Clown epidemic reaches Chicago: What parents need to know

This week’s blog post is by The Paternity Test co-host Matt Boresi, who lives in the Edgewater Glen neighborhood of Chicago with his wife (“Professor Foster”) and their 5-year old daughter Viva, who is totally uninterested as to whether or not they all float down there.

The clowns are everywhere. 29 states have reported creepy clowns menacing children in the past few weeks, with incidents popping up faster than a novelty tuxedo dickie. The New York Times has reported 12 related arrests, none of which turned out to be actual clowns–meaning all of the clowns are still on the loose. The Clown Tracker Map in the Clown Situation Room of my clown-proof bunker says the affected states include Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texan, Virginia and West Virginia, but also states we don’t want to lose, such as Illinois, Colorado, Idaho, Massachusetts, Michigan, Oregon, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Washington and Wisconsin.

The Clownpocalypse is nigh, and they’ve reached Chicago. They were probably already here … biding their time.

Some articles are insisting the entire situation can be attributed to mass hysteria, copycat crimes, swamp gas or weather balloon animals. Don’t you believe it. This isn’t another shark-attack situation. Sharks stay in the water, but clowns can go ANYWHERE. We take this stuff seriously here. This is Chicago, and if you were around in the ‘70s, you know that Cook County is pretty much ground zero for horrifying clowns. They may call us the second city, but we are the evil clown capital of the world.

Perhaps you recall the “Homey the Clown” scare of 1991? He drove around in a van that said “Ha Ha,” and my cousin’s friend said he totally abducted a kid in Elgin. Also probably in Evanston and Joliet. Maybe you thought that whole affair a prank, but Homey don’t play that.

In 2008, clowns laid siege to Garfield Park, also driving scary vans. Only the scariest and most non-fake of threats drive scary vans. That’s just science.

Last year, at Rose Hill Cemetery, a clown holding balloons not only terrified passersby, it scaled a seven foot fence! That makes Resurrection Mary look like the haunted baby of Hull House.

This week in Oswego, clowns threatened two junior highs. Officials are calling it a hoax, but that’s because “officials” don’t want you to know the truth.

And in the Central Illinois town of Effingham, clowns are invading empty houses, which means the clown perimeter is growing quickly.

Here’s what you need to know to keep your children safe:

Clowns appear cyclically

Some naysayers would tell you the cyclical nature of clown appearances prove they’re just a mania, but the real reason clowns appear every few years is because, like cicadas, broods of clowns develop underground and burst forth in waves. If you’ve ever seen a discarded clown husk clinging to a tree, count your blessings that you weren’t there a few minutes early when a fully developed clown burst out of the shell, all white and wet.

Clowns feed on fear

Also on human blood and circus peanuts. Circus peanuts … gross.

Clowns cannot be stopped

Do not attempt to defend yourselves, especially with weapons. Everyone arming themselves against clowns would cause a serious public health crisis and would do nothing to stop the clowns. The only thing that can stop a bad clown with a pie is a good clown with a pie–and there are no good clowns.

No one can save us

Do you know how long the two major party nominees for President talked about the Clownpocalypse during the debates? Exactly zero minutes. They talked about Rosie O’Donnell, they talked about Miss Universe, but they did not once mention the most serious threat homeland security has ever faced. One whose giant shoes are already on American soil. And don’t tell me Gary Johnson would talk about it, the clowns have already gotten to Gary Johnson.

Sheets help

Pretty much the only clown proof item on this earth are children’s bedsheets. They are clown-proof, chainsaw-proof, Babadook-proof. All that stuff. I carry one of my daughter’s bedsheets in my backpack so if a clown appears I can hide under it and pray.

Keep your head on a swivel this month and make sure your kids understand how to spot a clown. We run clown safety drills in our house.  If you hear a bicycle horn, if you see a tiny car, if you feel a squirting flower … RUN.

If you enjoyed this essay, subscribe (free!) to The Paternity Test Comedy Podcast on iTunes or on Soundcloud, or visit

Follow the Dads on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and on Twitter at @thedadtest or email them at

Call The Paternity Test on their hotline: (657) BAD DADS and leave a message or a question they can play on the podcast!

- Advertisement -


Downtown Chicago Family Guide

Feel like a tourist!

What You Need to Know About Bed-Wetting

Brought to you by UChicago Medicine and Comer Children's.

Chicago Kids Can Express Pandemic Feelings in Public Art Project

Artwork to tell the story of the pandemic through kids’ eyes.

- Advertisement -