Ringling Brothers circus performers debate in race to become Boss Clown

October 24, 2012 (CHICAGO)

Not quite.

Two clowns squared off Wednesday morning on Chicago's North Side in their campaign for a very coveted office.

The Disney Magnet School on North Marine Drive was the scene of the debate. It's a school that takes elections seriously, and this was no exception.

The third and fourth graders gathered, not only to hear the candidates, but also to vote and pick a winner.

And now let's meet the candidates: First of all, a clown named Mike Matters. He is the more progressive of the two.

And then it's Todd Voting, a more traditional clown running for office.

"We're going to do the Boss Clown debate. This is the last of four debates we have had in choosing the Boss Clown for Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus," said debate moderator Chet Chatterly.

Many debates have turned into circuses. This circus has turned into a debate.

And, even though it's played for laughs, it's serious business for the two candidates.

"I like the more natural look. Natural hair. With slimmer costumes and cooler colors," said Boss Clown candidate Mike Matters. "And I like a little bit smaller makeup because I want you to see the real clown, the real person behind the makeup."

"When you look at a clown you see that red nose. You see the makeup and you see the wig and the baggy pants because that's what tells you what clown is. And that's what I want to have happen. That look to continue on," said Boss Clown candidate Todd Voting.

What does the Boss Clown do anyway?

"He's the one who gets all the clowns together," said Chatterly. "Gets them focused on the show. Writes their gags, works out their numbers."

Some of the kids voted electronically. Others used the old-fashioned paper ballots.

The winner is Mike Matters. He'll be the new Boss Clown when the circus arrives in Chicago on November 1.

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