BARNUM & BAILEY
AS SEEN IN:
AS PLAYED BY:
P.T. Barnum - Pat O'Brien
James Bailey - Dick Clark
In 1875, Dan Castello and William Cameron Coup persuaded Barnum to lend his name and financial backing to the circus they had already created in Delavan, Wisconsin. It was called "P.T. Barnum's Great Traveling Museum, Menagerie, Caravan, and Hippodrome". The moniker "Greatest show on Earth" was added later. James Anthony Bailey had teamed with James E. Cooper to create the Cooper and Bailey Circus in the 1860s. Bailey's circus was soon Barnum's chief competitor. He also exhibited "Columbia," the first baby elephant ever born in the United States. She was born in March 1880 in Philadelphia, to "Babe" and "Mandarin". She was euthanized in November 1907 because of aggressiveness. Barnum wanted to buy the elephant, but Bailey turned him down. Instead of continuing as competitors, each man recognized the showmanship of the other, and decided to combine their shows in 1881. In 1882, the combined show enjoyed great success with acts such as Jumbo, advertised as the world's largest elephant. Barnum died in 1891 and Bailey then purchased the circus from his widow. He ran many successful tours through the eastern United States until he took his circus to Europe. Starting on December 27, 1897, he began a tour across the continent that lasted through 1902.
Bailey's European tour gave the Ringling brothers an opportunity to move their show from the Midwest through the eastern seaboard. Faced with the new competition, Bailey took his show west of the Rockies for the first time in 1905. He died the next year and the circus was sold to the Ringling Brothers a year later.
That's how it played out in the real world. But in Toobworld, the two circus giants merged their shows thanks to the mediation of Jason McCord, disgraced Army captain. And it wasn't over an elephant that they wrangled, but an exotic belly dancer. Barnum himself would have been proud of that maneuver to bring in viewers.....