Soon, clowns may only exist in your nightmares, under your bed, and in the back of your closet, clutching a knife and hiding amongst all those stuffed animals... just waiting for the right moment. There is a national clown shortage coming our way, according to a Daily News exclusive. The tabloid reports that younger generations just aren't interested in running away with the circus, and memberships at clown organizations have been on the decline for a decade.

Glen Kohlberger, Clowns of America International President, told the paper, “What’s happening is attrition. The older clowns are passing away.” :( :( :( :( And with less youthful talent in the pool, there's not always someone to replace retired and... dead clowns. Kohlberger added that the younger generation "go on to high school and college and clowning isn’t cool anymore... [it's] then put on the back burner until their late 40s and early 50s."

Maybe we're better off though?

UPDATE: Clown and filmmaker Jeff Seal tells us, "There are still a lot of younger people becoming clowns, they're just not joining the Clowns of America International. It's more of a generational thing I think. It's like joining the Shiners club or something like that. Also, maybe it has to do with the weakening of American labor unions in general (just kidding not kidding). Plus, there's a lot of clowns coming out of China who will work for really cheap."