Creativity is more than just being different. Anybody can plan weird; that’s easy. What’s hard is to be as simple as Bach. Making the simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity. — Charles Mingus
Since the inception of A Clown on Fire, I have cited Andy Kaufman, Alfred Jarry, Monty Python, Woody Allen, George Carlin and Tom Green as my influences as a humourist. Le Clown’s character is an amalgam of their craftsmanship, with a rather large dose of my own voice. Last year, I ripped Le Clown apart. Without the restrictive sensitive nature of L’Éric, I was hoping to bring Le Clown’s character to full bloom: the Tony Clifton of our blogosphere. It was also the first day I stopped finding pleasure in writing as Le Clown.
The idea in itself was promising: give carte blanche to Le Clown and watch him lash out on any given topic, to his heart’s content. So he did. Le Clown praised Le Clown. Le Clown trademarked magnificent™. Le Clown received his own Urban Dictionary entry. Le Clown recreated Montreal in his image. Le Clown reimagined the Crucifixion of White Baby Jesus™. Le Clown emulated Terry Gilliam. Le Clown’s shtick got stale, and I got bored.
“Le Clown can be funny, but often seems limited to talking about how great he is [...] Le Clown was created to say the things you wished you could. The problem in that is that compartmentalizing yourself into two voices creates a wall or sorts and doesn’t allow you to blossom into what may be your real and true narrative voice.” — Mike Calahan
Le Clown without L’Éric’s voice is just another dick character, and I have no intention of becoming yet another Seinfeld. I am bringing Le Clown and L’Éric back together. From this day on, I will continue to dig into my personal life and my family (my wife and my daughter), and harmonize the two voices to to create fictional posts based on my experiences and my opinions on religion, politics, mental health, and parenting. I enjoy Le Clown’s personality through L’Éric’s sensitivity. This is where I think Le Clown really stands out.
“By infusing yourself into Le Clown, that gives Le Clown his humanity. People love flawed but lovable characters. A Le Clown/Eric hybrid gets to be flawed (pompous and arrogant) but also lovable and human (stories about your family and life. And that’s what will keep people coming around.” — Carrie Rubin