Thursday, June 26, 2008

Let The Sideshow Begin!

It's no big secret around here that I am a huge fan of the Sideshow. Ever since I was a kid, I remember the Sideshow that arrived every year with the big Fresno Fair. Those HUGE banners that showcased two-headed cows, sword swallowers, fire-eaters, bearded ladies, you get the idea... Now, after all these years, I am an avid collector of Sideshow memorabilia. If you've ever visited our warehouse/offices, you've no doubt seen the walls lined with these authentic and reproduced Sideshow banners. My office is filled with shrunken heads (not real ones, of course), Fiji Mermaids, a real Frog Band, Flea Circuses, Pickled Punks, and even a two-headed chicken. Add to the mix that famous Sideshow impresario Bobby Reynolds recently moved to Fresno and visits quite often, I am in Sideshow heaven.

It was with great honor that we were graced with a visit from Sideshow performer and magician, George the Giant! George The Giant is not a larger than life performer because of his size, though he stands an impressive seven foot three inches in height. It might be because it has been mentioned; George is one of the most complete sideshow performers today, by performers and audiences alike.

George has appeared as Colossus in Tim Burtons movie "Big Fish", "Tough Luck", "Firecracker", and "Relative Strangers", as well as his many television appearances like "The Tonight Show," "Touched By An Angel", "The Guardian", "The Strip", and "According To Jim". Currently, he appears on the network TV hit "America's Got Talent," and you can catch his appearance next week performing a stunt with lots of firecrackers, and that's all we'll say...

While George was here, he shared stories of the Sideshow and had a ball looking at all the memorabilia and banners displayed throughout the shop. Billed as "The World's Tallest Sword Swallower," George offered us a real honest-to-goodness Sword Swallowing demonstration.

George the Giant

Swallowing swords for fun and profit?

Ooooh, boy!

I must be crazy doing this!

George has been performing Sword Swallowing, Fire Eating, the Bed of Nails, and other Sideshow feats since the early 1990s, and he even brought along with him his Chupacabra Sideshow display, which you can see below:

Chupracabra. Real or?

After all this fun, I had to go back to work and George had to hit the road to go to his next venue, but he didn't leave us empty-handed; he left us with George the Giant T-Shirts, Coloring and Activity Books, and a George the Giant Sword Swallowing giveaway card with a plastic sword in George's mouth, all of which will be proudly displayed in my office for everyone to see.

I'll be taking off tomorrow for an extended weekend. Hope you all have a fantastic, fun-filled and safe one as well.

Until next time,


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