The Auguste: (pronounced Aw goost) falls in the middle of the clown line up, right between the White Face and Tramp. The word Auguste is believed to come from a German slang word for idiot or buffoon, as the first character of this kind was played to be clumsy and not very bright.
The makeup base is a blend or orange and pink tones, more close to a Caucasian skin tone than that of the white face. Red, white and black are the common colors for the facial accent features, but sometimes other colors are used as well. Albert Fratellini, an early Auguste Clown, is credited for introducing the red nose to the clowning world. Lou Jacobs is one of the most recognizable Augsute clowns with his trade mark pointed head, over-sized plaid suit, tiny clown car and a Chihuahua named Knucklehead. Lou Jacobs performed most of his career with the Ringling Brothers Circus.
Wardrobe of an Auguste can be described as a tailor’s nightmare with a mix of plaids, stripes and checkered patterns all in one outfit. Clothes fitting too large or too small are also a key trait of the ensemble. Bright colors are also very fitting for the Auguste.
Often played as an overgrown child or simpleton the Auguste could easily be described as a halfwit, innocent like a child or blissfully unaware. This character is commonly the comic relief to the White Face but a step above the Tramp or Hobo. The Auguste can also be quite impish and cause trouble for the other clown brigade.
Our friend Boo Boo is a sweet Auguste who is very child like in her behavior and really hits it off with the kids. A talented face painter and balloon twister, Boo Boo keeps quite busy in her clown life year round. She is one of the official face painters for the Detroit Tiger’s Baseball Team. She also is quite clever in designing props and fun walk around gags for parades and festivals.
The 3 stooges are often a good default to describe the clown types: Moe is the boss/ White Face, Larry is the middle man/ Auguste and Curly would be on the bottom rung/ The Tramp.
In a nutshell, the Auguste is quite a fun, diverse clown character and is very popular for the beginner clown. This brings us right in line with our next makeup contest which will be for the Auguste, stay tuned for details and be ready to send in your best photo.