In general, we typically see clowns in one of two ways—happy or absolutely terrifying. However, today we're talking about sad clowns. Sad clowns are frequently depicted in art and there's even the famous song, "The Tears of a Clown" by Smokey Robinson and The Miracles about them.
But there's more to sad clowns than haunting paintings or a hit song. The sad clown paradox is the contradictory connection between comedy and mental illnesses such as depression. Many comedians source their humor from dark places and use it as an outlet. Often times, this trauma revolves around early childhood, school or family relations. Several well known comedians have discussed the hardships they experienced early in life and why they leaned into comedy, notably Tommy Smothers, Johnny Carson, Woody Allen and Norman Lear. It just goes to show that there can be more to a comedian than the funny jokes they include in their sets or specials.
Comedians or not, many have taken the paradox head on through symbolic tattoos. Take a look at 65 of our favorite sad clown tattoos in the gallery below and let us know your favorite piece from this list in the comments section on social media.