The Polar Vortex, uprisings in the Ukraine and now A Clown Shortage. Does no one want to run off to join the circus any more? Or is this an evil plot by a raging hoard of caulrophobians?

Let the headline puns begin: "Send in the Clowns," "Who Will Fill Those Big Shoes?" and "All the World Loves A Clown...Not!"

According to the Daily News, it comes down to "declining interest, old age and higher standards... Membership at the World Clown Association, the country’s largest trade group for clowns, has dropped from about 3,500 to 2,500 since 2004."

The Daily News continues, " Membership at the country’s largest trade organizations for the jokesters has plunged over the past decade as declining interest, old age and higher standards among employers align against Krusty, Bozo and their crimson-nosed colleagues."

Maybe it's just time to put clowns in the same category as gas station attendants, whalers and chimney sweeps.  That should make the caulrophobians happy.