“It’s unlikely anyone alive has made more clowns cry than Philippe Gaulier. In a supposedly more sensitive era, hundreds of people regularly travel from all around the world to a small town an hour outside of Paris to study clowning with Gaulier, a gruff 78-year-old √©minence grise known for his blunt, flamboyantly negative feedback … This process can sometimes sound like a masochistic cleansing ritual. ‘He just insults his students all day long until they start laughing and their ego gets out of the way,’ Bazinet said. ‘You are taking your ego to the slaughterhouse.'” NYT (Gift Article): The Dumbledore of Clowning. “The French master teacher Philippe Gaulier has worked with stars like Sacha Baron Cohen. But at 78, are his methods, which include insults, outdated?” (With democracy on the ropes, I think we can live with a clown who is overly insulting.)