When did dressing like a clown become a thing?

The other night I saw a young man on a late-night talk show.

I assumed he was famous because he was on a late-night talk show, but I don’t know. I’ve discovered lately that you don’t have to be famous to be on a late-night talk show. Sometimes you get to be on a late-night talk show because you’re not famous. In fact, sometimes, not being famous is just as good as being famous.

Famous-wise, I mean.

This happens to me a lot lately. Someone will be on TV that I assume is famous but I’m not really sure because I don’t keep up on famous people like I used to.

I realized that was happening to me a few years ago when I discovered I had no idea who the person hosting “Saturday Night Live” was and why he was famous enough to be hosting the show. At the time I was shocked by my ignorance of famous people, but now I seldom know who the “Saturday Night Live” host is or why he or she is hosting the show.

My wife does though. Well, she says she does, but again, I don’t know.

Me: Who is that person hosting ‘Saturday Night Live?

Wife: Oh, you know.

Me: “o, I don’t. That’s why I asked.

Wife: Sure, you do. She was in that show.

Me: What show?

Wife: Oh, you know.

Me: Sigh.

The reason I noticed the young man on the late-night talk show was because he was wearing a nice-looking suit. And a pair of red high-top tennis shoes.

See, this is why I get accused of dressing like an old man. When I was a young man, no one would ever think to wear red high-top tennis shoes with a suit. Even clowns wouldn’t wear red high-top tennis shoes with a suit. And when I say clowns, I mean actual circus clowns, not random strange people.

When I was young, if you asked a circus clown to wear red high-top tennis shoes with a nice suit, he would likely say, “Are you crazy? I would look like an idiot.”

This from a circus clown.

When I saw the young man on the late-night talk show wearing red high-top tennis shoes with a nice suit, I thought, “What a clown.”

Then I thought, “Wow, I guess that’s what it means to be old.”

I first sensed I was getting old years ago when kids started wearing baseball caps backward.

When I was young, the only time you wore your baseball cap backward was when you were pretending to be a moron.

So years later, when wearing baseball caps backward became a craze, I figured young people were morons. But they weren’t. I mean, it wasn’t their fault. They weren’t around when I was young so the young people didn’t know wearing your baseball cap backward made you look like a moron.

It turns out that wearing tennis shoes with formal clothes is a thing now, much like saying something “is a thing now” is a thing now.

But for old people like myself who grew up with different fashion values, it’s hard to wrap our heads around tennis shoes being worn with formal clothes.

So we refuse to follow along. We continue to wear dress shoes with formal clothes even though by doing so we run the risk of being accused of dressing like old people.

But it’s a risk we are willing to take.

For one thing, we are old.

And for another thing, we don’t care. We just know that we are not going to wear red high-top tennis shoes with a suit.

Or baseball caps backward. Even it if is a thing.