If Aristotle was alive today, he’d have a talk show.”

– Timothy Leary


Klem Klassen the Klown has the number-one rated late night TV talk show – his ratings far outstrip all competitors. Using his highly popular TV presence as political platform, Klassen decides to run for the Oval Office against the first woman to break the ultimate glass ceiling – incumbent Democrat, President Mildred Sizemore. But first he must out-debate the Republican candidates he dubs the “Seven Drones.” Or as he tells his wife, “I’ll oppose the opposition.”

Not only does Klem host his nightly show dressed as a clown, but he also wears the outfit to each debate. Naturally the media scores him for his lack of political, military and corporate experience, giving him a very slim chance of winning. Can he do it?




Chapter 1



The number-one rated night-time talk show was Klassen the Klown. Klem Klassen had been on top of the ratings within weeks after his premier. While other hosts took on different personalities or dressed up in scripted skits to satirize current news events to skewer politicians, Klem was always in character. He was dressed in his clown suit. To sit in the couch next to a clown made guests somehow reveal more of themselves and often behave, well clownishly.

Klem could get serious movie actors to do silly things like attempting twenty jumping jacks while holding an egg in their mouth. Invariably it would break and drizzle yolk all over an expensive custom tailored shirt. Klassen dared one leading actress (known for her dramatic roles as an attorney, queen, army general, and mother superior), to lift her skirt and show off her panties. She did it to howling audience approval, but he didn’t stop her there.

Klem honked his desk-mounted horn.”How about if you turn around and moon the audience!”

“No way!”

“Yes way!”

Dramatic Actress cast him a severely arched eyebrow as she might playing a queen considering a request from an archduke. Nonetheless, she stood, turned her backside to the audience, flipped her knee-length skirt up, lowered her frilly panties, and revealed her finely gym-tuned naked bottom. Dramatic Actress may have been on the cusp of turning sixty, but her posterior would make a forty-year old jealous – and most likely want to know what her regimen was.

She received a nearly ecstatic standing ovation, plus a smattering of sustained wolf whistles.

In the final minutes of his midnight to 1pm show, there would be an off-stage knock on a door. This is what guests and his large TV audience anxiously awaited. Who would it be tonight? So popular was Klassen’s show that he had a long wait-list of celebrities eager to knock on his door, even if the result was always exactly the same.

Klassen would put a hand to his ear and announce, “Who could that possibly be?” as the audience roared with laughter.

He would get up from behind his desk, shuffle forward in his bright red oversize shoes, and slowly open the door to reveal an A-list celebrity.

Then the highly anticipated pay-off money shot.

BAM! A cream pie right in the kisser!

The audience would go insane as they watched the close-up on the overhead high definition monitors of a blinking star wiping pie goo off his or her famous Botoxed face.

“Got you!” Klassen the Klown would grin, closing another successful show.


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Mark Leysen lives in Irvine, California. He holds an MA degree in art, and although retired as a college studio art instructor, he is not retired from painting or writing. The Klown is his third novel.

–  Photo by Tania

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