The Simpsons' Krusty the Clown is based on a real TV clown called Rusty Nails. Creator Matt Groening used to watch the "Christian clown" when he was a kid in Portland, Oregon, and was always confused why the nice guy had such a nasty name. He says, "I couldn't get past the idea that this was a nice clown with the scariest name possible, because you were told as a kid, 'Always avoid rusty nails.'"
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