The Auguste/Joey Clown Spectrum

Classic comedy duos are made up of a leader and a follower - the clever, bossy one who always thinks they know best, and the eager, idiotic sidekick. We see this dynamic in such comedy teams as Abbott and Costello, Laurel and Hardy, Martin and Lewis, George Burns and Gracie Allen, or Ricky and Lucy Ricardo.

In the European tradition of clown duos, the leader is called the White Clown, or Joey - after the first famous white face clown, Joey Grimaldi - and the follower is called the Auguste, or He Who Gets Slapped. The Joey constantly orders around the Auguste, who is vulnerable, naive, and eager to please. The Auguste is all heart, is more innocent than stupid, takes everything literally and is easily manipulated by the Joey, who lives to delegate. This relationship is exemplified by the talented Canadian clown duo, Mump and Smoot.

When we seek our personal clown, we discover that we have a version of the Auguste and Joey archetypes inside of us - our knowledgeable Adult side and our innocent inner Child. The blend of those two energies - the emotional, impulsive follower, and the bossy, confident leader - make up the essence of our most authentic self, our Wise Fool.