Pennywise vs Twisty: Who’s Scarier?


A new clown is about to join pop culture’s circus courtesy of season four of FX’s American Horror Story, subtitled Freak Show.  His name is the playfully benign Twisty the Clown, but he is described by his creator, AHS mastermind Ryan Murphy, as “the most terrifying clown of all time.”  More terrifying, supposedly, than Stephen King’s It.

I don’t know about that.  Have you seen It?

I did. On November 18, 1990. I wanted to watch the ABC miniseries about a clown (that’s as much as I knew at the time) like the rest of the family was about to do in the living room. But mother told me to go to bed and to go to sleep. I should have listened. My God, I should have listened. But I was six-years-old and a badass. There was no controlling me; I was going to watch the clown movie.

I nestled myself in bed, turned the TV on and began to watch It. I watched little Georgie (also six-years-old, and much less of a badass in his bright yellow raincoat) follow his paper sailboat as it drops down into a storm drain and “Pennywise the Dancing Clown” presents himself.

Everything was going so well. Pennywise makes friends with Georgie, endearingly calls him “Bucko.” He offers Georgie a balloon (to match his raincoat no less) and promises him a world of cotton candy and rides and surprises. And then he fetches Georgie’s paper boat. Pennywise seemed like a really nice clown, like a really solid guy deep down beneath all that face paint.

I’m thinking, “My seventh birthday… this clown’s MINE!”


And then Pennywise murders Georgie… my childhood ends, and a lifelong trauma roots itself in my subconscious.

So, good luck Ryan Murphy. And good luck Twisty. We’ll see who wins the battle of most terrifying clown, but for now my money (that goes mostly towards therapy) is on It.


American Horror Story: Freak Show premieres Wednesday, October 8th on FX.

The following two tabs change content below.

Jason Tropiano

Writer at hutchbydesign
A writer of screenplays and things who pays himself in cupcakes.

Latest posts by Jason Tropiano (see all)

A writer of screenplays and things who pays himself in cupcakes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>