Since Ringling Bros announced they are shutting down last month the optimistic clown part of me thinks the circus will never truly vanish. It will come back in a different form.
Some of the complaints besides the animal rights activists was people complaining that the show was outdated. Sometimes “tried and true” jokes and routines can’t go on forever.
For many performers (including clowns) it was the big time you aspired to go to. It was like that little kid who played sports and dreamed of going pro. But that pro sports league closed down. That’s how I saw other circuses that they were the minors and the Ringling circus was the pro league. A lot of people liked to compare it to a Broadway show, but I think about sports. Sorry, all I could think of was pro sports.
Clowning will never really go away either. That too will come back in some other form. The circus is not the only place for clowns. I think the clowns might want to open up education programs to help train people interested in clowning. Being a former Ringling clown is a big selling point.
The circus arts will never truly go away. People will always want to learn them. They make for interesting conversations.