Even after the first viewing of ‘Stranger Things’ Season One, the Stephen King influences were obvious. Now, after ‘It’ dominated the fall box office, the similarities are even more overt, so when Sean Astin‘s Bob tells Will about his childhood nightmares after an encounter with a scary clown in hopes of helping him overcome his fears, it was impossible not to draw a connection to ‘It’ and it’s horrific monster Pennywise. It turns out this was completely intentional.
He went on to elaborate:
“I had it when I was really little, so when there were clowns at a party, it was a real problem for me. Then in 1990, we saw the IT mini-series and Tim Curry’s performance as Pennywise really messed me up. Like, it scarred me in a major way. It was one of the first true horror things I had seen, and I had not experienced Stephen King before.
That was my first experience with Stephen King, so that was a really huge point in my life. It was two weeks, at least, of no sleep because of that. So yeah, I think [Bob’s clown story] was really me describing something that just freaked me out. I didn’t have that experience myself. I just had nightmares like that.”
While the homage ended there, it could have gone further, as Duffer revealed:
“I’m sure we were just like, ‘It would be cute if [Bob] suggests moving to Maine, right next to Stephen King. Stephen King exists in this world. Some of the characters have read Stephen King. But Bob definitely does not read Stephen King. He’s not interested at all in Stephen King because he hates that kind of story.”
Even without any scary clowns in Hawkins, there is plenty to be frightened of.
‘Stranger Things’ Seasons One and Two are now available to be streamed on Netflix.