Monday, June 9, 2014

OMG: MORE new photos of Milky the Clown!

OK, so it isn't THAT great. Somebody put together a collage or montage of the few existing photos of Milky (unless someone, some day, discovers a cache of hundreds or even thousands of images of the Twin Pines clown, stashed away like reels of ancient movies from 1914). I did isolate two that I haven't seen:

I apologize for the bleariness of these, but this was another time. Meantime I did a little digging about the origins of Milky's "Pierrot" costume, which actually fits the category of a Pulcinella (in English, Punchinello, or Punch for short, a la Punch and Judy). Hard to believe that the original medieval clowns wore white. No rainbow wigs or slap shoes here.

Pulcinellas (or Pulcinellae, as I prefer to call them) were nasty little creatures in costumes made out of bedsheets, and this one seems to be holding a butter-churn (though most of them were troubadours and played lutes or flutes or whatever came to hand). They typically wore black masks with long curved beaks on them, raven-like. Like most clowns, like ALL clowns, there was a creepy element to them, and part of their mandate was to sneak up on people and scare the shit out of them.

When the Milkster dominated the airwaves in Detroit, the Pulcinella-style clown was rare, if not unheard-of. They're still pretty rare outside of Europe. But I think I figured it out: the Punch costume is white, like - well, like milk, of course! The only way a clown could wear a costume that matched the product he was flogging was to style himself like his nasty medieval forbears.  His dry cleaning bill must have been astronomical.

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