Everybody Loves a Clown

Album: Everybody Loves a Clown (1965)
Charted: 4


  • The fourth of seven Top 10 hits for Gary Lewis & the Playboys, this was the first song recorded song that Lewis also wrote; he composed it with his arranger Leon Russell along with Thomas Leslie. Lewis said in a Songfacts interview: "I always used to hang out at Leon Russell's house with him, because it was very conducive over there to creation. Musical creation. I mean, everybody that lived over there with Leon were musicians from Tulsa, Oklahoma. I liked all those guys a lot and everybody was always working on songs and beats and words. So hanging out with them, I started getting some ideas of my own. And for 'Everybody Loves a Clown,' I suggested to Leon, 'Why don't we write a song along the lines of a circus calliope.' I just thought of that. And he liked the idea and he worked on it for a little bit. He says, 'Well, I don't want to actually play a calliope, let's just put that feel to a normal piano and harpsichord sound.' And we bounced back and forth. So when we finally figured out what we were going to do, we came up with the line, [singing], 'da da da da da da day, du du du, du du du,' and it wasn't really a calliope thing, but it was circus-y. I liked it and we wrote the words together."
  • Gary Lewis is the son of the comedian/actor Jerry Lewis, but Gary was careful not to rely on his father's influence - Jerry didn't even know his son had a band until "This Diamond Ring" was recorded. Gary tells us that the song in no way deals with his relationship with his father.

    He told us: "A lot of it was inspired by the clowns always being sad. There were some happy clowns, too. But famous clowns like Emmett Kelly, always sad, very, very sad. They portray like they don't fit in with anything. So that was the inspiration for the lyrics. Everybody loves a clown, so why can't you? Everybody laughs at the things that I say and do."
  • This was used as the title of a 2006 episode of Supernatural where Sam and Dean Winchester hunt a demonic clown. The actual song, however, wasn't used in the episode.

Comments: 4

  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaThanks Gary and guys. This song tells feelings for a lot of us, myself included.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn September 20th 1965, Gary Lewis & the Playboys performed "Everybody Loves a Clown" on the NBC-TV program 'Hullabaloo'...
    Just under six weeks later on October 31st it peaked at #4 {for 1 week}, see 2nd post below...
    It was the fourth of seven* straight Top 10 records by the quintet; started with "This Diamond Ring" {#1 for 2 weeks}, "Count Me In" {#2 for 2 weeks}, "Save Your Heart for Me" {#2 for 2 weeks}, this one, "She's Just My Style" {#3 for 4 weeks}, "Sure Gonna Miss Her" {#9 for 1 week}, and finally "Green Grass" {#8 for 1 week}...
    * These seven records were also their first seven releases; they never had another Top 10 record, their next closes was "My Heart's Symphony", it was their 8th release, which broke the string, and it peaked at #13.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn December 4th 1966, Gary Lewis & the Playboys performed a medley of "This Diamond Ring", "Green Grass", "She's Just My Style", and "Where Will the Words Come From" on the CBS-TV program 'The Ed Sullivan Show'...
    One week later on December 11th, 1966 "Where Will the Words Come From" entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #87; and on January 22nd, 1967 it peaked at #21 {for 1 week} and spent 9 weeks on the Top 100...
    And exactly one year before the 'Sullivan' appearance, on December 4th, 1965, Gary & the boys were guests on 'American Bandstand' and they performed "Everybody Loves a Clown" {See post below}.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn December 4th, 1965 Gary Lewis & the Playboys performed "Everybody Loves a Clown" on ABC-TV program 'American Bandstand'...
    Three months earlier on September 25th it entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; and on Halloween Day 1965 it peaked at #4 (for 1 week) and spent 11 weeks on the Top 100...
    Between 1965 and 1969 the group had fifteen Top 100 hits; with seven reaching the Top 10 and one peaking at #1 ("This Diamond Ring" for 2 weeks in 1965).
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