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to be the class clown/a perpetual clown, to clown around
Explanation: Depending on context. Is this said in a positive or negative way?
A "class clown" is typically a kid who tries to make everyone else laugh in class, and by extension it can refer to someone in a group who seeks attention by making jokes. A "perpetual clown" is similar but not group-specific. "Clowning around" is what a clown does.