Yesterday I related the story of Soupy Sales meeting a clown with a Krusty like attitude. Soupy explained to the clown how his character could easily be replaced by another guy, with the same make up.
But that’s not necessarily true. If the studio hired the guy to fill the giant shoes, that’s one thing. But if the clown owns his character, he owns the trademark to the makeup and costume. If he were very successful, say like Bozo the clown, he would be in a more powerful position. He could even license out the image to someone else. Krusty could have said, “Yeah, but if I am successful, I can hire 6 guys to play me in different cities, and pay each half what I make. I could make three times as much for doing nothing.”
And it happens.
Here are three guys called “Blue Man Group”
I saw them decades ago off Broadway in NYC. It was probably the originators of the show. Would I recognize them anywhere else? No way. Now they have multiple shows playing, and those guys don’t put on the blue masks any longer. They just administer the company. In fact, Blue Man Group could easily continue after they are dead.
It’s good to own your character.