James B. (wandersoul73) from LINDALE, TX Reviewed on 6/15/2009...
Very fun and insanely funny!
YES YES YES! The Most Underrated Comedy Ever!
Nate Goyer | Sydney, Australia | 07/16/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I love DVD movies and for the longest time, the only reason I kept my laserdisc player was because I was afraid that "Shakes the Clown" would never come out on DVD. Let's face it; "Shakes the Clown" was an absolute flop in the theaters, and Bobcat Golthwait gambled his career on the movie, which never quite recovered. But since on video, "Shakes the Clown" has gained a strong cult following as one of the funniest, irreverent, misunderstood comedies of all time.There are 2 kinds of people in this world; People who like "Shakes the Clown" and people who don't. Here's a quiz to find out which camp you fall into: If you like Liam Neeson movies, thought Julia Roberts was at her perkiest in the Runaway Bride, eat a lot of low-fat food and don't understand most Adam Sandler jokes, this isn't your movie. However, if you like South Park, if the Cable Guy was your favorite Jim Carrey film, and can appreciate the brilliance of well-constructed potty-humor, "Shakes the Clown" is right up your alley.Bobcat is Shakes the Clown; an alcoholic party clown that doesn't know how to turn his life around. He hangs out in a dumpy clown-bar ("The Twisted Balloon"), and vainly wishes he could be a television clown. All he needs is one big break, but he's generally too drunk to do what's best for himself, like practice his juggling and regular pie-throwing target practice.Binky the clown is his arch nemesis; Binky is the suburban party-clown that is used to things going his way. Binky is also busy pushing dope he buys from the more rowdy Rodeo Clowns. Shakes ends up in the wrong place during a bad drug deal and gets framed for killing a leader of the clown community with a juggling pin.That's the basic plot and you know by now whether you will enjoy the movie or not. In my opinion it's absolutely brilliant and, even though crude at times, makes for an interesting look at the different factions within society and how we behave towards people from different backgrounds. It's not a cutesy morale-building movie, but it's message is thinly cloaked with hilarious dialogue and humor.Now I can finally sell my laserdisc player....."
A mime is a terrible thing to waste
D. Hartley | Seattle, WA USA | 07/10/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Pre-dating the much more popular "Bad Santa" by a good decade or so, Bobcat Goldthwait's sole directorial effort may have been a little too ahead of its time for its own good. Not that this is a groundbreaking piece of cinema, but within its narrow genre (Bitter Alcoholic Children's Entertainers) it has become a cult classic. Depending on your innate sense of humor, you will be either unspeakably shocked or wickedly delighted. Bobcat plays the title role fairly straight, considering the outrageousness of the story's central conceit. Something almost all reviews I've ever read seem to miss is the fact that Goldthwait's "clowns" are really a send-up of stand-up comedians, with all the backstage insecurity, jealously, pettiness and angst barely contained by the "happy" face paint (Maybe I recognize this underlying context because I used to work in stand up!) Julie Brown is appropriately twisted as the "love is blind" girlfriend, and Robin Williams almost steals the movie in his cameo as an abusive mime instructor. Not for all tastes, but worth a peek."
Painfully funny, great cast... and quite filthy, too!
Captain Opinionated | Los Angeles, CA USA | 10/31/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's nice to see that so many people out there have finally "gotten" this movie (it's belly-flopped when originally released). It has an incredibly flimsy story and no real depth of character but, guess what? Some movies just don't need strong story and characterization. Especially, when it's filled with such talented comedians as Goldthwait, Julie Brown, Adam Sandler (before he became huge), Kathy Griffin, Tom Kenny (from "Mr. Show" who steals every scene he's in), SNL's Tim Kazurinsky, and the legendary Paul Dooley ("Say, you clowns are on dope!"). The language throughout is so blue it's almost aquamarine, and yet it doesn't pander to the depths of gross-out humor that some comedies have (though there are scenes of vomit and urination played for laughs, the jokes are actually FUNNY). Man, this film is funny, funny, funny. See it! A cult classic."
The Citizen Kane of alcoholic clown movies
Marc Marasco | Redwood City, CA | 06/16/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I really loved this movie, but it appeales to a certain sense of humor. Here's the litmus test: This flick begins with a cameo of Florence Henderson (aka Mrs. Brady) as Shakes the clown's washed out one night stand. If you don't find this the least bit funny then, "move along. nothing to see here." If this visual made you smile then watch Shakes the Clown. Its a rare gem."
A tasteless masterpiece
A. Davis | Berkshires | 11/03/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Following the exploits of a good-hearted, booze-soaked clown who is trying to make his way in Palookaville, a town populated by denizens of that certain ditch in the entertainment world inhabited by clowns and mimes. He tries to kick the booze but his demons are hard to face. He gets involved in seedy intrigue with the tough, jaded rodeo clowns, picks on the mimes, and tries to avoid the indignity of doing balloon animals, all while keeping the bottle at bay lest he wake up puking into his frightwig. Oh yes, there's a love interest as well. Tasteless? Absolutely. Funny? If you know and love an alcoholic (or a clown), and you can still laugh about it, this movie will send you rolling off the couch and onto the floor in stitches. The relapse scene at the kids' pool party is alone worth the price of admission. A great cameo by Florence Henderson, and what may have been the last time Robin Williams was funny. Not for everyone, though, and let me state this for the record - NOT FOR THE KIDS!!! Got that? Now, go watch this!"