"The Kid Show"

The Small Tent next to the Big Top!



Circus sideshows (that is shows of the unusual which were with a circus) were referred to within the circus business as "the kid show: meaning it was in the small tent and the "big show" which was presented in the "big top".


It was not referring to the age of the customers. When there were sideshows with circus (I managed several over the years before going into business for myself) had as one of the main attractions "The Cooch Show" which was dancing strippers in the blow-off.  Some shows also had a second blow-off with a sex attraction : Hermaphrodite - Half and Half!


Most of the other acts were vaudeville style acts plus the jig show a band of black musicians with a line of chorus girls, a featured singer. and one or two comics.


It was very important to get grown men in the show because in the sideshow would be found "The broad mob" 3 card Monte and "The Nut Mob" the shell game. Much of the profit of circuses that operated in this way was derived from these games. In the circus industry it was simply "a grift show and the men of these "mobs' were referred to as grifters. On some of the bigger shows it was a requirement that the grifters had to put up the sideshow banner line each day, which was a great help since most shows only made "one night stands" in those days.


Ward Hall


Note the sideshow to the left of the Big Top Main Entry


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