Troubled entertainment franchise Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus, which recently announced it may need to close due to financial difficulties, has announced that it will perform at Trump’s inauguration.
“We’re honored to be the first actual circus to perform at a presidential inauguration,” said Ringling Brothers CEO Kenneth Feld. “We don’t usually do events like this. But frankly, at this point, we can’t afford to say no.”
The circus is one of America’s most famous entertainment franchises, having been in operation for over 140 years. Attendance has suffered in recent years, however, as the circus has had to contend with an exponentially expanding array of entertainment choices and animal rights activists protesting the circus’ use of large animals such as elephants and tigers.
“I can tell you this, the President-elect is delighted to have The Greatest Show on Earth performing at, well, The Greatest Show on Earth, which is what this inauguration will be,” said Trump spokesperson Kellyanne Conway. “And I can tell you right now that Donald Trump absolutely does not give a crap what you do to those animals. As long as it’s entertaining, he’s all in.”
The Secret Service has refused to comment on the logistics of accommodating the circus’ enormous collection of performers, trailers, and animals, although one agent said anonymously that there was “plenty of space” left in the inauguration and that they probably had room left for another circus if need be.
Despite the controversy of performing for the incoming President, Feld is optimistic that the performance marks a new beginning for the circus.
“Man, when Trump pays us after the inauguration, all our financial woes will be solved,” beamed Feld. “I can’t wait to bill him. Do you think he’ll pay us quickly?”