If you know you’re going to get sacked from your job, the only way to soften the blow is often to pull a spectacular leaving stunt.

A New Zealand man took this to a whole new level as he chose a professional clown as his representative for his redundancy meeting.

Copy writer and part-time comedian Josh Thompson knew he was about to lose his job after receiving an email from bosses claiming they wanted to discuss his role.

Rather than bringing a friend or relative, Thompson splashed out NZ$200 to hire Joe the Clown. Employees in NZ are legally allowed to bring a support person to redundancy meetings which meant his boss couldn’t turn the clown away.

During the meeting, Joe the Clown, also known as Joseph Brosnahan, passed the time by making balloon animals and even left a few behind as a parting gift. As Thompson was handed the redundancy paperwork, Joe the Clown mimed crying and nodded seriously as Thompson was told he was being made redundant.

Although the other attendees were initially a bit surprised, they reportedly acted professionally and only had to ask the clown to be quiet a few times when the sound of squeaking balloons was too loud.

Despite being fired so recently, Thompson has already found another job.