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Shakes the Clown (1991)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  13 March 1992 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.5/10 from 3,617 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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Cast overview, first billed only:
Bruce Baum ...
Steve Bean ...
Eliza Coyle ...
Gerald F. Edelstein ...
Mime Class Instructor (as Marty Fromage)
Jack Gallagher ...
Paige Gosney ...
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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
See  »

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 »


Judy: Listen, Binky - Shakes may be alcoholic... and a bad lay... but he's not a murderer!
Binky the Clown: [shouts] Not a murderer? How can you say he's not a murderer? He took one of his own juggling pins and smashed in Mr. Cheese's head with the fucking thing! Again and again and again, just hitting and hitting - and the head bursting and splattering underneath. And Boots and Hoho could've stopped me, but they didn't stop me!
Binky the Clown: [Normal voice] Wait... did I say 'me' just then?
Judy: Yes.
Binky the Clown: Whoa! Back up; now I've got to kill *...
See more »

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 Jeopardy!: Episode #26.26 (2009) See more »


Flippin' the Lid
Written by Speedy West (as Wesley "Speedy" West)
Performed by Steve Hunter
Published by Opal Music Co., Inc. (BMI)
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User Reviews

A dark, dark, rollick through Palookaville.
9 July 1999 | by (Minneapolis, MN) – See all my reviews

The movie poster when I saw "Shakes" in the theatre touted it as the "Citizen Kane of Alcoholic Clown Movies," clearly a better analogy than the "Gone with the Wind" one touted here. This is one strange fantasy where clowns hang out in their own bars watching clown shows on TV while tossing back shots. The bars are segregated by clown type, with bars for rodeo clowns and bars for party clowns with no mixing tolerated. Robin Williams' bit part as a mime instructor is some of his best work every, enhanced (as all Robins work should be) by it's brevity. Great work, Bobcat! (The kids in the sprinkler scene is great, a lovingly filmed, uncharacteristicly joyful moment in this very, very dark comedy.) Rumor has it that clown groups picketed theatres when this movie was released, claiming that it was defamatory to clowns.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Quite Possibly The Best Movie EVER mweber962000
Binky the clown cichas08
at the party where shakes gets really drunk... Flicks-11
a new adam sandler group has been made packed with photos, info etc caroleandkim
missing mime seen aura65-1
I really wanted to like this film. eastcoastguyz
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