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Best of Charleston 2014 

Clowning Around

Welcome to the Charleston City Paper’s annual Best of Charleston issue. But before we get to the winners, please give us a chance to apologize. We realize that some of you out there are scared to death of clowns. In fact, you’re probably sweating right now as you read this. Heck, you might have even checked your pulse a few times. And for that, we’re dreadfully sorry (oh and breathe deep, friend, breathe deep). Right now, you can either close this week’s issue and never look at it again — although you’ll have a difficult time escaping it since it’ll be on racks all around town — or you can just slip on a pair of oversized clown shoes and a red rubber nose and try to get over your fear, because, the next hundred-plus pages are jam-packed with clowns. And they’re helping us celebrate this year’s winners, from Best Restaurant to Best Massage Therapist to Best Troublemaker. As usual, we’ve also added a few new categories, like Best Juice Bar and Best Home Security Company. So quit clowning around and get to reading.

Attractions & City Living | Politics & Public Affairs
Culture, Arts & Entertainment | News & The Media
Recreation, Health, & Beauty | Shops & Wares
Eating & Drinking Out

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Meet the wild, drunken hobo clowns terrorizing the Holy City
Meet the wild, drunken hobo clowns terrorizing the Holy City Clown and Out

One gloomy afternoon in February, when icy weather had shut down much of Charleston, Charlemagne Pittsford, a.k.a Mr. Pitts, was drunkenly hurling hypodermic needles at a dartboard in a back-alley hobo camp on Upper King Street. — Corey Hutchins


The wisdom and sorrow of Puddles, the clown with the golden voice
The wisdom and sorrow of Puddles, the clown with the golden voice Paint It White

Puddles, a nearly 7-foot-tall sad clown from Atlanta with a mellifluous baritone voice best known for singing Lorde's hit single "Royals" in a viral YouTube video, won't talk to me on the phone. Instead, Puddles' publicist refers me to Big Mike, Puddles' right-hand man of sorts. — Paul Bowers


You can blame Stephen King for the spread of coulrophobia
You can blame Stephen King for the spread of coulrophobia Clown Cure

Clowns used to be images of happiness, jovial reminders of childhood, but it seems these days that more often than not they strike fear in people — young and old. Where did this coulrophobia, or phobia of clowns, come from? — Melissa Tunstall


Mocked, misunderstood, and maligned, the Juggalos stand by each other
Mocked, misunderstood, and maligned, the Juggalos stand by each other Family Matters

For a country built on religious freedom and free speech, we certainly are a judgmental lot. In fact, certain subcultures seem to receive a disproportionate share of scorn. Ponytailed ex-hippies in expensive vehicles. — Chris Parker


PHOTOS: Puddles, evil clowns invade 2014 Best of Charleston Party
PHOTOS: Puddles, evil clowns invade 2014 Best of Charleston Party #BOC14 was no laughing matter

Pity the poor coulrophobe who was invited to last night's Best of Charleston Party. They had a difficult decision to make: Stay home and miss out on the party of the year or drop by Johnson Hagood Stadium and be surrounded by the very thing they fear most — clowns. Judging by the crowd, more than a few coulrophobes faced their fears. Wrong decision. — Chris Haire


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