Types of Clowns

Have you ever wondered...
what clown type suits your personality?

There are three classic 'types' of clowns: Whiteface, Auguste, and Tramp or Hobo. The Character Clown is often considered a fourth, but is really one of the other three dressed in the costume of a specific character

There is a little bit of clown in each of us!

People love to laugh and almost everyone likes to make others laugh! There is a special feeling that comes with seeing others happy because of something you did or said. Read on to find out more and discover the personality that fits your inner clown!

But wait! Read the following really, really important information, first!

The three clown types - Auguste, Hobo & Whiteface

It is common among clowns to find rule-breakers and, since clowns are consistent, breaking any rules about what a certain 'clown type' should look like is no surprise! Since there are various pages on different clown types on our site, this is the place for a DISCLAIMER!

For us to draw a distinct line in the proverbial sand and say, "If you do this with your facial make-up, you must be in this 'clown type' category would be, well... silly! Someone invariably takes what they like from more than one 'clown type' and combines them to create their own unique clown look and style.

The 'types' that will be described on these pages have been adopted mainly as a result of competitions and include regulations for consistency within those competitions.

A true clown - or any serious performer, for that matter - can entertain an audience with or without a costume and make-up. The costume and make-up are only there to enhance the performer's character and his performance.

So, all that being said, let's look at the different clown types!

The Whiteface Clown

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The whiteface is a pleasant-looking clown. He has decent manners, and is generally artistic in his performance. He usually appears to be in command of any situation he is in and often bosses the other clowns around.

True to the name,this clown has a face that is completely covered in white, with facial features (eyebrows, nose, mouth) painted in black and red. The features can be either neat or grotesque. Other decorations may be added using other colors.

The Whiteface costume may be one piece or any variation of a suit and is the only clown type that may make use of sequins, rhinestones, or other flashy material. More on the Whiteface Clown...

The Auguste Clown

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The Auguste is the most comedic of all clowns; his actions wilder, broader than the other clowns. He is often a troublemaker, using slapstick comedy to get away with more and bigger pranks.

The Auguste face base makeup color is a variation of pink, red, or tan rather than white. Features are exaggerated in size and are typically red and black in color. The mouth is thickly outlined with white (called the muzzle) as are the eyes.

The Auguste Clown is appropriately dressed in either well-fitted garb or in a costume that does not fit - either oversize or too small is appropriate. Bold colors, large prints or patterns, and suspenders often characterize Auguste costumes.

The Tramp or Hobo & Bag Lady

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The Tramp/Hobo Clown is the low man on the totem pole. He is usually relegated to cleaning up after the other clowns.

The Hobo face can be painted a flesh-colored pink or tan. Make-up designs often include a beard and highlights of white around the eyes and mouth.

The costume is often tattered looking, dark colored suit that can have many patches. A variation of this costume is simply sloppy coat with many pockets and sometimes a brightly colored vest. A derby or silk hat that often has no top finishes off the costume.

The character and makeup design portrayed can either be a sad, woebegone Tramp, or a happy-go-lucky Hobo.

A female may also be a Tramp or Hobo Clown or the recent addition of the “Bag Lady.” Bag Lady make-up is similar to the Tramp or Hobo – minus the beard, of course! Be sure to add some brown or gray make-up highlights to reflect the image of living on the streets. She usually wears layers of clothing – a frumpy dress or skirt and blouse, perhaps a sweater and jacket over top. Add a scarf around the neck and some type of headwear.

Bag ladies often wear worn sneakers or boots with droopy socks, perhaps a piece of cheap costume jewelry and, of course, carry a tattered bag or push-cart for their worldly possessions.

The Character Clown

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This clown depicts a specific character or occupation. A character clown can be anything: a baseball player, doctor, dentist, policeman (Keystone Kop), sailor, pirate - you name it, the choices are endless!

An important clown in this category is the Rodeo Clown, who not only makes people laugh, he helps protect rodeo participants in dangerous situations.

Make-up for a character clown can be any of the three above-mentioned clown types. The make-up should compliment the specific character being portrayed and can be subtle or bold, as long as it doesn't detract from the overall effect.

Top of Clown Types Page | Whiteface Clown Type | Auguste Clown Type | Hobo Clown Type
The Character ClownEuropean Whiteface | Neat Whiteface Clown | Grotesque Whiteface
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