He has a history with anxiety that's at odds with his clownish public front.
“I mean, this is the greatest country in the world, and you have this clownish performance by Senator Johnson,” he says.
And there are going to be some very savvy candidates, not just clownish flame-outs like Herman Cain.
The closest we came to heat was the alleged philandering of the clownish Herman Cain.
And it's quite clear they thought Mitt Romney's choice of a running mate was a clownish decision.
Larkin began a clownish Highland fling that eloquently spoke his thoughts.
These Macedonians are a rude and clownish people that call a spade a spade.
But those luckless, clownish mannikins seem to have agreed together to send the man to Tabal in Akhs!
Beside him, Jolly Robin seemed somewhat awkward and clownish.
He despised what he called book-larning, and suffered his only son to grow up as ignorant and clownish as himself.
1560s, clowne, also cloyne, "rustic, boor, peasant," origin uncertain. Perhaps from Scandinavian dialect (cf. Icelandic klunni "clumsy, boorish fellow;" Swedish kluns "a hard knob; a clumsy fellow," Danish klunt "log, block"), or akin to North Frisian klönne "clumsy person." Or, less likely, from Latin colonus "colonist, farmer," though awareness of this word might have influenced the sense development in English.
Meaning "professional fool, professional or habitual jester" is c.1600. "The pantomime clown represents a blend of the Shakes[pearean] rustic with one of the stock types of the It. comedy" [Weekley]. Meaning "contemptible person" is from 1920s. Fem. form clowness attested from 1801.
c.1600, "to play the clown onstage," from clown (n.); colloquial sense of "to behave inappropriately" (e.g. clown around, 1932) attested by 1928, perhaps from theatrical slang sense of "play a (non-comical) part farcically or comically" (1891). Related: Clowned; clowning.
A person for whom the speaker feels mild contempt, esp one whose behavior merits derision: Get this clown off my back and let me help you (1920s+)
(also clown around) To behave frivolously; persist in inappropriate levity (1940s+)