Circus Stories

Circus Stories

A circus history podcast exploring topics like, "How and WHY do Clowns paint their faces", "Who was the first ever Human Cannonball act", "What are common Circus Superstitions" and so much more! Join your host and circus expert (sorta) Callie B, as she shares with pal, comedian and co-host Mark, various stories from circus history. Complete with decoded circus lingo, fun circus facts and a sprinkling of fiction. Theme song by The Cooties.

Episodes

November 17, 2022 112 min

We explore these two very famous faces from Barnum's illustrious sideshow and the condition the two share known as "werewolf syndrome" . JoJo the Dog Faced boy and Lionel the Lion Faced man were much more than performers and though often mistaken for the other, these two men lived and performed very differently. We discuss each of them separately, their specific condition, and what made them unique and impactful, resona...

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Would you believe one man is responsible for the innovation of both the Flying Trapeze AND the well known garment, the Leotard! Well its true! Listen to hear how this very well built dude dared to soar through the air before anyone else, creating the aerial art form we know as the Trapeze, and the famous outfit he dawned to do it,  that really SHOWED it all, if you catch my drift! 

"The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze"...

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Join us on a wild journey as we track the very early beginnings of the 5 Ringling Brothers and their incredible rags to riches success story.   An origin story that truly has   everything.  All the tenacity of the Little Rascals and the business sense of Barnum, without the humbug.

For all things Ringling:
https://www.ringling.org/

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+Follow Us on IG @circus.stories
+Email us: circusstoriespodcast@gmail.c...

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A truly high flying episode all about incredible aerialist and circus hall of famer, Lillian Leitzel. A star from the jump, standing a mere 4'9", less than 100 lbs in weight, yet performing  aerial feats of Herculean proportion. Leitzel WAS an international superstar, complete with a juicy love life, lavish traveling demands and a bit of a diva streak. 

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+Follow Us on IG @circus.stories
+Email us: c...

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June 8, 2022 113 min

 FINALLY am I right! We embark on a very thrilling episode as we dive head first  (maybe on fire) into the past and uncover the history behind fallen amusement park CIRCUS WORLD, with plans that included a 19 story Elephant shaped hotel,  just 10 miles down the road from Disney World. 

And the mouse perhaps was not into it.

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+Follow Us on IG @circus.stories
+Email us: circusstoriespodcast@gmail.com
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Today's episode we explore all the origins and history behind the genius of famous "hobo clown" Emmett Kelly who created the world famous and beloved character clown Weary Willie.

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+Follow Us on IG @circus.stories
+Email us: circusstoriespodcast@gmail.com
Rate, Review and Subscribe where ever you Listen!
Thanks for Listening + Check those Boilers !!

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March 16, 2022 111 min

We speed into this episode and explore all that surrounds the Globe of Death; over a century old dare devil act known world wide. Join us as we discuss its history, inner workings, the wild affects this act has on its riders ( G- force!) and the physics that make it a reality. 

Support the show


+Follow Us on IG @circus.stories
+Email us: circusstoriespodcast@gmail.com
Rate, Review and Subscribe where ever you Listen!
Tha...

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February 24, 2022 99 min

 Throwing pies as a form of political protest? What are the repercussions for pie crimes? We deep dive into pie politics and activist groups of past and present that utilize pies for public protest as well as the ramifications linked with these non consensual pie throwing. This is serious!!??

Rupert Murdoch pie : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qY-dyz_iW1s

FAST COMPANY 2017, Baking Brigade : https://www.fastcompany.com/40467645/...

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January 27, 2022 133 min

Measuring a staggering 3.2 meters high at the shoulder, and weighing  6000 kgs; we explore this massively influential and incredible elephant Jumbo, the sordid history behind his life and what  animal experts and researchers can learn from revisiting his remains. 

We dive deep into Jumbo's  affect on advertising, creating a new word for "BIG" and  the alleged conspiracy and mystery that swirls around his untimely death i...

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The World Famous Hilton Sisters. Not those Hilton sisters, but  Daisy and Violet Hilton, world famous conjoined twins starting in sideshow and soon become the biggest stars in Vaudeville but bogged down with the worst guardians EVER who try to enter them into some sort of "conservatorship" at age 19 - SOUND FAMILIAR? (*britney spears - cough cough*) How do they become free? Listen to this wild ride of these incredibly talen...

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In this incredibly spooky tale we explore the story and lore behind Edward Mordrake;  an english noble man said to have been born with a second face on the back of his head; and this face was dubbed his "devil twin".  Is this fact or fiction, or a little bit of both?  We are joined by sideshow aficionado Krysta Z as we break down the bits and pieces of this fascinating story.

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September 1, 2021 86 min

In our season 1 wrap up we explore the classic physical comedy gag commonly associated with  circus  and clowning, but this sticky slapstick act transcends circus and spread to mainstream by way of the silver screen.  We discuss the differences between circus and "hollywood" pie throwing, some famous pie fights, and the integral rules in the art of pie throwing.
Watch Mr. Flip ( 1909 ): 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wc...

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Enjoy this delicious episode full of fun origin stories from your favorite circus and carnival treats. Some more delicious than others and we found that the circus is great at improvising when it comes to concessions! We also learned that America loves to fry stuff,  but how we arrive at that conclusion is always an adventure.

Support the show


+Follow Us on IG @circus.stories
+Email us: circusstoriespodcast@gmail.com
Ra...

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In this high flying episode we plunge head first into the famous  generational circus family The Zacchini's best known for their thrilling double cannon ball act that spanned nearly 7 decades and toured world wide.   Listen to find out their secrets and all their wild adventures and unfortunate accidents along the way as they perfect the cannon technology allowing them to soar farther than any cannon act before them!!
Enjoy the ...

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We explore a bit of history not often uncovered - high platform horse diving !!! We also explore the life and adventures of one of the most famed female horse divers Sonora Webster Carver, who was the inspiration for popular Disney film  'Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken' (1991) However we discuss so much more to Sonora's story that was not included in the film!  

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+Follow Us on IG @circus.stories
&#...

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May 19, 2021 44 min

Number two skidooo. This will all makes sense after you have a listen. In our Minisode #2 where we asked YOU the listeners,  to send in some of your favorite, scariest or most memorable Circus Stories and Callie B also shares one of many epic circus memories of her own AND another gem to share... a family story released from the Vault!

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+Follow Us on IG @circus.stories
+Email us: circusstoriespodcast@gm...

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May 7, 2021 120 min

In this riveting episode Callie and Mark do an exploration of Circus and Circus Life as represented in main stream media, namely film and television and Callie's uses popular pieces of media, old and new, that feature Circus and how accurately these media works capture the Circus, some common circus film tropes and how falsely media can represent the circus as well as all the in-betweens.

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April 21, 2021 123 min

 Mark and Callie discuss the "World Famous" Ringling Bros Clown College! Are clowns born or are they made?? What do they actually teach at Clown College and how did it start?  Also, what other places offer clown schooling! All that and more silly stuff in this VERY smart episode.
 
Fun sources discussed in episode:
RBBB Clown College - HOW TO BE A CLOWN (1986)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KbSn5mKFWps

Lou Jacobs performin...

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March 24, 2021 53 min


What do run away trains, circus animal processions, and going to the circus on psychedelics all have in common!!?? Well, not much, but these are  just a glimpse of what our listeners shared with us for our FIRST ever Minisode where we asked YOU the listeners,  to send in some of your favorite, scariest or most memorable Circus Stories and we share a few of them with all of you!! Callie B also shares one of many epic circus memories...

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Larger than life is a cliché but in this case it is more true than ever! In this episode we discuss General Tom Thumb aka Charles Stratton. One of PT Barnum's first talent finds, and arguably the first international child star... starting at the mere age of 4! We explore Stratton's controversial career beginnings, how he saves PT Barnum from financial hardship, his customized home and sometimes decadent lifestyle and all th...

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