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 The Ringling BrothersNovice Circus Quiz

(medium difficulty)


 1. Everyone is familiar with the circus bigtop. But what is (or was) the littletop?
a. the menagerie (animal) tent
b. the Clown dressing and prop tent
c. the sideshow tent
d. the cookhouse tent
e. none of the above
  2. Before being renamed Gargantua the Great by new owner John Ringling North, the famous gorilla with a definite hatred for men, was known as . . .
a. Kong
b. Buddha
c. M'Toto
d. Mighty Joe
e. None of the above. He was always called Gargantua.
 3. The organization now known as Clowns International got most of it's original members from what popular circus?
a. Olympia Christmas Circus of Bertram Mills
b. Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus
c. Dibdin & Hughes Royal Circus
d. Royal Hanneford Circus
e. Downey Brothers Circus
 4. Which of the following real life circus people appeared in the 1952 movie, The Greatest Show on Earth?
a. Emmett "Weary Willie" Kelly Sr.
b. John Ringling North
c. Jackie LeClaire
d. Paul Jung
e. All of the above had a role in the movie
 5. Which of the following was a sometimes employer / most times competitor of the famous and circus owner Yankee Dan Rice?
a. P.T. Barnum
b. Yankee Robinson
c. The Ringling Brothers
d. Gilbert Spaulding
e. James Bailey
 6. Which of the following words or phrases does not owe its existence or popularity to the circus world?
a. Gargantuan
b. Jumbo
c. (S)he's got sawdust in her / his veins
d. Joey
e. All of the above have their roots in the circus
 7. "The Day the Clowns Cried" refers to a tragic example of what event which was common in the days of the tented circus?
a. A blowdown (big top collapse due to high winds)
b. A circus train wreck with heavy fatalities
c. The last day of the season for a circus that was in the red (due to poor attendance and ticket sales)
d. A Fire in one of the major circus tents (big top, small top, or menagerie)
e. The day a well known circus was shut down due to shady or illegal midway activities
 8. Which of the following circus greats owned a circus first?  
a. The Ringling Brothers
b. P.T. Barnum
c. James A. Bailey
d. Yankee Dan Rice
e. Emmett "Weary Willie" Kelly Jr.
 9. When a circus ringmaster pages "Mr. John Robinson,"  what does (s)he really mean?
a. The beginning of a clown act
b. A spectator named John Robinson has an emergency telephone call
c. The remaining circus acts need to be shortened
d. The rest of the show is cancelled
e. Nothing . . . who the heck is John Robinson, anyway?
10. Clown and circus owner "Yankee Dan" Rice, at the height of his career, was making around $200 a week more than which of his contemporaries?
a. U.S. Vice-President Andrew Johnson
b. Theatrical actor Edwin Booth
c. Civil War Generals Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant
d. Theatrical actor John Wilkes Booth
e. U.S. President Abraham Lincoln
11. What is "en ferocite?"
a. A term for a rogue elephant
b. A style of wild animal act
c. A wild paced circus performance
d. A type of circus spectacle
e. A fight between two or more circus performers
12. In circus terminology, what is a "picture gallery?
a. A historical scrapbook that most circuses keep
b. A tattooed man or woman
c. The proofs of the pictures that may go into a circus souvenir program
d. A circus advertisement that includes shots of current main acts
e. None of the above
13. In the late 1950's, a television series called Circus Boy, starred a young man who would later become famous as a member of a popular rock group. Was it . . .?
a. David Cassidy of the Partridge Family
b. Mick Jager of the Rolling Stones
c. Ringo Starr of the Beatles
d. Mickey Dolenz of the Monkees
e. Jay Osmond of the Osmond Brothers
14. What was the name of Yankee Dan Rice's trained pig that, among other tricks, could sort through a pile of flags to pick the American flag?
a. Amelia
b. Porky
c. Knucklehead
d. Mr. Spaulding
e. Lord Byron
15. Yankee Dan Rice was a circus owner,  clown, and accomplished animal trainer. Which of the following did he not do? 
a. train an elephant to walk a tightrope
b. train lions to do various tricks
c. train a pig to rummage through a pile of flags and pull out the American flag
d. juggle cannon balls
e. train mules, which he would then sell to other clowns
16. Which of the following does NOT belong in the same grouping?
a. Lord Byron
b. Amelia
c. Gargantua the Great
d. Knucklehead
e. Aroostook
17. Who is generally acknowledged as the presenter of the first American circus?
a. P.T. Barnum
b. Yankee Dan Rice
c. John Bill Ricketts
d. Gilbert Spaulding
e. Buffalo Bill Cody
18. Which of the following Danny Kaye films featured the famous comic star as a  circus clown?
a. The Court Jester
b. Merry Andrew
c. The Five Pennies
d. The Inspector General
e. None of the above
19. Who was not an actor in the 1959 Disney classic, Toby Tyler?
a. Kurt Russell
b. Henry Calvin
c. Kevin Cocheran
d. Bob Sweeney
e. Gene Sheldon
20. According to author and former clown Tom Ogden, at the height of the circus sideshow, which "freak" was always the most popular with the public (hence, the highest paid?
a. Hirsuites (bearded ladies, etc.)
b. Co-joined Twins (billed then as Siamese twins)
c. Fat Ladies
d. Tattooed People
e. Midgets and Dwarves
21. Gunther Gebel-Williams, possibly the greatest animal trainer of all times, once was quoted as saying that a certain language was the only one his cats understood. What was the language?
a. Austrian
b. English
c. Pig Latin
d. German
e. None of the above
22. Many countries have permanent buildings dedicated to circus performances. Where is the oldest such permanent circus building located?
a. Moscow, Russia
b. London, England
c. Paris, France
d. Bethel, Connecticut, USA
e. Vienna, Austria
23. Which exotic animal (often seen in circuses) made its appearance in the United States first?
a. Elephant
b. Camel
c. Polar Bear
d. Lion
e. Gorilla
24. Which circus did the great Emmett "Weary Willie" Kelly Sr. not perform for during his career?
a. Hagenbach-Wallace Circus
b. Moslem Shrine Circus
c. Bertram Mills Circus
d. Pickle Family Circus
e. John Robinson Circus
25. What gave the very first batch of pink lemonade its distinctive color?
a. Strawberries
b. Cherry 7-Up
c. Clothing dye
d. Food coloring
e. an undisclosed secret ingredient
26. Who was not a firsthand witness of the Ringling Brothers' Barnum and Bailey Circus's tragic Hartford Fire of 1944 
a. Ringmaster Fred Bradna
b. Clown Emmett "Weary Willie" Kelly, Sr.
c. Animal Trainer May Wirth
d. Future Actor Charles Nelsen Reilly
e. Part Owner John Ringling North


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     This Page was updated on: 06/05/2004