Do you like clowns? Or does anyone like clowns?

Coulrophobia --- or basically the fear of clowns --- is widely known for it's weird origin and is highly-argued in the academic realm, many people would admit that clowns totally freak them out.

It turns out that for the past centuries, clowns have been linked with a disturbing history --- financial ruin, murder, infidelity, and pedophilia have all stained the clowning profession.

Here are some events/clowns that changed the history of funny, and entertaining clowns:

1. Joseph Grimaldi

Joseph Grimaldi, a London entertainer, was said to have invented the modern clown in the early 1800s. Grimaldi performed physical comedy while wearing colorful and weird costumes. He was known for being extremely depressed outside his routine: His first wife died during childbirth, his father was tyrannical, and his son became an alchoholic known to drank himself to death at the age of 31.

2. Jean-Gaspard Deburau

Around the same time in France, everyone was laughing at Jean-Gaspard Deburau's Pierrot, a clown character witha white face, black eyebrows and red lips --- one of the first professional silent mimes. He was universally beloved in France, but in 1836 deburau killed a boy with a blow from his cane after the boy taunted him. Though he was ultimately acquitted, the image of a killer clown stuck in the public conscious.

But there's evidence that kids actually like clowns, especially sick children. two separate studies showed that there was a beneficial health effect on sick children after playing with a therapy clown. It reduced their anxiety and some even recovered faster.

So maybe clowns aren't so bad after all!