Evil Clown of Middletown

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The Evil Clown of Middletown

Coordinates: 40°23′30.2″N 74°5′57″W / 40.391722°N 74.09917°W / 40.391722; -74.09917 The Evil Clown of Middletown is a large outdoor sign on northbound New Jersey Route 35 in Middletown Township, New Jersey, advertising a Spirits Liquor Store.


It was originally constructed by Joseph Azzolina’s Food Circus grocery store in 1956 to advertise his store. In its early years it continuously rotated via electric motor(s), a then-common form of advertising that for the most part went out of style (or economic practicality) by the 1970s. The clown has long since been fixed in place.

The clown's first starring role was in 1996, during the opening sequence of the Philip Botti movie Middletown. The movie won the New York Underground Film Festival Choice award. The clown is well-known because it is unusually scary-looking. It has been featured in the local New Jersey magazine Weird NJ, as well as on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in a Kevin Smith short. The Evil Clown appears in the first few minutes of Smith's 2006 film Clerks II. It is also known by some as "The Scary Liquor Clown".[citation needed]

The clown is the work of Road Ad Sign Company painter Leslie Worth Thomas who also created Tillie, at the Palace Amusements building in Asbury Park.[1]


  1. ^ Weird NJ: Calico, the "evil clown" of Middletown, Asbury Park Press, November 16, 2014