The song, “The Entertainer”, is the music Ringling Brothers used to play when the show was in trouble, and needed to call out to the clowns for some impromptu comedy. Sam Drummond would know, he was a certified clown with Ringling Brothers Circus.
Drummond says, “That’s me right there with all my other buddies. It was about 4,500 people that applied to the clown college in Venice, Florida, and they accepted 59 that year and I was one of the lucky ones to get a contract. And I was with The Greatest Show on Earth for five years, and it was the best five years of my life… But don’t tell my wife.”
Joking aside, this is one time the clowns won’t be able to salvage the show because The Greatest Show on Earth is shutting down after 146 years.
Drummond says, “You can tell right now, it still gets me. But it’s been like losing a family member almost, you know? It touched me so deep. And I thought as long as there were children there would be circuses and clowns.”
Sam says he’s not completely surprised. Attendance at the circus has been down since Ringling Brothers retired the elephants, and since reports of threatening clowns have popped up around the country.
Drummond says, ” That doesn’t help us professional clowns. And I haven’t put on my makeup in about seven months.”
But News 2 was able to get a glimpse of Sam the Clown today, and he says even when the circus tent is rolled up for good, “I’ll be a clown for the rest of my life. You know how a clown retires? When they die.”
And before it’s too late, he says, “Everybody needs to go to the circus one more time.”
The Ringling Brothers Circus officially ends in May. Your last chance to see it in South Carolina will be January 26-29th in Columbia, or February 2-5th in Greenville. You can buy tickets, here.
And if you want to contact Sam the Clown for your event, you can get in touch with him here.