I had automatic clown backup when our son Matt was young. Most kids know what will push their parents' buttons. Matt knew how to push my funny bone. He understood that if he could make me laugh, I couldn't be angry with him. Born with comedic talents anyway, Matt honed his skills so that he would be able to manage any maternal irritation.
He could assume one of his "characters" in an instant - Paw, the old, old man who spoke as if he had no teeth, who was married to The Old Hag and had a girlfriend named Trixie, was his standby. However, Matt didn't even need to assume one of his personas to make me laugh. It was always the horse that did it.
The horse involved total body/voice coordination. His foot would paw the ground while he whinnied and snorted. It was hilarious and just immediately made me crack up. It never got dated; it never got monotonous. It didn't matter how mad I was or where we were - the horse would make me laugh until tears came pouring out of my eyes. Sister Rachel was never pleased, as she had no similar strategy to fall back on in order to get out of trouble.
Of course, my life ambition now is to teach his son Joshua to find his own special way of making his parents laugh. He has to find out what funny bone stimulant will work on his own parents. The horse did it for me, but it might take a whole 'nuther approach for Joshua to use when he senses parental doom.
I know what you are thinking. After all these years, does Matt still do the horse for me? Aye, if I plead with him! Do I ever get tired of it? Neigh, my friends. Neigh.