The Greatest Show on Earth Yields to the Greatest Sideshow on Earth

Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus -- Poster circa 1938

Poster circa 1938

(Ellenton, FL — January 15, 2017) – One circus’ end in 2016 is slated to continue in 2017. Another circus, in existence for 146 years, is slated to close in a matter of months.

We’d probably all be better off with the latter.

Citing ongoing fights with animal rights groups, coupled with high operating costs and declining ticket sales, officials the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus announced on January 14 that the show would close permanently in May 2017.

In an attempt to mollify animal rights activists from both the Humane Society of the United States and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the circus announced it would cease using elephants in its acts; the last elephants appeared in May 2016. But the loss of the elephants apparently led to the declining ticket sales.

Election 2016 Clown Car

Election 2016
Clown Car

At least, that’s the official line officials are taking.

“Why would people choose to go to the Ringling Brothers circus when the presidential campaign of 2016 was in full swing for about 18 months?” asked a political scientist, speaking on condition of anonymity. “I think the American public found the circus that was Election 2016 to be vastly more entertaining than a 150-year-old show filled with animals and acrobats.

“You can’t compare what was entertaining in 1916, much less 1876, to what was entertaining in 2016. The 2016 POTUS Clown Car was the only one people were watching last year. And that’s likely what did Ringling Brothers in.

“The circus got rid of its elephants. Election 2016 had Chris Christie (R-NJ) for a while. Add in a mass-murderer, an Irish skeleton, and an orangutan who’s an adulterous, anti-Asian, anti-Catholic, anti-disabled, anti-Hispanic, anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, anti-obesity, anti-Semitic, anti-veteran, homophobic, Islamophobic, hypocritical, misogynistic, narcissistic, paranoid, pathologically lying, pro-Klan, psychopathic, racist, schizophrenic, small-membered, sociopathic, treasonous, xenophobic bully and it’s no contest as to which is more entertaining.”

Many Americans waxed nostalgic at the prospect of the end of an American institution, albeit a controversial one.

“I remember attending the circus when I was in my teens,” said a circus enthusiast, speaking on condition of anonymity. “I remember sitting with my aunt and uncle as the elephants walked the ring with a train full of four-year-olds in tow. My aunt marveled at how the kiddies looked like they were about to throw up from being asphyxiated by the smell of the elephant dung.

“Now, those were good times!”

Donald Trump (R-NY)

Donald Trump

The circus traces its origins back to Phineas Taylor “P.T.” Barnum in 1871. He teamed up with James Anthony Bailey to produce the “Barnum & Bailey Circus” in 1882. Purchased by the Ringling Brothers in 1906, it merged with their “Ringling Brothers World’s Greatest Shows” in 1919 to form the “Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus” known today.

Circus officials were forced to agree with the assessment of the anonymous political scientist

“All we could offer was a gorilla capable of disemboweling a human being while flinging its waste at spectators,” said a circus spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity. Now we’re about to have an orangutan for president who’s capable of setting off trade wars and annihilating humanity via nuclear holocaust. How are we supposed to compete with that?”