- Erik Patterson went to his friend Marvin Solomon’s wedding as a drunk clown.
- He planned the stunt with Solomon five months in advance, Patterson told INSIDER.
- Patterson first went to the wedding in a suit, then donned the clown outfit after the ceremony. Most guests thought he was a wedding crasher.
- The pictures are hilarious.
Erik Patterson’s friend Marvin Solomon was getting married. There was only one problem: space was tight, and Solomon wasn’t sure Patterson could come.
But he offered Patterson a way: Come as a drunk clown, Solomon said, and you’re in.
Patterson took him up on the offer. As he shared in a series of tweets, he dressed up for Solomon’s wedding in full drunk clown regalia.
“He explained how, ever since he was a kid, he’d imagined a drunk clown crashing his wedding,” Patterson told INSIDER. “I never imagined I’d ever be a literal drunk clown at a wedding, but I’m so glad I did it.”
At the time, Patterson said, he hadn’t seen Solomon in a while. They were friends from Occidental College, where they both majored in theatre and acted in plays together. That he didn’t make the cut for the normal guest list didn’t surprise him. Weddings are expensive, he reasoned, and Solomon and his wife Laura both have big families.
But being asked to come as a drunk clown didn’t surprise him either. It was just something Solomon would do.
“He’s wonderfully weird. I wasn’t offended about not making the original invitation list,” Patterson said. “But the drunk clown thing made me laugh. I said yes on that first phone call and then we started planning.”
The two planned the stunt for five months before the September 2012 wedding at a vineyard in Paso Robles, California. They had to nail down a bunch of details, like what kind of clown Patterson should be, and anticipate how the other guests would react.
“Marvin mentioned wanting me to be a ‘drunk awkward clown,’ but I like to think I was more of a ‘drunk fun clown,'” Patterson said. “The awkwardness came from the entire situation, and from people not knowing I was a plant. That was what we were excited about, to see if we could pull this off and if his guests would genuinely think I was a wedding crasher.”
Patterson dressed normally for the ceremony – a typical suit and tie – but once it was over, he rushed to the bathroom, shaved his beard, got into the clown suit he kept in a bag, and started getting to work on a 40-ounce bottle of beer.
“As soon as the ceremony was over, my friend Aimie [Billon] and I snuck over to the bathroom,” Patterson said. “I shaved off my beard, changed into the clown suit, and then Aimie helped me with my make-up. I think she would agree that my make-up was kind of hideous and grotesque.”
From there, Patterson joined the reception. Marvin’s mother may have recognised him from theatre, Patterson said, but Laura’s family was bewildered.
“Laura’s family definitely thought I was a wedding crasher,” he said. “I kept going up to people and grabbing their wine from them and drinking it, then handing the empty glasses back to them. Everyone really got into the spirit of it.”
In his drunken spree, Patterson broke a few glasses, but people seemed to embrace the whole thing anyway. After a while, though, Laura’s father tried to boot him out. Laura had to come to his rescue.
“At one point, Laura’s dad called for security to escort me out,” Patterson said. “I don’t remember him being angry, I think he just didn’t want some drunk clown to ruin his daughter’s wedding. But then she told him that I was a friend of theirs, and then we continued celebrating.”
At some point, Patterson and the couple went into the venue’s vineyard to take some photos. They left him with a memento.
“On Marvin and Laura’s first anniversary, they gave me a framed copy of that photo where they’re out of focus and I’m standing behind them,” he said. “It’s hanging in my living room. They have it on the wall in their living room too. I’m happy I could help make Marvin’s wedding dream come true.”
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