The Clowns (partially found Austrian/Dutch children's television series; 1987-1988)

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Die seltsame Geschichte der Clowns.JPEG

a photo of the Die seltsame Geschichte der Clowns VHS prints from Harlekijn Holland's Archive.

Status: Partially Found

The Clowns, known in Austria and Germany as 'Dort kommen die Clowns' or 'Die seltsame Geschichte der Clowns' and in the Netherlands as 'Daar komen de clowns' or 'Het verhaal van de clowns', is a television series written by writer/singer/comedian Herman van Veen, also known for Alfred J. Kwak and other properties.


This series was produced by the Austrian broadcaster ÖRF, together with the Dutch broadcaster VOO, but was filmed exclusively in German. The series was also produced by Rudolf Carl and directed by Perz Oberhauser. Actors involved were Herman van Veen in the starring role, together with Gisela May, Cor Witsche, and Heinz Rudolf Kunze. Six episodes were made, each episode except for the first one beginning with a brief series recap before the intro song (sung by Veen) played and the episode started. Episode length was 45 minutes.

It aired on the Austrian broadcaster Österreichische Rundfunk (ÖRF) in 1987 and on Dutch television by the Veronica Omroep Organisatie (VOO) in November to December 1988. The sixth episode was dubbed in Dutch, the rest was transmitted in German and subtitled.

After the series aired, a narrative story with song was released on vinyl, cassette, and CD. A book with illustrations also followed. These releases are based on the TV series and follow the same plot. The cover for most releases is a still from the television series showing the flying high-hat spaceship. These audio and book releases are not lost and can be relatively easily found.

The author Herman van Veen also uses the intro song, 'De clowns' or 'Die Clowns' depending on language, in his live performances.


A 4-minute upload of the fifth episode exists on YouTube, consisting of the intro and a series recap, before the upload cuts out.

It looks like it had a few VHS prints from Junior and Karusell, but they seem to be quite obscure.