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Shakes the Clown (1992)

Bruce Baum , Steve Bean  |  R |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Bruce Baum, Steve Bean, Julie Brown, Blake Clark, Eliza Coyle
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: April 4, 2000
  • Run Time: 87 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0767837991
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #103,872 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Shakes the Clown" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Bonus Trailer For Big Daddy

Editorial Reviews

This black comedy and cult favorite chronicles the fall of one of the world's most unlovable clowns. Bobcat Goldthwait (Scrooged) directs and stars as Shakes, whose drinking and womanizing threatens his gig as a party clown. Shakes's depression worsens when he loses his booking agent as a result of his out-of-control behavior and Binky, a rival clown, gets the top spot on a local kiddie show. Then, implicated in a murder, Shakes must come to grips with his alcohol problem, go undercover to try to clear his name, and rescue his girlfriend Julie, played by the always outrageous Julie Brown (Earth Girls are Easy and Medusa: Dare to be Truthful). Also features appearances by Robin Williams, Adam Sandler, Florence Henderson, and Kathy Griffin.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
66 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars YES YES YES! The Most Underrated Comedy Ever! July 16, 2000
I love DVD movies and for the longest time, the only reason I kept my laserdisc player was because I was afraid that "Shakes the Clown" would never come out on DVD. Let's face it; "Shakes the Clown" was an absolute flop in the theaters, and Bobcat Golthwait gambled his career on the movie, which never quite recovered. But since on video, "Shakes the Clown" has gained a strong cult following as one of the funniest, irreverent, misunderstood comedies of all time.
There are 2 kinds of people in this world; People who like "Shakes the Clown" and people who don't. Here's a quiz to find out which camp you fall into: If you like Liam Neeson movies, thought Julia Roberts was at her perkiest in the Runaway Bride, eat a lot of low-fat food and don't understand most Adam Sandler jokes, this isn't your movie. However, if you like South Park, if the Cable Guy was your favorite Jim Carrey film, and can appreciate the brilliance of well-constructed potty-humor, "Shakes the Clown" is right up your alley.
Bobcat is Shakes the Clown; an alcoholic party clown that doesn't know how to turn his life around. He hangs out in a dumpy clown-bar ("The Twisted Balloon"), and vainly wishes he could be a television clown. All he needs is one big break, but he's generally too drunk to do what's best for himself, like practice his juggling and regular pie-throwing target practice.
Binky the clown is his arch nemesis; Binky is the suburban party-clown that is used to things going his way. Binky is also busy pushing dope he buys from the more rowdy Rodeo Clowns. Shakes ends up in the wrong place during a bad drug deal and gets framed for killing a leader of the clown community with a juggling pin.
That's the basic plot and you know by now whether you will enjoy the movie or not.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Painfully funny, great cast... and quite filthy, too! October 31, 2000
It's nice to see that so many people out there have finally "gotten" this movie (it's belly-flopped when originally released). It has an incredibly flimsy story and no real depth of character but, guess what? Some movies just don't need strong story and characterization. Especially, when it's filled with such talented comedians as Goldthwait, Julie Brown, Adam Sandler (before he became huge), Kathy Griffin, Tom Kenny (from "Mr. Show" who steals every scene he's in), SNL's Tim Kazurinsky, and the legendary Paul Dooley ("Say, you clowns are on dope!"). The language throughout is so blue it's almost aquamarine, and yet it doesn't pander to the depths of gross-out humor that some comedies have (though there are scenes of vomit and urination played for laughs, the jokes are actually FUNNY). Man, this film is funny, funny, funny. See it! A cult classic.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A mime is a terrible thing to waste July 10, 2006
Pre-dating the much more popular "Bad Santa" by a good decade or so, Bobcat Goldthwait's sole directorial effort may have been a little too ahead of its time for its own good. Not that this is a groundbreaking piece of cinema, but within its narrow genre (Bitter Alcoholic Children's Entertainers) it has become a cult classic. Depending on your innate sense of humor, you will be either unspeakably shocked or wickedly delighted. Bobcat plays the title role fairly straight, considering the outrageousness of the story's central conceit. Something almost all reviews I've ever read seem to miss is the fact that Goldthwait's "clowns" are really a send-up of stand-up comedians, with all the backstage insecurity, jealously, pettiness and angst barely contained by the "happy" face paint (Maybe I recognize this underlying context because I used to work in stand up!) Julie Brown is appropriately twisted as the "love is blind" girlfriend, and Robin Williams almost steals the movie in his cameo as an abusive mime instructor. Not for all tastes, but worth a peek.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A tasteless masterpiece November 3, 2006
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Following the exploits of a good-hearted, booze-soaked clown who is trying to make his way in Palookaville, a town populated by denizens of that certain ditch in the entertainment world inhabited by clowns and mimes. He tries to kick the booze but his demons are hard to face. He gets involved in seedy intrigue with the tough, jaded rodeo clowns, picks on the mimes, and tries to avoid the indignity of doing balloon animals, all while keeping the bottle at bay lest he wake up puking into his frightwig. Oh yes, there's a love interest as well. Tasteless? Absolutely. Funny? If you know and love an alcoholic (or a clown), and you can still laugh about it, this movie will send you rolling off the couch and onto the floor in stitches. The relapse scene at the kids' pool party is alone worth the price of admission. A great cameo by Florence Henderson, and what may have been the last time Robin Williams was funny. Not for everyone, though, and let me state this for the record - NOT FOR THE KIDS!!! Got that? Now, go watch this!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Citizen Kane of alcoholic clown movies June 16, 2004
I really loved this movie, but it appeales to a certain sense of humor. Here's the litmus test: This flick begins with a cameo of Florence Henderson (aka Mrs. Brady) as Shakes the clown's washed out one night stand. If you don't find this the least bit funny then, "move along. nothing to see here." If this visual made you smile then watch Shakes the Clown. Its a rare gem.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Share this with people who ALREADY love you.
I have always told people about this movie. Finally bought it and realized how strange I may be. Chemical dependence and mental health issues are addressed in a dark, but funny... Read more
Published 3 days ago by Caprece
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 5 days ago by mike bales
5.0 out of 5 stars bobcat and adam sandler
this movie makes me laugh lots of very funny comedians are in it including the guy who voices sponge bob but this not a kids movie
Published 1 month ago by jamesyboi
5.0 out of 5 stars Beyond the real
Loved it. It parodies life, humans, and the universe. Kathy Griffin was hot, Florence Henderson was great. Great script, great gags.
Published 3 months ago by Eric C. Thompson
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Raunchy, Irreverent Comedy
I first saw this movie not long after it came out on VHS. I loved it then and recently saw a reference to it and found it on DVD. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Bruce Benjamin
5.0 out of 5 stars nose on the beard
this movie could be classified as a complete disaster. even with adam sandler in a supporting role, this film was made for the editors floor. not even the credits are worth saving. Read more
Published 7 months ago by emit1
4.0 out of 5 stars Finally Bought the DVD
Always being mistrustful of clowns, this movie confirmed my feelings. A raucously funny movie, I just need to watch this one every year or so.
Published 8 months ago by brrrrt
3.0 out of 5 stars Good fun but it's R for a reason
What can you say about shakes the clown? It's a great bunch of fun , good metaphor for addicts life style , I enjoyed the movie.
Published 10 months ago by D. G. Winter
5.0 out of 5 stars Social hierarchy finally revealed
The opening scene is to die for; a neatly-composed summation of disengaged middle society
all in the clown world. Life distilled of those who go along to get along. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Ricardo X
5.0 out of 5 stars drinking and drugs
well what can i say saw the movie years ago and wanted to see it again . no special about it
Published 11 months ago by Asheed A. Abark
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