The emotional support animal craze has officially gone from “weird” to “terrifying”.

A man in New Zealand brought a professional clown to a layoff meeting at work, claiming that it was his emotional support person.

Joshua Thompson worked at an advertising company in Auckland. He was recently called in for a serious meeting with his bosses. Sensing bad news, he opted to bring a clown to, uh, brighten up the event.

Employees in New Zealand are allowed by law to bring a support person to layoff meetings, but a clown is surely a first!

“I thought it’s best to bring in a professional and so I paid $200 and hired a clown,” Joshua told MediaWorks. “I mean I did get fired, but apart from that it was all smooth running.”

A while ago, I got a job. A short while later, I lost it. For anyone who hasn’t been fired, what happens is they…

Posted by Joshua Jack on Thursday, September 12, 2019

During the meeting, the clown blew up balloons and folded them into animals, including a unicorn and a poodle. He even mimed crying when Joshua got his paperwork.

“It was rather noisy him making balloon animals so we had to tell him to be quiet from time to time,” he said.

Joshua paid $200 for the clown, who is reportedly one of the best in the city. He says the presence of the clown didn’t jeopardize the meeting at all.

“They were getting a free service, they were also getting the entertainment from Joe the Clown,” he said.

The adman has spoken about what unfolded when he took a professional clown – as a support person – to his restructuring meeting. 🤡

Posted by nzherald.co.nz on Friday, September 13, 2019

Joshua has now gone viral for this cheeky move.

And in a classic maneuver, since losing his job, he’s obtained another job in advertising in Australia—possibly with the assistance of his new viral fame.