“Young people have not been excited by clowns,” says Richard “Junior” Snowberg, a World Clown Association founder and a retired professor. “They’re more excited by entertainment on screens.”
…The World Clown Association has 2,400 members, about half its peak membership in the 1990s.
“I’ve been told that ‘you can’t come to the hospital. You’ll scare people.’ That was really heartbreaking,” says veteran Tricia “Pricilla Mooseburger” Manuel, 56, of Maple Lake, Minn. “It’s diminished my income. The damage is done in so many respects. There’s a whole generation that, when they think of a clown, they think of something scary.”
Though, Manuel adds, “people still love us in nursing homes.”