The condition of a clown is PARODY. Everything, from the costume to the clumsiness, is made in comedic imitation of the lives and times of the 206th decade spaceperson.
Let us start with perhaps it most iconic item, the mask. This space clown wears a mask rather than makeup, and there is important symbolism in this. We all wear masks, faces we construct to present to others and the outside world.
It just so happens our honking friend’s mask is, in fact, a literal, not a metaphorical mask. Skin as white as asteroid, eyes as blue as the seas and underwater caves of Abzu, with highlights yellow like 2010 Vintage, and lips as the jackets of the security officers. Hair orange as the Sun and sticking out from the head in blobs resembling the Terran delicacy cotton candy. Clearly, no spacehuman in existence looks like this. It is truly silly, absurd, disarming almost, as if to prepare us for the slapstick, wordplay, and/or other forms of comedy that ensue. That is the mask the clown presents to the world.
Clowns are shunned if they take off this mask. A spaceman in a clown suit and shoes but not mask is not wearing the full outfit and is not fully committed. Even if the room is airless and they need internals to breath, they cannot remove it. Besides, a maskless clown looks ugly and incongruous. But of course. It is truly is incongruous! The true face of a spaceperson is often hideous and displeasing, both in terms of aesthetics and personality. If it were beautiful, there would be no need for a mask!
Even when the mask is stapled to the face, it only means the clown cannot remove the mask themselves. Sit means someone else must remove it, and thus expose their true face for all to see. How is this different from the millions of spacemen and spacewomen who can not, for any reason, such as embarrassment or discomfort, share their true self with others and come to a space therapist to peel away the mask and uncover the inner self and all its desires, thoughts, and feelings?
That is enough about the mask. What of the suit? The inclusion of suspenders is remarkable. Suspenders, like bow ties, have died out long ago and are considered unfashionable in our year of 2053. Yet, like the clown, they persist nonetheless, as if timeless, perpetual, eternal, immortal. And red and white-ish pink stripes? Hideous, and it stands out against anything. Not a bad fit for something vying to be the center of attention.
Similar to the clown themselves, we must call to attention the big red pants. Why are the pant legs so big? Biologically, the clown is a normal spacehuman. They are usually not morbidly obese nor are their legs so rotund. The answer is that yet again, it calls attention.
Lastly, the shoes. For most of us, shoes protect us from hazards such as glass shards. They make us less vulnerable. The clown’s shoes do the opposite. They make them more vulnerable. Their sheer length makes them fall over sometimes, opening themselves to attackers and often causing them to fall on her face and hurt their head. Not to mention, they are quite comically sized. What kind of human needs such large shoes? Once more it draws attention to themselves.
There we have it. We have seen why the clown wears the clothes they wear. They are absurd and still and let our guard down for the incoming onslaught of comedy. But the thing is, the clothes themselves are not what makes the clown a clown. A person who is funny is called a clown or comic. A person in strange clothes is called a fool (in the sense of medieval European fools and jesters) or sometimes an oddball or an eccentric.
Consider: clowns are innately clusmy. When they fire a gun, they sometimes accidentally shoot themselves. When performing surgery, they often fumble with the tools, sometimes damaging the patient, more often themselves. Even something as simple as peeling a banana or adding ice to a drink can be risky.
None of these failures in of themselves are necessarily humorous. A security officer who mishandles their gun might at best lose a perp or open themselves up for attack and die. A doctor who botches their surgery might kill the patient. But the clown is clumsy in ways that are simply absurd. They do not merely miss; they hit themselves, because they can’t tell which end faces the enemy. They do not merely make a bad cut; they somehow stab their eye.
Each one of these is impossible and outlandish and yet they occur anyway--thus they cross over from the realm of the serious and dramatic into the realm of the humorous and comedic. Furthermore, the object of comedy is not the profession being parodied but the parody-performer themselves.
In fact, the origin for the clowning clothes is simple and can be intuitively understood. Imagine someone falling facefirst. We might be concerned for their health, but we might not necessarily laugh; that is quite mundane, dull even. Now imagine it is because one’s shoes were too big and ended up slipping over them. A cause for concern, for ill-fitting footwear can hurt the feet, but thankfully nonexistent for most spacepeople. Now imagine the shoes are so long that it is absurd and clearly not practical. It is humorous now. Now imagine they are red or some other strange color and apply this to the rest of the outfit.
That is the core of the clown: imitation. Clowns dress like regular spacehumans, but their dress is oddly-colored, over-sized, and overall absurd. Clowns act like regular spacehumans, but often fail, comically. It is more than imitating or mimicry or mere copying. Clowns take an aspect of spaceperson life and exaggerate it or change it in some way to make to make it silly without compromising the core character.
Their clothing and antics elicit laughter, and we laugh not only because it is absurd but because it is true. Spacepeople truly do look strange sometimes, and more importantly, they can fail, fall, and make mistakes, often spectacularly. Clowns embody this central space truth of the spaceman condition and channel it into comedy.
Truly, clowns are truth.