Shakes the Clown (1992) - Rotten Tomatoes

Shakes the Clown (1992)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Shakes the Clown Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

This black comedy chronicles the fall of one of the world's most unlovable clowns as he plies his trade and tries to survive in Palukaville a town where everyone is more or less a Bozo. Shakes loves women and more than that, he loves his booze. Like many of his painted peers, ol' Shakes likes to hang out at The Twisted Balloon, the favorite local pub where he hoists a few, beats up on mimes (the lowest caste in Palukaville) and causes trouble with his girl friend Judy, a woman who cannot say the letter "L." Because the slovenly Shakes can't seem to make it to birthday parties sober and on time, he is fired from his booking agency, causing him to go on a big drinking binge. Later, Shakes awakens and learns that Binky, a lousy TV-clown, is framing him for beating up Shake's former boss with a juggling pin. Now poor Shakes must clear his name. He must also rescue "Juwee" who has been kidnapped by the nefarious Binky, and he must come to grips with his alcohol problem (perhaps the film could be therefore titled "Clown and Sober?"). Keep an eye peeled for cameos by Robin Williams, as a mime instructor, and Florence Henderson as one of Shake's illicit sexual conquests.more
Rating: R (adult situations/language)
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Bobcat Goldthwait
In Theaters:
On DVD: Apr 4, 2000
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment


Bobcat Goldthwait
as Shakes The Clown
Tom Kenny
as Stenchy
Florence Henderson
as Unknown Woman
Bruce Baum
as Ty the Rodeo Clown
Steve Bean
as Beaten Mime in Park
Blake Clark
as Stenchy the Clown
Eliza Coyle
as Enthusiastic Mime
Paul Dooley
as Owen Cheese
Gerald F. Edelstein
as 2nd Party Dad
Jack Gallagher
as Officer Crony
Scott Herriott
as Floor Director
Melissa Hurley
as Producer at Bigtime ...
Tim Kazurinsky
as 1st Party Dad
Paul Kozlowski
as HoHo the Clown
Jeremy S. Kramer
as Detective Boar
Danielle Spencer
as Boots the Clown
Sydney Lassick
as Peppy the Clown
Joel Murray
as Milkman
Bob Nickman
as Gas Station Owner
LaWanda Page
as Female Clown Barfly
Shane Ricci
as Obnoxious Kid at Par...
Johnny Silver
as Clown Tailor
Cary Smith
as Mom at Party
Dan Spencer
as Boots the Clown
Greg Travis
as Randi the Rodeo Clow...
Sidney Lassick
as Peppy the Clown
Tony V.
as Broken Saddle Bounce...
Tom Villard
as Dirthead in Car
Martin Charles Warne...
as Male Clown Barfly
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Shakes the Clown

Critic Reviews for Shakes the Clown

All Critics (20) | Top Critics (3)

Basically a redneck drive-in movie in style and delivery.

Full Review… | May 22, 2008
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

The movie plays like a series of scene outlines -- ideas for how the movie should progress -- that needed more writing and revision before the actors were called in.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Shakes the Clown has been photographed as poorly as it was conceived.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

A bizarre comedy that stretches its central gimmick thinner than watered-down carnival taffy.

Full Review… | May 22, 2008
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Extra credit for beating up mimes!

March 15, 2008
Nolan's Pop Culture Review

Great idea for a tasteless short, but not enough for a feature.

January 12, 2006
Capital Times (Madison, WI)

Audience Reviews for Shakes the Clown


This movie is a bit weird, but that's what I love about it. Goldthwait has a weird dark sense of humor, and it really makes this movie unique. There is also an interesting cast, as you can see on here, it's made up of a bunch of people you never expected to see in a film together. Anyway, if you like strange comedies, you'll like this one.

Aj V

Super Reviewer


Certainly not for everyone, but if you enjoy absurdism mixed with sick/twisted satire - Goldthwait's directorial debut will not disappoint. Perverse and just plain wrong - this little movie well deserves its cult-following.

Matty Stanfield
Matty Stanfield

A rather unfunny comedy about low-life clowns. Tom Kenny, Robin Williams, Bobcat Gothwait, Adam Sandler, etc. Too depressing to watch these people wallow in filth.


Shakes the Clown Quotes

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