clown question

Bonnie Taylor-Blake b.taylorblake at GMAIL.COM
Mon Jun 18 15:08:41 UTC 2012

On Mon, Jun 18, 2012 at 6:50 AM, David Barnhart <dbarnhart at> wrote:

> "You always get that class clown question. 'No, I was the class accountant,
> but the class comedian got sick. I stepped in, and decided I'm not giving
> this up.' It's the same 10 questions. Ahhhh, shut up!" [Mike] MacDonald said
> before heading in to tape the new program.
> Larry McShane, "What's New In Comedy," Associated Press (Nexis), March 23,
> 1992, Monday, PM cycle

OK, but I think the distinction between this occurrence and Bryce
Harper's usage is that MacDonald was talking about a question related
to being a class clown while Harper essentially called out the
reporter for asking a silly/ridiculous question, one not worth his
time addressing.

(I'm going to try out "that's a clown question" this week, though not
with any of my superiors.)

-- Bonnie

The American Dialect Society -

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