Shakes the Clown (1991)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  13 March 1992 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.5/10 from 3,654 users  
Reviews: 42 user | 15 critic

Shakes plods about his duties as party clown, and uses all of his free time getting seriously drunk. Binky, another clown, wins the spot on a local kiddie show, which depresses Shakes even ... See full summary »


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1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Bruce Baum ...
Steve Bean ...
Eliza Coyle ...
Gerald F. Edelstein ...
Mime Class Instructor (as Marty Fromage)
Jack Gallagher ...
Paige Gosney ...
Scott Herriott ...


Shakes plods about his duties as party clown, and uses all of his free time getting seriously drunk. Binky, another clown, wins the spot on a local kiddie show, which depresses Shakes even more, and his boss threatens him with unemployment if he can't get his act under control. When someone murders Shakes' boss and makes it look like Shakes did it, he goes undercover, posing as a hated mime, and tries to find information that will clear his name. Written by Ed Sutton <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Loved by children. Desired by women. Adored by bartenders everywhere.


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

13 March 1992 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bohóc-sztori  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$1,400,000 (estimated)


$115,103 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Bobcat Goldthwait and actor Tom Kenny were childhood friends. See more »


When Shakes confronts Binky at the clown bar, the clown with the bright green hair loses his bright green chest hair. See more »


Mime Class Instructor: Everybody get ready to fry our bacon... Ready?... Here we go!... Raise 'em! And we go suck in the little pork belly and... FRY! C'mon Chuck... we want to fry off that little fat ass of yours! FRY!... FRY!... FRY!... Chuckie! C'mon everbody, let's sizzle! We're gonna sizzle off little pork but, aren't we? Fry yourself... Let the heat work through you! Shake your meat, Chuck!. You've got a roll of quarters... make some change! There we go! Now you're burnin'!... Now you're on fire! Shake your ...
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Crazy Credits

No identification with or similarity to actual persons, living or dead, or drunk or to actual events is intended or should be inferred. See more »


Referenced in Hand of Glory (2012) See more »


Mannish Boy
Written by Bo Diddley (as Ellas McDaniel), Muddy Waters (as McKinley Morganfield) and Melvin London (as Mel London)
Performed by Muddy Waters
© 1955 by ARC Music Corp.
Copyright Renewed. All Rights Reserved
Courtesy of Sony Music Licensing
See more »

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User Reviews

The darkest of dark comedies
2 July 2004 | by (Seattle, Washington) – See all my reviews

This movie won't win any technical awards, but if you like dark comedies (this film makes "Barton Fink" look light and breezy at times), this is the movie for you. At times uproariously funny, the poignant parts are luckily kept to a minimum, and there are gritty moments as well. Whether you're a rodeo clown, party clown, or even a lowly mime, this is a movie chock full of lines you'll find yourself repeating in all the most inappropriate occasions. Besides--didn't you kind of suspect that all clowns were miserable deep down, and drunk constantly?

Just beware--this is not a kids' film by any stretch of the imagination, and some of the scenes of Shakes dealing with his alcoholism are stomach-churning, but it provides the backdrop for some serious comedic writing unmatched by virtually every other film out there.

16 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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