Clown car

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Lou Jacobs miniature clown car, 1951-1952, with gas pump
Lou Jacobs miniature clown car, 1951-1952

A clown car is a prop in a circus clown routine. A common example of such a routine involves an implausibly large number of clowns emerging from a very small car, to humorous effect. The first performance of this routine was in the Cole Bros. Circus during the 1950s.[1]

The clown car is frequently used as a comedic gag in film.[2] One is featured prominently in Mel Brooks' remake of To Be or Not To Be.

They have also been used to describe political contests with a large number of candidates.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Feiler, Bruce (2003). Under the Big Top. HarperCollins. p. 71. ISBN 0-06-052702-1. 
  2. ^ "Clown Car". TVTropes. Retrieved 10 September 2015. [unreliable source?]
  3. ^ Milbank, Dana (18 May 2015). "The Republican field is a clown car". Washington Post. Retrieved 29 March 2016.