Are you ready to greet 2009 with a greasepaint smile -- and nothing else?
Twenty-one buff bozos have stripped off their goofy suspenders and floppy shoes for a calendar that will make you laugh and help people with multiple sclerosis.
"You might not think clowns have good bodies, but with all the acrobatics training that goes into performing, we're actually in pretty good shape," says Chad Benjamin Potter of the San Francisco Clown Conservatory.
These clowns were inspired by conservatory cofounder Judy Finelli, who has performed on Sesame Street and at Carnegie Hall over the course of three-decade career.
Finelli, once a renowned juggler, was diagnosed with MS in 1989. "She remains very articulate, and she's a mentor and an inspiration," Potter tells me. "But the disease has put her in considerable pain."
These civic-minded clowns are hoping to raise $1 million with their $20 calendar.
I'm just glad this is a charitable cause, because I'm the type who just can't live without a naked clown calendar. At least I can tell people, I bought it for charity (and I did it on the same day I completed the MS Bike New York Marathon).
"We actually thought of doing a clowns-in-bikinis calendar," Potter said. "But why do something halfway?"