When the clowns told New Times that the monthly Best Night Ever Clown Night at Poorhouse in Fort Lauderdale was a non-event, we thought they were full of it. It turns out that, shock, said clowns weren’t joking.
What kind of event is going to happen on a Sunday night in Fort Lauderdale. With Monday coming, there’s no room for a debauched blowout.
Or is there?
“Just a bunch of clowns at a bar.”
This was not the packed Poorhouse of Friday or Saturday night, or any other night when there's a few bands playing and a crowd getting rowdy. The only thing on the stage Sunday night were the bikes of neighborhood clowns who didn't want to drive home and a big TV with an Atari attached to it.
Just as Churchill’s can be on a similar night in Miami, Poorhouse is the place some people go to hang out. It's comfortable, nobody gets the once over, and you don't have to listen to techno songs about starting the weekend on a Sunday night. (I'm looking at you, Capone’s. What was that DJ thinking? Are we taunting people about having to go to work now? Not cool.)
“What better to do on a Sunday night than put on some clown makeup and get drunk," one clown said before sucking a lime and throwing back a tequila.
There were probably 20 or so punks in clown makeup, and maybe 50 people at the bar. The movie, Shakes the Clown, was on the TVs and the beers were flowing. No magic. No tricks. Quite literally, this is a bunch of clowns hanging out at a bar.
Makeup Wearing Stars of the Show
This month’s Best Night Ever Clown Night got press because, as the number of clowns showing up has increased, so has attention being shed on the non-event.
There’s plenty of weird stuff going on in South Florida, and a bunch of clowns gathering at a bar when it’s not Halloween is admittedly a little weird. For the second month in a row, the Sun-Sentinel showed up to gather video, pictures, and interviews for a web series on the strangeness of the place we call home.
“This really isn’t a thing,” clown after clown said on camera (as well as off camera) to anybody who wondered what the hell was going on.
“We just wanted to do something interesting — in this case, dress up like clowns — and come to the bar we like to hang out at. It’s not a horror thing or a Halloween thing or a scaring-people thing. We’re just hanging out with our friends.”
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Bastards of Broward County
Full disclosure: Many of the people who showed up Sunday are my friends, so none of this seemed that weird to me. Talking about who's playing in what band, how much work sucks, who's in town for what reason, how late anybody is going to be to work tomorrow with difficult-to-remove face paint clogging their pores — these clowns are the people I know and we love doing the stuff we always do.
Somewhat late in the night for a Sunday, but early for this crowd, a few group pictures were taken. Take a look at the pictures. If that's not a bunch of people having a good time, I'm honestly not sure what is. Everybody wants to be in on the hot, hip scene in South Florida. It's a better choice to show up, relax, and see what happens. That's what clown night is.
This wasn't an event. Rather, it's a gathering. People getting together because they like to get together. If it happens again next month, a drink on Sunday night is worth it. Just don't bring any Juggalos. This is Shakes country.