Presented To

John Robinson



What People Are Saying About Sideshow World

 Below are some quotes received from members and fans of the sideshow community.


Bit by bit Sideshow World becomes the most priceless of repositories.


D. Higley



John Robinson’s “SIDESHOW WORLD”…the carnies home lot

on the internet. Where else can you find amazing jackpots with old

carnies, hear live sideshow ballys, view incredible sideshow photographs,

get information on anything sideshow and stay updated on sideshow

performers itineraries!


        Dr. West’s Traveling Sideshows and Animal Menagerie

  Rick West

I just wanted to say thank you for continuing to "Preserve the Past...Promote the Future" through I think the site looks great and I love your Corny-Ville Comics...........wonderful sideshow twist.

I really appreciate all of your efforts and those who have also helped you along the way either by their own contributions or inspiration to you. like its predecessor, is truly a gateway between the past and the future of the sideshow.

Offering rarely-known, historical references on sideshow history, continuing traditions and current happenings, I am again thankful for the birth of


Toni-Lee Sangastiano


Hello to all my Sideshow Brothers and Sisters,

I think John has really done us proud with the website Sideshow World. The format is excellent and I have emailed all of my friends in the entertainment field and told them they must log on to Sideshow World. It is nothing short of fantastic. Keep up the good work John, and best wishes to all, from,
Arkansas Red-Ozark Troubadour
Ozark Mountains, Arkansas

Imagine life in a world where perhaps only a few thousand people speak your language.

Now imagine that you are separated from these people by vast distances and speak with them only rarely.

In some ways, this is what it is like without something like Sideshow World.

Here we can speak freely.

Whether we agree or not.

In a language we all understand.

About an art form that we are all, to one degree or another, obsessed with.

Thanx to all who make it possible.--- Pete Kolozsy.

What kid doesn't want to run away with the carnival? In Dream Pictures I tried to recreate a place of childhood fantasy. (Thanks John for your help.) 

But here, here at Sideshow World, it moves from fantasy to reality, and is once again Alive on the Inside! 

It's great, John, I can reminisce in the good old days, get a sneak peek at the present visiting the performers links and listen to a live bally, and, I can plan for the future by keeping up with events and upcoming dates and appearances.   

Thanks to all of you at Sideshow World for giving us fans a place to reminisce and dream, a chance to run away with the carnival. 


Charlene Austin

Author of: Dream Pictures

Book one of the Carnival Soul Trilogy

coming from Mundania Press



After losing Slim's site, the thought of losing Sideshow Central, was almost too much. I knew John could pull it off, just the time involved, in an undertaking such as Sideshow World, was overwhelming.
In the world of Sideshows, there will always be the bickering and boasting. It is the same in anything you are involved in. It is also a lose, lose situation. The carnivals have been around, since God got bored. There will always be someone out there, To provide entertainment to the masses.
The older performers and fans, as they age, find it difficult to walk the miles it takes, to go to the local State Fair. But to be able to have a good visit, with the performers and fans, that make us laugh, from the confines of our homes, is something money can't buy. Right Slim??? And since the inception of Sideshow web sites, and the ability to reach the world from your fingertips, there are no more shut-ins. We can all participate in the Sideshow connection. As I was going through some very old paperwork of my Dad's (Al Tomaini the America Giant), there were many old telegrams. Some applying for work, and others announcing family deaths. We have evolved into what we are today, with the hard work of people like Joe Bates, Slim Price and now John Robinson.
Thank you my friends, for keeping the magic alive, without it some of us would be lost. We are behind you all the Sideshow World

R.I.P.   Judy "Rustie" Tomaini Rock

Community exchanges and communication have been on a roller coaster for the past 6 months or so.

I would like to add my breath to the collective sigh of relief exhaled by our entire genre.

Thank you thank you John Robinson for providing Sideshow World .

Jim Rose

Nice work, John for keeping Sideshow alive on the world wide web which will help to keep it alive in the real world.  It all looks great and is fun to take a trip back in time reading stories and interviews with some of sideshows greatest assets like Ward Hall and Walt Hudson.

Keep up the good work and keep the "magic" alive!

Magic Brian

Welcome to Magic Brian Dot Com!

15 years ago there were maybe a handful of working Sideshows out there on
this big blue how things have changed!

Sideshow World is a great place for anyone that loves Sideshow.
I feel more connected to my world than I ever have thanks to this great
liddle place. The best people in the industry are sharing their stories and
cutting up jackpots for the world to enjoy. What a wonderful gift.

Sure you can buy books about Sideshow...but here you can live it. The joys
the sorrows, its all laid out as a smorgasbord of titillating tales.

As a Sideshow and Grind show owner I enjoy coming here and hearing the
struggles and triumph's of our Modern Day Showmen.

This is the real deal, not fiction...but raw exciting accounts of life as a
showman! There are so many people that are part of this board that NONE of
us would know if we didn't have this site as a tool to network and
participate as a community.

My hat comes off to you John Robinson for having the need and passion to
bring the world a neutral site so that we may enjoy the many different
colorful Shows and performers in this great industry.

I can go to sleep happy knowing that when I wake up...the first thing that I
can do in the morning is log on and brush up on the daily's.

I am so happy that Sideshow World exists, it makes the whole community feel more empowered!

Thank you John.

Scott McClelland
Carnival Diablo


It is my opinion that Sideshow World is a great asset, and not only to us sideshow people.  One of the things they do is to keep the sideshow community informed about things going on with people in the business.  

They have also helped me to locate some of the other show people, their families and provided me with information about what they are doing.  

Sideshow World is also a great resource to any historian or student of sideshow history.  It is a great archive of sideshow history and as such it is invaluable to anyone who wants to study it's history.  

There has been so little history recorded about this industry which started in the 16th century that we know of (and probably before), and even into the later part of the 20th century very little has been written or recorded about the personal history of the people that have worked and lived their lives in the business.  

Sideshow World has worked very hard to gather the personal and show history of the people and the shows and have archived it so that the fans, students and historians have a place to go to study.  It is a great thing they are doing.  

Ward Hall


I can think of no one more qualified to be tour guide to the backstage world of the Circus and Sideshow than eminent scholar and show historian John Robinson… 


In addition to being one of the most learned and accomplished enthusiasts active in the archiving of obscure show lore of antiquity, he is also one of the most knowledgeable experts in the field of contemporary and recent show history… 


For those of us struggling to survive in the front lines of entertainment, the inhospitable and unsubsidized climate of guerrilla theatre, it is truly a blessing and a gift from above that the Utah Showman brought us Sideshow World… 


Prof. Lee Kolozsy  

Cirko Productions


I have subscribed to several circus and outdoor amusement publications over the years, such as Circus Report, Amusement Business, Clowning Times, Calliope, The Great American Circus Directory etc........ These were all fine publications, many were short lived. In all honesty Sideshow World far exceeds all these publications put together. I had no doubt that Sideshow World would be the premier site for performers, promoters, show owners, people that are fans wanting to learn our history, etc..., but John Robinson truly outdid himself. He cut no corners and exceeded my expectations. A job well done.


Slim Price deserves credit for acting as one of the moderators for Sideshow World's Yahoo Group.  This gave John the much needed time to get this huge site up and going.


The contributor to Sideshow World are astounding, the best of today and the best of yesteryear (Slim, you fit in both categories).


One thing I would like to mention, I knew Don Marcks thru years of correspondence (publisher of Circus Report). If he were with us today, I know he would be overjoyed with Sideshow World.


For myself, I'm very proud to be a part many contributors and to be able to share some vintage memorabilia from the Days Gone By. This is the "only" site on the web that I share my vintage collection because of the high standards, integrity, and professionalism.


John, my hats off to you for not taking "no" for an answer and pretty much going against the odds to

make the impossible possible.


Ricky Hargrove

Fritzie the Clown

"An absolute must for the gems of yesteryear and the hopefuls of tomorrow. From histories revealed to

modern marvels, Sideshow World is a treasure trove of information

which should be explored by any sideshow enthusiasts, fan or performer."



Sideshow World has connected me to the sights of the sideshow with its bright colorful banners, the enchanting costumed  performers on stage giving me just enough of a peek of their many talents to lure me under the tent to watch them swallow fire, walk on nails, throw knives, and see their anomalies, never losing their dignity. It reminds me of how hard they worked, how talented and funny they were. If I hadn't connected to John Robinson of Sideshow World, I wouldn't have re-connected  with the talented Ward Hall, a one time partner of my knife throwing uncle Harry Leonard, sweet Pete Terhurne, and Chris Christ. It has been such a joy to read their stories, as I have never heard them before.  Seeing their pictures  along with those of Lorette and Sealo put a  smile on my face. In this fast moving world the sideshows cannot be left in the past. You can't click on a remote and find the tattooed lady, the juggler, the ventriloquist, and knife throwers of the world. Talk about a reality show!! The sideshow invented it!!                                                                                   

Mary  Miller


Sideshow World has its proverbial finger on the pulse of every conceivable aspect of this weird and wonderful business - both past and present, good or bad.  If it's happening in the world of sideshow, chances are you'll hear about it here first.  If you are out there, and either performing in or promoting this business somehow, they will find you!  And when they do, it's only good things from there on out.  They will expose you and your expertise to a whole new audience, fan base, and clientele that you never even knew existed, and is growing ever-stronger by the minute.  People truly want to see beyond the glitz and the glitter, and get to know the truth behind the history, people, and inner workings that made (and make) the sideshow what it is today.  And that's EXACTLY what these fine folks have set out to do - and done a damned fine job at it too, I might also add! Sideshow World has inadvertently become the living link that connects the rich history of the sideshow's past to it's present day roots, as well as to it's uncertain and precarious future.  My hat's off to you all, and may your banner forever fly proudly over the Internet. 

Mark Frierson,


It was Sideshow World that got me back in the game of creating 'gaffs'. I had just stopped making them for whatever reasons...But when They came on the scene it was like a needed kick-start in the pants. John was kind enough to interview me and folks found out I still existed and...well...there ya go...back in biz making 'zibits and recording Professional Grind Tapes on CD.

The best part about SSW though is being able to read about all the folks I've heard about or have lost contact with. It acts as my small town paper so to speak.

I hope this conveys how important I feel your work and site really is...rather than some fleeting forum...SSW is HISTORY in the making and what we say will mean a lot as the years pass by. We MUST get it right.


Doug Higley

The Phantom Of The Midway

Mystery World Museum Supply
Crypto-Illusions at
Grindshow (click on the Atomic Fish for the secret site.)


 It is a wonderful source for information and education on the subject of outdoor Showmanship. A true blessing for those with an interest in sideshows and the performers who exhibited in them

Jeff Murray



Sideshow World is one of the most thorough Web sites you will encounter on any subject, not just sideshows. It's filled with photos of old and current sideshows, first person reminiscences of working in sideshows, sideshow banner galleries, historical essays, and firsthand tales of sideshow experiences. It's a pretty remarkable site by any standard and it's one encounter with sideshows that won't make you feel like a rube in any manner.


John E. Mitchell is a columnist and arts and entertainment reporter for the North Adams Transcipt


A Super Site -- Well Designed and Executed -- Full of Memories


So -- thanks for a fantastic site!  It is extremely well presented, and is very adventurous and thorough in its research, articles and coverage.   


Drew Edward Hunter  is director for animatronics and dark rides.


Mr. John Robinson's is the ultimate center of the virtual circus sideshow world, which is preserving the past, serving today, and promoting the future.
As a circus sideshow exhibition producer, gaff builder, public interactive art performer, book author, and educator, I am truly grateful for Robinson's significant contributions to the unique and distinctive culture, history and people of American circus sideshow.
I feel honored to be the part of this unique community full of people of wonders.
Let us keep moving forward!
Takeshi Yamada
Museum of World Wonders, Coney Island area of Brooklyn, New York, USA


John Robinson from Sideshow World came through The FREAKSHOW yesterday. John is the Greatest guy you could ever meet and THE MAN when it comes to Sideshow History.


Todd Ray

Venice Beach Freakshow



You my Friend fit in as the FOREMOST, FRONTRUNNER, Historian, archivist, showman ect. Known to man!!!!


You are a gentleman and a Scholar, who puts "PRESERVING THE PAST, PROMOTING THE FUTURE" above all the NONSENSE! unconditionally......


That is why I have the utmost RESPECT and admiration for what you do and who you are........Unlike others, YOU do it because you HAVE Heart and Dedication!!!!!!!!!!!


Much can be learned from your Example!!




Your Friend


Jim Zajicek (The Curator)

Big Circus Sideshow



I just wanted to email you quick and tell you what a great website I think Sideshow World is. I am currently writing my Master's thesis in History on the sideshow, more specifically sideshow freaks. My argument for the paper being that the freaks should not be remembered with pity and political correctness, as so many people who don't understand do nowadays, but rather as performers and be respected for the work that they did.


Anyways, I just wanted to say that in doing my research, this website has come in handy many times. There is so much information on it covering so many different topics and it has been so helpful to me. I think it is great that you have this interest and that you have put it into a website.


It's nice to know that there are other people out there besides myself who have an interest in the sideshow (you should see the looks I get when I tell people I want to be a historian of the sideshow haha).


So thanks again and keep up the great work :)


Jessica  Kutza



I am in love with your website! You have this wonderful, beautiful space for people to visit and learn about the past and also to keep up with current sideshow performers.

March 26th "ALOA" has been keeping me busy. I am slowly working my way down the list of links. Since there are few sideshow history courses offered around the country (that I am aware of), this website is the best thing I could have hoped for!


You guys do a great job and I thank you much.

Sarah Muench

PS. I can't stop reading.

Chicago Reader - Whet Moser on Tue, Dec 1, 2009 at 4:56 PM

Two-Headed Boy: A Century of Progress

Sideshow World wins the Internet today. Those two pictures are like ten million words.

"Ask The Staff," a sort of carny-centric Straight Dope, is on its own days of enjoyment. The whole site is a masterpiece. I haven't seen anything quite like it, at least since the Internet was still awesome.

For example: the curious case of the World's Strangest Babies and the Lake County Fair.


Thank you very much for making so much information available, and so much history! The entire website is a fascinating read................  please never stop the website... the information contained therein is far too valuable to be lost.

Andy Sherwin - Vienna



 Sideshow World  is the greatest source in the world for the history of our business and gets better all the time.


Walt Hudson

Just wanted to let you know that I’m happy to see what Sideshow World has turned into.  Great job on all aspects.


Derek Rose



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