After 146 years, the iconic traveling show company, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, says it’s closing its doors because of low attendance.
“Ticket sales have been declining for years, but they really took a nose dive starting about 18 months ago,” says Kenneth Feld, CEO of Feld Entertainment, the producer of Ringling.
“We could have compensated for the loss of elephants,” Feld says. “We had started a program to train cows to do a lot of the things elephants do, so we think we could have survived that even though it’s impossible to get cows to pick up people with their trunks, because—well, you know, they don’t have trunks. And we had a plan for the creepy clown thing, too. I mean, we’d been wrestling with that for a long time, because even a lot of us at the circus find clowns creepy. Can’t stand them myself. So, we were working on a deal to bring in Ted Nugent, although a lot of people find him creepy, too.”
But the company had no antidote to the competition Trump’s circus act posed to the iconic circus.
“The outrageous lies, the political-death defying jumps, the sensational scandals, the jaw-dropping audacity, the outlandish hair—it’s everything every circus dreams of having but can never bring together. Yet he does it every day. Day in and day out: a brand new show with ever more astonishing feats of political acrobatics. No one can compete with that.”
Going forward, Feld likely won’t have to compete with Trump. That’s because the president-elect has named him to head up the National Endowment for the Arts. “I’ll be bringing everything I learned about entertaining people with animals, trapeze artists, and women in sexy costumes to our nation’s steward of the fine arts. I’ve got lots of great attention-grabbing ideas in mind—just the kind of Thing Trump will love.”
This is a work of satire. It is fictional news article not meant to be taken seriously. Photos (some modified): mtp, ds, pd (Creative Commons). Not necessarily an endorsed use of images.
Calling clowns creepy and not funny, lawmkers in both houses of Congress today passed legislation outlawing entertainers who wear makeup, big red noses, and floppy shoes in a belief that people find them funny. “I know there’s a tradition, dating back to the days of court jesters, of entertaining audiences by wearing costumes and makeup in goofy ways while engaging in antics, often with balls or bicycles,” says Rep. Snowden Baxter (R-Texas), principal sponsor the legislation. “But not all traditions are destined to survive in perpetuity, and clowns are one of those traditions whose time should come to an end.” Baxter pointed to overwhelming support from members of both parties for his bill and cited it as an example of the kinds of things Congress can get done when the need is clear and compelling. More.
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