Flasher the Clown story

I found this in some old email:

Tue, 23 Jan 2001

Flasher the Clown’s act banned for being too risque

Organizers of the annual Walnut Festival have banned Flasher the Clown from the parade after 27 years, saying his act is too lewd for the family event.

Bob Manion, 56, of Clayton was ejected from the September parade by police. The father of three said he is mystified about why festival organizers are
now objecting to his act — which he has performed at almost every Walnut Festival since 1973.

“There’s nothing perverse going on,” Manion said. “I’m just a clown trying to bring laughter to children and the aged.”

Yet festival officials say they received numerous complaints about Manion’s dog-in-the-pants routine at the Sept. 16 parade. Some spectators even
called the police after seeing Flasher throw open his coat to reveal a small dog peeking out of the top of his trousers.

“The dog was down in his crotch area,” said Walnut Creek police Lt. Craig Zamolo. “He was like a flasher, and the dog would pop out. People felt it
was inappropriate, that it perhaps sent the wrong message to the kids.”

Manion, a Chevron employee who describes himself as a devout Mormon, has performed as a hobby since joining a San Francisco-based Shriners’ clown
unit in 1973.

The Flasher routine, Manion said, was designed to let children interact with Angel, the family’s Chihuahua, who has since been succeeded by a Yorkshire terrier named Pixie.

Said Robert Menary, the parade’s chairman: “Even to be called Flasher the Clown today is too much.”


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