While not listed in the World Health Organization or American Psychiatric Association’s official list of medical disorders, coulrophobia is very real. Just look at the picture in the Wikipedia entry, watch the movie “It” or simply trust me when I tell you clowns are scary as hell.
So normally, I would be pretty gosh darn excited to see one get knocked over by a charging bull. “They had it coming,” I’d think to myself, chuckling inaudibly and daring not to speak the inhumane words aloud. Yet when Zack Galifianakis’ character Chip Baskets gets rolled up in a similar fashion, I didn’t laugh. I wasn’t happy. Be it that my mind doesn’t immediately associate the “Bored to Death” star with clowns or because of some imperceptibly construed empathetic construct in the trailers, the image only evoked pity — and interest.
“Baskets,” an upcoming series co-created by Galifianakis, Louis C.K. and Jonathan Krisel, is doing a fine job so far of piqueing just that. With a few brief clips adding up to a lot of funny jokes, the half-hour show about a failed professional clown forced to take a job in the rodeo has even me, an admitted coulrophobic, looking forward to seeing a full trailer, let alone the series premiere. Maybe it will be my cure.