Old Conveyances Replace Circus Freaks in Parade

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Lil Wayne is on it for now. Jim Rome’s driving it , because of course he is. If you’re on the streets of Memphis this week, you best keep your head on a swivel—otherwise you risk being blindsided by the hard-charging juggernaut that is the Grizzlies bandwagon. Bandwagons typically take to the figurative streets whenever a scrappy underdog or small-market darling goes on an inspiring post-season run; in this year’s NBA playoffs, the passenger lists in Indianapolis and the Bay Area swelled almost as noticeably as the one in Memphis.

But whereas modern bandwagons are comprised of fans who have only recently decided to direct their attention toward a spectacle, the first bandwagons were filled with people intended to attract attention themselves. The phrase originates with P.

A freak show circus lead by the exiled mad circus impresario Igor Rasputin, this travelling band of circus freaks are forever doomed to travel by night, appearing.

Join us for a trip through the bizarre world of midgets, giants, tattooed ladies, and other human curiosities as we trace the colorful history of a distinctly American form of entertainment–the circus sideshow. From the s when P. Barnum exhibited Tom Thumb to the last remaining shows struggling to survive at New York’s Coney Island, we learn the truth behind the sideshow adage that freaks are not born, but rather created, as performers share their memories of the magical midway.

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View as a pdf. I can touch my tongue to my nose, my thumb to my forearm, and hyper flex all of my fingers upwards to a 90 degree angle, along with many other weird bendy, contortionist body positions. One in ten Americans has a rare disease. In fact, rare diseases affect more people than AIDS and cancer combined. It took me 30 long years to get the diagnosis, after begging and pleading with doctors that something was not right.

Overview of Circus Freaks and Sideshows, , directed by Arthur Drooker, with Arthur Kent, David Ackroyd, at Turner Classic Movies.

Circuses have been a popular form of entertainment for centuries, but their acts have changed greatly over time. Philip Astley — , a six-foot tall, ex-cavalry man, is often credited as the ‘father of the modern circus’. In , he and his wife Patty established Astley’s Riding School in London, where Philip would teach in the morning and perform equestrian tricks in the afternoon. Both Philip and Patty were expert riders.

One of Patty’s popular tricks involved her circling the ring on horseback at speed, with swarms of bees covering her hands and arms as if she was wearing a muff. Astley is also credited with discovering that the ideal size for a circus ring is 42 feet in diameter. This was the optimum size that enabled him to use centrifugal force to help balance on a horse’s back.

As he rode at speed around the ring, he used gravity to push himself into the horse’s back and so prevent a fall onto the sawdust floor. Astley quickly began to incorporate other acts from the fairs and pleasure gardens of London and Paris into the performance. These were acrobats, jugglers, rope dancers, clowns and strongmen.

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It had its roots in the circuses guided by P.T. Barnum, James Bailey, and the Ringling Brothers, which Library of Congress, Washington D.C.. Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. date Circus · Freak show · Clown people from small towns in the surrounding area to the sites of the circus on performance days.

See the gallery. Title: Circus Freaks and Sideshows 04 Dec The history of the “freak show. It did to me, and so I checked out this History International hour-long program and it met my expectations. I found it pretty fascinating. I learned P. Barnum was the father of the freak show. Those “dime museums,” as they were called then, began to really take hold in the s when, for the first time, the Industrial Revolution and had given people some free time to enjoy themselves.

Barnum’s “American Museum” in New York City was a big draw, beginning with his first big attraction: “Joice Heth,” the supposed nursemaid to George Washing and years. When she died a few later, it was discovered she was only 80 but the public didn’t care Barnum learned then that promotion was as important as what you were selling. His famous expression, “There’s a sucker born every minute,” is false.

Circus Freaks and Sideshows

Born on July 5, , in Bethel, Connecticut, P. Barnum became a successful promoter after moving to New York City. In , he launched the traveling spectacle that would eventually become the Ringling Bros.

For an answer, we consulted Robert Bogdan, a professor of sociology at Syracuse University and the author of Freak Show: Presenting Human.

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Just leave us a message here and we will work on getting you verified. Though it may turn off new viewers unaccustomed to its unabashed weirdness, Freak Show still brings the thrills, thanks to its reliably stylish presentation and game cast. Rate this season. Oof, that was Rotten.

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The golden age of American and European freak shows — traveling exhibitions and carnival attractions, often of disabled or disfigured entertainers — spanned about a century, from roughly to [source: Disability Social History Project ]. Wildly popular during the apex of the Victorian era, the human curiosities and oddities behind sideshow curtains consistently attracted crowds at traveling circuses , fairgrounds and P. Barnum ‘s American Museum in New York. Indeed, Barnum, who would eventually go on to host to first Miss America-style beauty pageant in , made his mark as the founder of the freak show [source: Thomson ].

He and his British counterpart Tom Norman, who discovered the Elephant Man, charged customers to view bearded ladies, conjoined twins , little people and other social outcasts. Contemporary disability studies explain the appeal of freak shows as a way of indulging in cultural and social violations, such paying to leer at a morbidly obese person, and reinforcing social norms by showcasing the abnormal [source: Craton ].

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Schlitzie alternatively spelled Schlitze or Shlitze ; September 10, — September 24, , possibly born Simon Metz [1] and legally Schlitze Surtees , was an American sideshow performer. He also appeared in a few films, and is best known for his role in the movie Freaks. Schlitzie’s true birth date, name, location and parents are unknown; the information on his death certificate and gravesite indicate that he was born on September 10, , in The Bronx , New York, [2] though some sources have claimed that he was born in Santa Fe , New Mexico.

It is possible that these features were caused by Seckel syndrome. It was said Schlitzie had the cognition of a three-year-old: he was unable to care fully for himself and could speak only in monosyllabic words and form a few simple phrases. On the sideshow circuit, microcephalic people were usually promoted as “pinheads” or ” missing links “, and Schlitzie was billed under such titles as “The Last of the Aztecs”, “The Monkey Girl”, and “What Is It?

In some sideshows, he was paired with another microcephalic performer. Schlitzie was often dressed in a muumuu and presented as either female or androgynous to add to the mystique of his unusual appearance. Those who knew him alternately used masculine and feminine pronouns. His urinary incontinence , which obliged him to wear diapers, made dresses practical for his care needs, [6] although it is possible that the incontinence did not develop until later in life and was simply a side-effect of age.

The sideshow circuit was a tremendous success for Schlitzie; throughout the s and s he was employed by many upscale circuses, including Ringling Bros. Schlitzie landed his best-known role as an actor in Tod Browning ‘s horror film Freaks.

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus

Circus Freak Dating The freak show has a long and bizarre history. Here are some of the most famous circus sideshow performers to ever mesmerize audiences under the big top. At least, that’s what they tell me.

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Circus Freaks and Sideshows (Documentary)