Bozo Gone Bad
Sex-crazed, psychotic clowns

Clown fight, clown fight!" chants the crowd, egging on two figures rolling about the floor of the L.A. club Spaceland. It's intermission time during an evening performance of the world famous, New York-based Bindlestiff Family Circus, and Michael Perrick, aka Fucko the Clown, has some wimpy, half-assed clown in a headlock. At first the tussle seems staged. But when Fucko ignores the other clown's cries of pain and, apparently, farts in his face, you know it's the real deal.

See also...
... by Stephen Lemons
... in the Crave section
... from January 6, 2000

"Aaaah, nobody messes with Fucko!" growls Perrick.

Most of the crowd thinks Fucko's with Bindlestiff. But actually, Fucko is an L.A. clown -- one of scores of deranged, decadent clowns in the city who are more Shakes than Clarabell, more Flunky than Bozo. They're a raunchy pack of circus freaks who like to drink, smoke and engage in group sex whenever possible. And they'll kick your ass if you give them any lip.

Granted, they're not as bad as John Wayne Gacy, but no one's perfect.

With his bald head, painted-on scowl and large ears filled with piercings, Fucko looks like one mean friggin' clown. As a weapon, he carries a long, snakelike bopper.

"It's a penis extension," explains the gentlemanly, 32-year-old Perrick. "I use it to bop people."

According to Perrick, Fucko is a real horndog, and the ladies love him. "You'd be amazed," says Perrick. "If some guy off the street started grabbing a girl's ass, he'd get the shit beaten out of him. You walk up as a clown and start whacking some girl's butt, she bends over! It's weird. Makeup is an amazing icebreaker. I remember one girl who even spread her legs and let me sniff her crotch."

Perrick started doing Fucko as a member of L.A.'s Cacophony Society, an organization dedicated to performing a variety of dadaist acts in the most outré manner possible. Clowns are just one of the recurring themes they're notorious for exploring. They've had clown sex parties with male and female clowns engaged in clown orgies. Even more outrageous was a stunt that Perrick and his Cacophony buddies pulled in downtown L.A., dressed in their clown trappings.

"We picked an office building," recalls Perrick. "And in the middle of the afternoon went floor to floor, into different offices, saying, 'We're here for John's birthday!' We'd wander into these meetings where there'd be twenty or thirty suits sitting around a table with donuts.

"We'd steal the donuts, do cartwheels. Chuckles, this girl clown, would rip off her top and rub her tits in some guy's face. The suits would go nuts. All of a sudden, we'd ask, 'Whose birthday is this?' No one would raise a hand. Then we'd start beating each other up, saying, 'You got the wrong floor!' Meanwhile, we've moved on to the next level. We did eight floors before we got thrown out of the building."

Brad Steele's "Burnt Animal Artist" is another L.A. clown act. Under the guise of Punko, Steele, 29, performs on stilts that make him about ten feet tall. He has a partner named Slick dressed in a monkey outfit.

Together they put a number of plush animals out of their misery.

"Slick takes these stuffed animals and throws them in the air," Steele explains. "I spit fire and torch them. Then Slick takes them and staples them to a movable target board. Afterwards, he says, 'Watch out, they're not dead!' He pulls out a paint pellet gun and shoots them. I also take ketchup and mustard and squirt it all over them and spin the target. It makes an art piece. That's why we're 'Burnt Animal Artists.'"

Unlike Fucko, Punko's not mean -- just crazy. Steele's been doing the character for a couple of years at clubs and private parties. Recently, he enlisted his girlfriend to help him with an erotic version of a well-known clown skit, the "Doll Act."

"In the act, one clown comes out of a box," he says. "The way we do it, she comes out as a blow-up sex doll. I start to take advantage of her. Then she comes to life, kicks me around, pulls a giant dildo out of a box and kills me with it, throwing me into the box."

Steele lives in the San Fernando Valley with three other clowns in a house they refer to as "The Monkey Ranch." Being more conventional clowns, they don't particularly dig his Punko act.

"They say, 'You're not a clown. You're just a fool, making fun of us,'" Steele relates. "I tell 'em, 'It's the '90s, man, wake up!'"

For more information about Brad Steele, call (213) 707-0954. Michael Perrick can be contacted through the L.A. Cacophony Society at

Stephen Lemons is a writer in L.A. and a frequent contributor to GettingIt. He'd love to get it on with some raunchy chick clowns. Interested parties can contact him through GettingIt.