The Auguste ClownClowning Around
The Fool or Joker Clown
Face Appearance: Fleshtones with an emphasis of the white around the mouth and eyes with a black line surrounding the white. It is also common for the auguste to overuse the reds, pinks, tans and browns for an extravagantly colourful face. This type of clown usually has a large ball shaped comedy nose.
Costume Appearance: Displaying the widest range of costumes of all clowns, this clown will wear almost anything except what the whiteface is wearing. The Auguste will stay clear of theatrical fabrics or sequins but also likes to exaggerate his clothing with oversized coats, undersized hats or very short pants and colourful suspenders much like Steve Urkel from the popular TV show Family Matters.
Character: The master of slapstick and playing the fool, this clown is forever tripping and seems to be the clumsiest of them all. Said to have got his name from the German word for “fool”, the auguste is somewhat awkward and unsure of his own feet. This clown is usually the instigator when the whiteface is not present however everything seems to backfire, making him the brunt of most pranks.
The conta-auguste is not as important as the whiteface clown but is more important than the auguste, as he strives to be a whiteface clown. He is often very bias mediator between the two and is generally instructed by the whiteface to “fix” the behaviour of the auguste. Being the attention seeker that he is can lead him to being in a “pickle” most of the time
History of the Auguste: In the 20th Century it is said that the two major clown types merged to form the auguste clown. Albert Fratellini who was one of the famous Fratellini Brothers created a character that was made up of a mixture of one brothers ‘whiteface‘ character and the other brothers ‘ tramp‘ character. Albert attached a red nose to his character which is widely used by most clowns today. The auguste clown was then fine-tuned by Lou Jacobs of the Ringling Brothers who became model of how auguste clowns should look and act.
Famous Auguste Characters: Albert Fratellini, Cooky, Coco, Grock, Lou Jacobs, and Leon McBryde’s “Buttons”