  Click on the links below to view a description of the various types of clowns and a little bit about their history. For more images of clowns past and present visit

Auguste: For every joker there must be a "jokee", someone to be the victim. Thus, it did not take long before the fun-loving, joking whiteface clown found a target for his pranks. This type of clown became a common side-kick and often a scene-stealer for the whiteface. How the name "Auguste" came to be used is a matter of conjecture.

It is known that the word is a German colloquialism for peasant or clod. But legend has it that an early circus performer played a joke on his employer by appearing in front of a German audience wearing the most outlandish, ill-fitting clothes he could find. The resulting roars of laughter and applause were accompanied by shouts of "Auguste". So it is said that the term came to be associated first with the clothes usually worn by the August rather than with the type of makeup. The clothes are either too big, too small, or a combination of both.

Today, circus people use the term "Auguste" to describe a personality type rather than the outward appearance. Whether he is a grinning simpleton or a ragged tramp, he is an Auguste if he is the butt of the joke. . . . someone else's or his own. In the modern era, several Auguste superstars have studded the galaxy of clowndom. The Auguste who personified the famous Bertram Mills Circus in England for many years was Nikolai Poliakoff, known to thousands of British children as "Coco". Coco's trademark was his wild red wig which would stand on end at the touch of a hidden control.

Another of the most famous Augustes during the first half of the 20th century was Adrian Wettach, known as "Grock". He was one of the few clowns to b equally successful both on stage and in the circus ring. His stage shows consisted of an uninterrupted one-hour performance, including a skit he made famous consisting of a hilarious attempt to play a miniature violin. At first he seemed unsure what he was supposed to do, then achieving some horrendous squawks, and finally ending with a virtuoso performance.