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Thursday, December 4, 2003 1:51:12 AM
With the talk in some of the posts lately of television shows with carnivals in them I was wondering if there are any tv shows that feature carnivals. I know the Travel Channel does documentarys on places like Universal Studios and big amusement parks but what about documentary's on carnivals (other than what's been mentioned)? I think it would be neat to have a show that featured a different midway every week!

A few years ago I saw a tv show that took a look at games with carnivals but that to my knowledge is all I've seen and don't know what show that was, think it was a news program like 60 minutes or something.
Mark H
orphaned
Thursday, December 4, 2003 1:57:58 AM
20/20 and DatelineNBC have both done reports on Carnival games in the past. 20/20 did one on ride safety about 15-20 years ago as well and I think Dateline did one on ride safety about 5 years ago.

There have not been any documentaries or the like produced that I am aware of, but I have always thought there is a story there. The carnival is a strong part of "Americana". There's a lot of stories there....and I think there are quite a few people that would find it interesting.

I always thought a documentary along the lines of "Baseball" or "The Civil War" detailing the history of the carnival and taking it up to its present day. I know the Carnival Train video and the Gibtown video do some of that, but there's so much more.
Skywheelrider
Thursday, December 4, 2003 2:10:22 AM
That news show was 20/20 and they visited Murphy Brothers in New Orleans sometime in the mid 1990's, and slammed them with hidden cameras and rigged games.

As for television shows, here in Detroit we can get CBC from Canada (woo hoo, Hockey Night in Canada every Saturday night), and a couple of years ago they did a documentary on Patty Conklin and Conklin Shows, with LOTS of ride footage from throughout the history of the show, I think I have it on tape somewhere, lol.

There was a television show back in the early 1980's on NBC called "The Rousters" that starred Chad Everett (as Wyatt Earp III), Jim Varney (of "Earnest Goes To...."fame), and Hoyt Axton (as the show owner) that revolved around a small carnival called "Slade Town." Featured an Eli Wheel, Watkins Swinger, Octopus, Loop-O-Plane, Merry-Go-Round, a couple of kiddies, a Fun House, and I think a Scrambler. I have the two hour debut on tape, corny show, but the opening credits showed a lot of footage of rides, including a Sky Wheel.

There was another show called "Fairs and Festivals" that aired back in the early 1990's on the then Nashville Network (now Spike TV), and in one of the one hour shows they went to the 1990 South Carolina State Fair and featured the whole show on the Conklin/Cumberland Valley Shows midway, game operators, and Butch Netterfield, who had concessions there. And they rode Conklin's Giant Wheel as they interviewed the Carny Priest (his name escapes me at the moment), I do have that one on tape, very cool. I remember another episode (that I sadly do not have on tape) that featured the Erie County Fair in Hamburg, New York in 1990 and showed extensive footage of Strates Shows.

I have a thiry minute video called "Awesome Rides" that I picked up at K-Mart about seven years ago or so for about $3. It was filmed at Fiesta San Antonio some time in the mid 1990's and shows rides being set up and run, along with (too much) footage of coasters at Cedar Point, all set to music. Not bad for $3.

And finally, there is the documentary done by Matthew Barr that has aired on PBS where he spent the whole (1997 I believe) season traveling with Strates Shows, fliming the ride on the train, loading and unloading, ride set up, operation, and tear down, interviewed show employees, the Strates family, the whole nine yards. Two hours long, awesome stuff. The only problem with my tape is the audio portion is very low and the volume has to be turned WAY up. Still an awesome video though.

These are all that I know of. [:)]




"Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first." -- Mark Twain
bladerunner
Thursday, December 4, 2003 2:51:04 AM
i have seen darkride and funhouse history on the discovery channel. they also so stuff on coasters on tlc.
orphaned
Thursday, December 4, 2003 3:58:36 AM
Dateline also did a game thing too though. I've got it on tape somewhere.

I also remember that Fairs and Festivals show now that you mention it. THey had Farrow on from the Walworth Co Wisconsion Fair or something
safefun4u
Thursday, December 4, 2003 4:03:00 AM
It is sad that Carnivals don't receive better coverage. Parks have big budgets and attract national attention. State and Local Fairs advertise locally and usually don't spend money outside of their "market". It would be nice to see a good documentary on Carnivals.

I think the industry could use the attention. The problem is those who operate just beneath the standard. Shoddy rides, games and business practices is killing the business. If the inside was really shown on television it would kill the business. Just ask any show owner. This business was built on "smoke and mirrors".
Skywheelrider
Thursday, December 4, 2003 4:14:01 AM
Quote:

quote:


Originally posted by Bryan

Dateline also did a game thing too though. I've got it on tape somewhere.

I also remember that Fairs and Festivals show now that you mention it. THey had Farrow on from the Walworth Co Wisconsion Fair or something

Yep, I saw that one too, it showed Farrow setting up their brand new (then) Chance Giant Wheel, and set up of the Typhoon (Orbiter). Too bad that show is not on anymore. [V]
"Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first." -- Mark Twain
orphaned
Thursday, December 4, 2003 4:15:01 AM
Wonder if they have it archived anywhere? I guess a call to them would do it, but now that TNN has changed hands, lord only knows.
Skywheelrider
Thursday, December 4, 2003 9:01:23 AM
Quote:

quote:


Originally posted by Bryan

Wonder if they have it archived anywhere? I guess a call to them would do it, but now that TNN has changed hands, lord only knows.

Yeah, now that it is Spike TV, who knows what they will come up with. LOL Another episode of it featured the Georgia Mountain Fair, but only showed glimpses of the carnival (Childress Shows at that time, and yes I did see a Sky Wheel going around! lol). I will probably have to be content with the S.C. State Fair episode. [:)]
"Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first." -- Mark Twain
carnivalangel14
Thursday, December 4, 2003 1:47:07 PM
Quote:

quote:


Originally posted by Skywheelrider


I have a thiry minute video called "Awesome Rides" that I picked up at K-Mart about seven years ago or so for about $3. It was filmed at Fiesta San Antonio some time in the mid 1990's and shows rides being set up and run, along with (too much) footage of coasters at Cedar Point, all set to music. Not bad for $3.




Hum... sounds interesting Chris. [:)]
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