Clowns are comic performers who employ slapstick or similar types of physical humour, often in a mime style.

Clowns have a varied tradition with significant variations in costume and performance. The most recognisable modern clown character is the Auguste or "red clown" type, with outlandish costumes featuring distinctive makeup, colourful wigs, exaggerated footwear, and colourful clothing. Their entertainment style is generally designed to entertain large audiences, especially at a distance.

Modern clowns are strongly associated with the tradition of the circus clown, which developed out of earlier comedic roles in theatre or Varieté shows during 19th to mid 20th century.