Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Out of the Past: Showbiz David’s Annual Ring of Shame Awards

The following five inaugural inductees are this evening dishonored for their unwelcome acts against the American circus

Ingrid Newkirk. She leads the parade of infidels. A shameless animal rights activist and founder of PETA, for hypocritically inflicting untold damage on the circus world through malicious innuendo and smear tactics (on her below-the-belt "circus criminals" website), distorted and often misleading inaccuracies, and a relentless campaign on selected circus lots to harass and intimidate the public away from attending circuses.

James C. Petrillo. Union tyrannizer who coerced musicians into expecting prohibitively expensive wages, in effect turning them into another world’s oldest profession. Petrillo’s money-hungry campaign was launched against Ringling Bros Circus in 1942, resulting in a mass walkout of windjmmaers and the trend-setting substation of canned music in the wake of their exit for the duration of the season. Most American circuses today, minus theirs bands, bear the infamous legacy of this man’s gargantuan greed.

Sid Kellner. Operator of James Bros. Circus, later, George Matthews Great London), for squandering away his great potential to be a major showman on his notorious phone room addictions. Kellner, perhaps by sheer accident, produced a classic, near perfect performance (scored by an exemplary live band) under a big top in 1968, then reverted thereafter to a slow downward slide chasing his insatiable appetite for maximum profit through fraudulent phone room tactics that placed a quick buck over a good show. The charismatic and talented Kellner, sadly, must stand with the giants of telephone room ripoffs of the seedy 1970s.

The Unknown First Hula Hoop Performer (possibly a Russian). Subjected the sawdust ring to a display of domestic recreation passing for circus art. So many third rate hula hoop acts have followed, it’s a wonder we are not now witnessing marbles and mops in motion or triple somersaulting blow dryers.

Dick Garden. Canadian huckster of haphazard mediocre lineups whose sterling credits include the collapsible portable seats he used on his since-shuttered Toby Tyler Circus and, in recent years, the mass saturation of free kids tickets to promote his paltry wares. For example, at a Cow Palace date in San Francisco operating as Sterling and Reid, Garden’s three ring set up looked more like a carnival midway, pre-show; and there, the “performance,” truly a circus from hell, contained sub-mediocre acts scored by pop CDs pumped through an atrociously loud, ear shattering sound system. Garden’s operation (and others like it) are an assault on Spangleland.

Indicted Inductees, take your proud places in the Ring of Shame!

First posted August 6, 2008


Wade G. Burck said...

"Psst, Psst Wade wake up. The festivals over."

"What!!!!!" I told you I couldn't stay awake until 11:00. Why didn't you wake me up? Where the hell is my festival scarf?"

"Relax. Here it is. It just fell under the seat." Here's the list of winners I wrote down for you. Let me get your glasses."

Hmmm. Not bad. I question Ms. Newkirk. As hateful as she is, there are a lot internally that have done as much or more damage then she. He should have kept this thing "in house". Half the outside world is already being blamed, and it looks like he had a "personal/private agenda", but it wouldn't be a valid circus awards festival without one, so I guess that is to be expected.
The three gentleman were an appropriate choice, as it clearly illustrates the "grab the money and run" mentality, that caused more damage then Ms. Newkirk on her best day, and that has kept the performers loyally trouping with it and for it for peanuts.
The hula hoop performer is a toss up. He could have awarded any number of "must do 3 or more" acts.

In all not a bad festival. Now let's get out of here, and get a coffee.
Wade Burck

henry edgar said...

good choices, maybe should have been 10 instead of five. maybe ingrid newkirk should have received a special award as an outsider trying to kill the circus as opposed to circus people trying to kill the circus for professionals acting professionally. i certainly agree with whoever started the whole hula hoop thing. in the beginning, hula hoops were toys and millions of kids learned them in a matter of seconds or minutes. (the fad even inspired three popular rock songs -- by georgia gibbs, teresa brewer and betty johnson) as a circus act, most hula hoops aren't even interesting filler, though a few can be entertaining.

i think this is a great idea and i applaud you for coming up with the idea.

Showbiz David said...

next year, the festival takes place in the afternoon for the guy with scarf and popcorn. I was almost about to sob, thinking only he showed up for the bash but couldn't wait that late. We held the show over and lucked out. Had another taker, Henry of Edgar. An audience of TWO. Awesome...

Anonymous said...

All linked in a way - Kelner and garden raped the business via the boiler rooms, Garden bought and abandoned animals left and right which gave Newkirk and the like more fodder. The odd man out would be the hoops, because they weren't around to fill the rings of the Kellner and Garden shows yet.
Should have been a top ten though.

Wade G. Burck said...

Show Biz,
Anonymous are sure full of venom, but not much on courage. And I am not profiling, it's the norm.
Wade Burck

Dion said...

As long as your naming names - has Gopher made your list yet?

Showbiz David said...

Any suggestions, such as yours, will surely be taken into consideration for next year's awards. I'm always looking ...