The Staten Island Clown
The Staten Island Clown started as a local social media sensation and exploded into a worldwide phenomenon in less than 3 days. It is just another example of Fuzz on the Lens doing what we do best, entertaining. A simple clown costume was turned into a memorable character at the center of a production that millions were a part of. For weeks everybody had something to talk about that wasn’t the same old depressing news. It was the mysterious, intriguing and we think pretty funny, siClown.
Now, a local celebrity in his own right, the siClown keeps much to himself, but who knows when he will decide to step back out into the light of day, or more likely the dark of night.
The Story of the Clown
Conceived in March 2014 as a “slow-burn” promotion, our thought was that a few strategically placed social media posts would make our local community aware of the clown. Then sporadic appearances would allow the legend to grow as we raised funds for Abnormal Attraction.
Little did we know that the idea was so potent that just one Instagram post (pictured above) would land the #siClown on the cover of the Staten Island Advance (where it would remain for an unprecedented period of time).
Things began to escalate even more quickly from there as we learned first hand what the word “viral” means. The internet media giant BuzzFeed picked up the seemingly local story and overnight it became national news. Countless other media outlets from the New York Post & Daily News, to New York Magazine & the Huffington Post, to ABC, CBS and Fox all ran multiple stories on the sensation.
Speculations and conspiracy theories began popping up everywhere. People reported clown sightings that never happened just to get on the news and as comments and memes began to circulate all over the internet, even Stephen King, the creator of Pennywise (potentially the most famous clown ever and our clown’s inspiration) got in on the act.
As the debate over who was behind the now famous creepy clown raged on; some were confused, most were amused and others even critiqued the science behind the use of a clown. Pretty much every view was fine with us, because they all meant the plan was working. We just wanted to offer people a break from the normal and overwhelmingly negative news cycle.
So as it became increasingly difficult for the clown to be in public and we neared what we figured was the peak of the frenzy it was time to come clean and reveal the siClown to be our creation. We did so with Elvis Duran and the Morning Show on z100 (terrifying Danielle Monaro because of her fear of clowns in the process and befriending Bethany Watson who would later appear in Abnormal Attraction).
Immediately following the initial unveiling the tour continued to a number of other iHeart Media radio stations in NY like 103.5 KTU with Cubby Bryant & Cindy Vero, 106.7 Lite FM with Christine Nagy and Q104.3 with Radio Hall of Famer Jim Kerr as well as other stations from around the country.
Act 3 - Celebrity
“…visitors to New York City should be sure to avoid the ‘forgotten borough.’ Abandon all hope, ye who enter Staten Island.”
– TIME (Read More Here)
Even after he stopped trending on Yahoo, the siClown by no means faded from the spotlight.
We began receiving requests for his presence all over the New York area. The clown appeared at bars, went bowling at Rab’s Country Lanes, was invited to parties at people’s homes and catering hall’s like The Staaten, was enlisted to promote local businesses and raise money for numerous charities, got KO’d in a wrestling match, spent a day at the spa where he got his teeth whitened and was even part of an off-Broadway show called Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding.
During all of this he even found the time to throw out the first pitch at a Staten Island Yankee’s game and helped host a talent show at the College of Staten Island with Sal Vulcano of The Impractical Jokers. He also spent time with other celebrities like Brian “Q” Quinn (another Impractical Joker) Robert Englund (Freddy Kreuger), Vic DiBitetto (a comedian with similar experience going viral) and many more.
As he quickly became a celebrity in his own right, imitators were bound to pop up, and although we do see imitation as a sincere form of flattery we have always made it clear that the siClown has never and will never mean anyone harm. Weapon wielding copycats are not acceptable. Our clown never threatened anyone and never needed more than a balloon to keep everyone entertained.
To this day the clown has not been unmasked, maybe one day he will be, but you’ll just have to stay tuned to find out…