Drudge linked to this:
EXCLUSIVE: National clown shortage may be approaching, trade organizations fear
I think there's been a miscount. The clowns are out there, they've just quit using the makeup.
As the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus returns to Brooklyn Thursday, membership at the country's largest clown organizations has plunged over the past decade amid declining interest, old age and higher standards for the jokesters.