The Circus Sideshow Comeback

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What People Want: The Prospect of Disaster

These days, you don't see too many sideshow acts based on birth defects.

"It's not a moral thing," says Rose. "But they don't put fannies in the seat the way performing acts do. They see physical abnormalities on daytime TV talk shows. Why would they want to pay to see that stuff?"

"The media used to make a big deal about all the tattoo artists and piercing acts in my show," he says. "But now the tattooed, pierced person is the girl next door. That's not really circus stuff.

"The successful acts are the ones where performers risk their life, where they could wind up in the hospital if they screw up. That's what people want."

Buck Wolf is entertainment producer at The Wolf Files is published Tuesdays. If you want to receive weekly notice when a new column is published, join the e-mail list.