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Eric Stonestreet: Clown fear bums me out

Larry King NowMay 08 '17

‘Modern Family’ star and erstwhile clown Eric Stonestreet says people need to put fear of clowns to rest, and stop calling people ‘weird’ while they’re at it.

Larry King: You wanted to be a clown?

Eric Stonestreet: Yeah, I wanted to—well there you go right there, I wanted to be a clown.

Larry King: Do clowns usually have weird minds?

Eric Stonestreet: Well I don’t think weird minds, I always hated the word “weird” as a kid, I’ll tell you that. When somebody calls somebody weird, I always think, “Well that’s a reflection on the person calling somebody weird,” because I think “weird” is a lazy word. And if my parents had thought I was weird as a kid, I wouldn’t be sitting here talking to legendary broadcaster Larry King. They didn’t tell me I was weird, they said I was unique, they said I was creative, they said I was different, and they encouraged that. So I always hate it when I hear people say, “Oh that’s a weird little kid,” it’s like, “No, you gotta come up with something better.” Because “weird” is a pejorative in my opinion. It doesn’t encourage someone.

Larry King: What makes a great clown? I interviewed, just as an aside, Emmett Kelly. He never spoke. Sweeping up, always began the circus sweeping up the spotlight. What makes a great clown?

Eric Stonestreet: Well your heart. That’s what bums me out about this whole clown rage, people wanting to scare people, because to be a clown and to want to entertain people, it comes from this great-

Larry King: Do kids get scared?

Eric Stonestreet: Now they do.

Larry King: Really?

Eric Stonestreet: Oh it drives me crazy. Don’t get me started on this, Larry.

Larry King: Why would a kid get scared of a clown?

Eric Stonestreet: Thank you. But now it’s a fad, in my opinion it’s a fad to be scared of clowns, it’s like, “Oh clowns creep me out.” It’s like, “No, a clown that you saw in a Stephen King movie was scary. That doesn’t mean that now all clowns creep you out.” But now it’s like a total thing to be scared of clowns, “I’m so scared of clowns.” It drives me nuts.

Larry King: When you’re a clown on ‘Modern Family,’ you having fun?

Eric Stonestreet: Oh, we have a saying on ‘Modern Family’: “When you’re happy, are you as happy on Stonestreet on a Fizbo day? Or happy?”

Larry King: Did you ever do birthday parties?

Eric Stonestreet: Yeah, I was doing birthday parties when I was 11 years old. For 7 year olds. Doing magic, balloons, the whole deal.

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