PT Barnum – Man Behind The Spectacular Barnum & Bailey Circus


Episode Transcription

Made by robots, for robots. Only read if you're weird.

Unknown Speaker Hey man, what's up? I hate it when you interrupt me. Amen. Unknown Speaker I didn't either. I let you finish your sentence. What's up? Have you ever heard of PT Barnum? PT Barnum? Yeah? Is it PD no P T physical therapy Barnard Unknown Speaker Yes Yes Unknown Speaker Yeah Unknown Speaker have you what's what's the known for? Speaker 1 No you do for barndominiums which are homes that are made out of barns? Speaker 2 Yeah, yeah it's a pretty popular HDTV thing they like cut it into three condos inside a bar no Unknown Speaker three condos is that that lady on Netflix you know that's pretty funny. We can interrupt. Yeah, that's a good that's a good spot. We gotta wait for like a good joke to roll the end. That was a good you know what, just roll it Yeah, PT Barnum's circus guy. Unknown Speaker Yeah, he's a circus guy, buddy. Not just a circus guy. Speaker 1 That's why sack of crap. You're gonna support that old man. Take a cinderblock. Go set it out. Let it sit there for a little while. We agree. I was just saying that for political points. Things I Learned last night Unknown Speaker okay, so PT Barnum. Yeah. Unknown Speaker You know who that is, though. Unknown Speaker I do know who it is. I Unknown Speaker figured you did. Speaker 1 Yeah. Do you know before I was a comedian, I wanted to be a circus clown. Did you really did you go to school as a ministry Unknown Speaker Jesus came for your Unknown Speaker okay Unknown Speaker clown nose, that's a clown Speaker 1 I knew exactly what you're talking about. Is that what Speaker 3 is that where the clown nose is? The clown telling the joke? No. But you're saying that as the cloud? Yeah, well, sometimes it's like an interactive bit where they bring the person up on stage. They stick to your nose. Yeah, it's the everybody it's like it's like when you go to do CTOs with it? Everybody gets the wristbands that light up when you go see a clown. Everybody can Speaker 1 see Taylor Swift and the word honks her nose at the end of the show. Very not sanitary. Jesus wants your honk is a quote that will live on the discord forever. I think unfortunately. Yeah, PT Barnum's circus guy. Yeah, he's Speaker 3 a circus guy by not just a circus guy. Unknown Speaker Put that okay. Unknown Speaker Well, we're off to a good start. Alright, here's a here's the PT Barnum. Here's what he looks like. Oh, Unknown Speaker which if you saw this, you saw Speaker 1 if you saw the greatest showman. Yeah. Hugh Jackman should not have been cast to play this guy. This guy looks like the Phantom of the Opera without the mask on you know, I'm saying like, this guy. Yeah. John C. Reilly would have been a great pick that's actually play pts. Very Speaker 2 accurate. Very, very accurate. It's interesting, because I don't know if it's this era of humanity, or if it's if it's this guy, specifically, but he looks like like the last thing I would expect is that he travels around with a giant tent and a bunch of elephants and people who dance real good Speaker 1 that's the job description. I mean, full picture of James Buchanan because maybe I'm just getting maybe maybe my brains not working correct though. Speaker 2 You know I'm gonna be honest with you. I don't I don't remember off the top of my head what Buchanan looks like but this picture Speaker 1 feels pretty Buchanan honey. Does it look similar at all? Or mine's Unknown Speaker pretty similar Speaker 2 causes here there's a lot of pictures with James Buchanan who after he should have Unknown Speaker quit taking pictures. There's pictures of this guy after he should have stopped. There's Speaker 2 a lot of other words, here's like this. And it's like he was outside in the wind. And then he went and took a photograph. Speaker 1 Very disheveled in his like presidential portraits. Yeah, Speaker 2 I think so. He was one where he combed his hair. This is Buchanan with Cohen. Okay, I Unknown Speaker wasn't crazy. was pretty Barnum ready at the same time era. Unknown Speaker Cannon was Speaker 1 I don't know why but like they both could be played by John C. Reilly is maybe why I'm thinking that Speaker 2 Buchanan died in 1868 was President 1857 to 1861. So yeah, same timeframe. Speaker 1 Hey, maybe that's what it was the that was the style. They're gonna think that whenever they see like these guys with the shaved like my barber does the shaved thing in the head right there. You're Speaker 2 gonna see it right. I got looks like Donald Trump. Pull that picture. Unknown Speaker The meanest thing you've ever said anything like that at all? Speaker 3 There haven't been a lot of I can't think of a single president who's had cool hair Unknown Speaker what? Leave up JFK. Yeah, I guess the tape is pretty cool. Speaker 1 Did Clinton had good hair when he was in office? Right. Obama started with good hair. Do you see how fast he grade while he was in office? Speaker 2 Yeah, but honestly, Oh, well. I will say Obama had Obama has gray hair and even gray gray. He grave made him look dignified. I think some people gray makes him look Rama looks Unknown Speaker better old than he did when he was younger. Yeah, Speaker 2 I think some people gray makes you look better. Some people great makes you look worse. I think Obama looked better. Looks better was gray. Speaker 1 Yeah, I mean, gosh, yeah, I guess should we Unknown Speaker dye hair gray? Speaker 1 Should we just do do powerful men have bad haircuts? Should we did that Speaker 2 seem like have you seen all of the Oakland Raiders staff? Yeah, Unknown Speaker the Oakland Raiders owner? Owner. Yeah, he's Speaker 2 not their owner there. I don't know. I think he's still there. Their owner, their coach, and who was it? There was someone on their team. They've all got Speaker 1 the same barber and there is themselves horrible. They were horrible haircuts. Their barbers blind. Okay, we've Speaker 2 got so much PT Barnum, not Barber. Okay, we got a lot of sorry, he has a long life. He was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut. And his dad was an innkeeper and a tailor and a storekeeper. And, you know, like one of those guys who was like, did a bunch for newer, but like, successful, you know, like a serial entrepreneur. Yeah. Like, like, like, he would have had a YouTube channel talking about how to be successful. Speaker 1 I do worry that like, when I'm old. I have, you know, what if comedy dies in the next couple of years, and then it'd be like, yeah, he was a comedian in his like, 20s. And then he worked at a used car lot for his 30s Speaker 2 It's like, it's like, Have you heard that? I don't know why you would hear this. I'd be surprised if you have actually, Unknown Speaker can you stop because we have a lot to get to. Speaker 2 Okay, I heard Wi Fi you don't hear it. Okay. No, I haven't heard it. It's it's a song from Hold on. Let me I have to. Casting I'm not loving the Spotify. I can't remember who sings it. So just forget about this. Okay. Speaker 3 So he but here's the thing his grandfather was a Unknown Speaker teepee. Barnum. The Papa. Yeah, Unknown Speaker what speed do you stand for that? Unknown Speaker Pretty taut. Pretty, Tom, I think we'll call him Fred, pretty boy. Okay, Unknown Speaker so P D stands for Phineas Taylor. Speaker 1 Cool. Phineas is a name that should make a comeback. His grandfather, Speaker 2 also Phineas Taylor. Sure. His grandpa. His grandfather had like a lot of really, really strong influence on him. His grandfather did a couple of things that were like noble, but he also was a lottery schemer as I mean, it means he like schemed a lottery. What does that mean? Speaker 1 A lottery schemer. Okay, what does that he's scheme, the lottery. Okay, how, but he had a lottery. I don't play the lottery. I don't know Speaker 2 exactly how he was scheming the lottery, but I'm assuming it was something like those. We covered a couple of lottery winners on our show. Yeah, did kind of different things. So I'm assuming it's something like that. And he had a lot of influence on young PT Barnum. Okay. And so when PT was on the ways of scamming, yeah, I guess when PT was 18 Danger 16 He, his father died. And he had to become the breadwinner for the family. So he started working at a grocery store. And while he was working at this grocery store, he realized I'm seeing a lot of people every day because they're here buying their groceries. And so he says, I know what I'll do. I'll start my own lottery. ends. Unknown Speaker Okay, okay, so he do that. Unknown Speaker I mean, you can do whatever you want. Speaker 1 For free country. I don't know if it's like, and I hope it stays that way. You know, who else believes that all of our new fans? Speaker 2 I mean, this is like 1825 or something like that, or whatever you want. And so back then, like, it's like, yeah, maybe you weren't supposed to do it. But like you, no one's gonna go get a license to start a lottery, you know, especially in Bridgeport, Connecticut, a lottery license? Yeah, no, no one's thinking Speaker 4 about 60. Cardozo. How does he Unknown Speaker so here's what he does water, he, Speaker 2 he sells lottery tickets, okay. And he's holding, like, drawings for them weekly. And he tells he guarantees a prize for everyone, for everyone who enters a lottery. And so he said, I basically he's like, he's like the grand prize winner. I'll give them like a fraction of my earnings from that lottery current same way most lotteries work. But then he was like, but everybody else, the grocery store I work at has a bunch of empty bottles, and they told me I can have them. And so he gets Speaker 3 to anyone else. Okay, no reason. And everyone was like, thanks. I want a major or Speaker 1 it's good to still hang on someone's mantled. That's my great granddad's bottle, Speaker 3 he wanted in peace for blobby Tom, pretty boy, Speaker 2 gave that to him in a lottery. So we're winners, our family, we changed our last name the winner after that. Speaker 1 Okay. Turns out our daughter was like some kind of spy or something like that really rough. Unknown Speaker So he did this for a few years. And did you get that job? Speaker 2 No, I didn't think so. Are you going to explain it? Okay, cool. So he, he just, he saved up money from this lottery, and then moved to New York and bought himself his own grocery store. So I was able to successfully run this lottery for a few years. Wow. And we should be clear, this is the 1820s. So you could buy grocery stores for like, 40 bucks back then. Like it wasn't this? Yeah, it's not the same thing. But it's still impressive. And so he's managing his grocery store. And you know, it's, he's, he's having like, a, like a career, I guess out of this, but he's not enjoying it. He's in 1835 rolls around. He's 25 years old. He's been doing it for a few years, running the grocery store. And he's, he's successful, but not like, success. Yeah, you know, and like, like, he's like, he's like, I want spend more. But he's like, but I there's one big problem with getting more and has work. And he hates working. And he's like, I don't want to have to work. He's like, I'd rather be able to be in a spot where I don't work. And I'm super rich. And so he started, started looking for the next big thing. Unknown Speaker I've got some great products available. And I think you'd like creams, and assorted. Speaker 2 And so this is this is 1830s. So he learns about an acquaintance he like a childhood friend he has he lives in Philadelphia. And this is the 1830s. And so his friend had a slave. Her name was Joyce Heath. And his friend claimed that she was the nurse, like the nurse of George Washington when George Washington was an infant. Okay. Which I saw the look on your face. The numbers don't add up. She will be 161 years old. Yeah, if that was true. But PT Barnum was like, You know what? The lottery was pretty easy. And he's like, I think I could pull this off. And so he goes out to Philadelphia and technically one off Unknown Speaker that's a good question. So it goes into Philadelphia. So Unknown Speaker you think I'm like, I'm gonna sell tickets to see this lady? Speaker 2 Yeah, yeah, pretty much. And so he wants he goes out to Philadelphia and Speaker 1 some meet and greet with George Washington's, like childhood nurse. Yeah. Shoot, dude. I hope I'm never that famous. That someone will be like this was a babysitter when he was like three. That'd be $20 A meter. Hey, you Unknown Speaker want to meet her? But like, Unknown Speaker I don't know. I guess it's the 1830s Well, Unknown Speaker it's weird though it feels weird. I can speak from experience Speaker 3 a lot of weird experience. Can you speak from when we toured Alcatraz at the end of Alcatraz, the last surviving inmate? Oh, he's just at the end of the tour. And like, he's like the door greeter? Well, no, he was sitting at a table in the gift shop. He's like, he's like I said 30 years ago, and they still have me here. They Speaker 1 won't let me get out of here. We taking a picture? No. I told him to quit taking pictures of me long ago. I don't want pictures of me having anymore. I shouldn't. Nobody should after a certain point. Speaker 3 It was he was there. I think on his own volition. He wrote a book about his experience. He was doing book signings in the gift shop. But it felt weird. And everybody else there felt weird about it to Speaker 1 buy his book. No, that's why Sacher crap. You're gonna support that old man. But his wife was ruined by the archaic prison system that existed Unknown Speaker by San Francisco. Some people were going in there taking pictures with it. Unknown Speaker I'm glad you had a good vacation. Everybody Unknown Speaker else walked by and was like, Unknown Speaker could you ask for a refund afterward? Unknown Speaker Yeah, we did. We were like, hey, it was really Unknown Speaker weird that I didn't really get a refund. Unknown Speaker Really drug magic training. You're Unknown Speaker doing the magic tricks very well. I hated it. Unknown Speaker So do you know what this this is a prison. Speaker 1 I'm sure that guy he's cool in 2006. But his time has done. Unknown Speaker best show in San Francisco. I don't know, man. Speaker 2 So he, he had 500 bucks to his name. So I took out a loan for $500 to make it 1000 And then made an offer to lease. Joyce from her owner, which was weird, because that was technically still illegal. Like, even at this time, slavery was illegal in the north, because he was they were in northern states. And so that shouldn't have been legal to happen. But he exploited the North. Yes. Yeah. It was because he was technically leasing her. Yeah. So it wasn't technically it wasn't laboring, yeah. Okay. And so he took her on tour. So people could meet George Washington, lady, and made, Speaker 1 that's what I'm saying. Like, what are you putting up? Like, if it's just said hi, V. I mean, like this guy nursed or this guy, maybe progressive, you know, yeah. This gal nursed Ronald Reagan when he was a baby, you know? Yeah. And she's at HyVee this weekend. You're like, okay, Speaker 2 yeah, they that's exactly what happened. He's gonna meet and Unknown Speaker greet. He really was. Speaker 2 It was like, it was like, 20 cents to meet her. And she old. Yeah, she was old. She was so she was about 80. Something of this not 161. Unknown Speaker Right. She would have needed to be. Speaker 2 But they the one thing I respect about PT Barnum, there's a lot that you probably shouldn't respect about him until he gets old when he got old, then there's some things you can't respect about him, because he'd learned some stuff. But at this point, he's like, there's not a lot you can respect about him. But one thing you can is he always made posters for his events that were I think ahead of its time. This was his poster for this. Hello, baby. George Washington Speaker 1 was full. So just so everyone knows. It's, you know, obviously, the older woman holding a knot baby. It is a just a small George Washington watching pretty funny. Inside this is aged 161 years. Unknown Speaker Yeah, George Washington isn't even around anymore at the time of this. Yeah, Unknown Speaker they're saying, Speaker 1 Look, though, that's honestly that is ahead of its time, because that's like, full grown. George Washington just shrunk down and put in her lap. Yeah, that's Unknown Speaker some photoshop. already funny. It is pretty funny. Unknown Speaker And so they took her around till on tour, and they Speaker 1 said she was 161. And it was a lie. Speaker 2 I'm pretty sure. Yeah, his friend told him she's 161 years old. Yeah. But Speaker 1 that's like what he Yeah, he's like, sure, sure. Sure. Sure. Unknown Speaker So they took her on tour. And this was a huge Speaker 1 hit. At that time. What people's belief stuff, man. It's true. And no one had invented lying yet. And so people were like, this is this is just true. Speaker 2 Yeah, yeah, that's accurate. And so he made a killing off of this. There's no way to prove anything yet. Every time he would go into 20 cents this year. People were like, oh, I want to see George Washington's nurse. And so people were coming from all over the place to see this. Experience it, but only lasted a year because she passed away year after Unknown Speaker 162. Speaker 3 And he had developed a little bit of a taste of reputation. It because some people were like, There's no way. There's no way that's actually yeah. Washington's that Speaker 1 ends up helping him. Yeah. And marketing standpoint, that's what you want. Yeah. Speaker 2 And because of that, he he capitalized on that as well. And so after she died, he hosted a live autopsy to prove her age. And so at a saloon in New York City, which is saloon of all places, like the doors and everything. Yeah, that sounds like that cannot be up to health. But they hosted a live autopsy, he sold seats and people came in, they watched it. And they verified she was 82 years old at the time of her death. And everyone was like, ah, wasn't real, but it was cool. Well, acid like Unknown Speaker how were they age verifying at that point? Unknown Speaker I don't know. I think teeth. Unknown Speaker Okay, yeah. Speaker 2 Everyone's teeth has numbers on them. Like, the back of your teeth has a number for your age. Yeah. Can you feel that? Yeah, it changes every year. Like your birthday? It's Unknown Speaker 31. But um, you don't know how horny nine? Unknown Speaker Ah, you didn't call your mom. Unknown Speaker I didn't call her mom right now. You call her Unknown Speaker I'm two years old. Unknown Speaker This changes so much. Changes everything I know about myself. Oh, man. Hey, thanks for checking Speaker 4 out this episode. If you like this, and you want more of our show, we've got plenty of other episodes. One of my favorites is action Park, a super sketchy theme park that was basically overrun by teenagers. And they just made the rules. It was in New Jersey. It was a wild story. But we did a whole episode about it. And I think you'd like it. So when you're done with this one, go check out that episode. But for now, back to this one. Unknown Speaker So they barely Yes, she's 82 Yeah, she was 82. Unknown Speaker And so he was like, Wow, this he's like, Unknown Speaker Oh, Unknown Speaker I too, got bamboozled. Unknown Speaker I was tricked by that guy in Philadelphia. Unknown Speaker That you all know is real. Speaker 2 Is none of that. So so yeah. So she she passes away. And he was like, Man, that worked out great. And there was a lot of money and to even just speculation. And so he started looking for other people that were unique that he could exploit. Speaker 1 Oh, yeah, they're old people. Just looking for the Speaker 2 other Oliver's to take somewhere. And so he he started finding you'll never run out of them. Your typical like, cars, like Sideshow stuff, like so like people with extra limbs or bearded ladies and but none of this stuff was as much of a hit as George Washington's nurse. And so like he kind of he kind of struck it big on his first one. Okay, everything after that was like just kind of they're like, yeah, we've seen the bearded lady. Yeah. And so, but he he spent a few years saving up his money. And he bought scoters American museum in 1841. Okay, it was like, like a Ripley's Believe It or Not using a wax place or what? No more like a Ripley's Believe it or not, because they just would have like weird exhibits of like, here's an example. One of the things that they had in there from the very beginning was what's known as I think, yeah, the Fiji Mermaid, which this is allegedly allegedly proof of mermaids that exists, they found this a Fiji and it was this, so I don't like it. If you're listening. It's it was a Speaker 1 half fish and then not even want to call it a person at the top. But kind of Speaker 2 Yeah, so this is a recreation of it. We don't have the original, but it was because what we did was he took a skeleton of a monkey and cut it off at the torso and then glued it to around and like glued it to the back of the monkey. And then was like, look, it's a mermaid. It's a real mermaid. And people were like, Oh my gosh, they found a mermaid in Fiji. Speaker 1 And that's what it would look like. Is I mean all these fairy tales of sailors falling in love with that. Unknown Speaker Yeah, yeah, that's Yeah, exactly. Unknown Speaker It's worth it if you're an audio listener to just Speaker 2 it's terrifying google it is terrifying. So yes, stuff like this, like crazy automated. Yeah, yeah. He's making crazy oddities and saying all this. I found a mermaid Yep. So he redesigns this museum. Oh wow. Barnum's American museum is it's big. What does that force five stories? Yeah. And had just all these exhibits of interesting things all throughout. And it was literally that it was like you walk in you look at something that was kind of interesting or a person who was who had an extra limb or a bearded lady stuff like that. That Speaker 1 is the the last surviving person from Alcatraz. It's the baby that he's holding. Unknown Speaker And everyone's like, what's Alcatraz? Well, you'll Unknown Speaker probably die. But we'll find out. Unknown Speaker We'll find out when you're older. Unknown Speaker He's older. Speaker 2 And this this museum he was he was tricky with this stuff. And so he was, is I guess, it was like a quarter of there's not a real murmee Certain Well, no, no, no, even better. So it was like 25 cents, I shouldn't say even better, even worse. So it was like 25 cents to enter, right? And then you can turn around and see the whole thing. But at the end of every, not every exhibit, but at the end of some of the major exhibits, he would put up all the signs that say this way to egress. But at and I guess apparently still now, people didn't know what egress means. What's your exit? And so people would be like, oh, I want to go see the egress. And then they go out and then they'd be outside and they there's no reentry. So they had to get another ticket to go in. So he was just tricking people to buy a second ticket. Unknown Speaker Dang it. Oh, I put it down. Unknown Speaker That wouldn't fly. Now. This is who PT Barnum was, Unknown Speaker I'd burn it to the ground dude. Unknown Speaker But again, still great posters. Unknown Speaker There's a side to the egress. Unknown Speaker Yeah, cuz he was like, Haha, we got to. Okay, so. Okay, Speaker 3 sure. So just a bunch of interesting stats. Someone with a lot of tattoos they hippopotamus. Siamese? Chicken, Chicken Chicken. Yeah. Bearded Lady. There's a brick. Unknown Speaker Is that a bearded lady though? White? Speaker 3 Yeah, I think that's a bearded lady. looking thing, I think. And then just an average baby. Speaker 1 No, he has a huge baby. That's the point that baby that baby's not average, that is actual size. That's a large baby. Speaker 2 And then there's a brick in this, because here's what he did, he would do this every day he would get into, he would walk into the museum. Speaker 1 One break from the building, because this can't last forever, guys. And like he would just you know, he's like, we're here until the building falls down. A different brick from a different area is like, eventually it'll Speaker 3 fall. Well, what he would do is he would take these bricks, man. And he would Speaker 2 he would walk in, and he would grab a brick and he will walk back out with a brick. And like just set it on the street. And then turn around, walk back in and then walk back out and grab the brick and walk back inside. And people on the like morning commutes would walk by and they'd be like, what do you do with these bricks, man? And he's like, why don't you come inside and see. And it meant nothing. It was just something just odd enough where people would be like, What are you doing? I go try to check that out on one of these days. And I'm gonna do that Speaker 1 when we open our mobile bar. What do you do it just like just go take a cinder block. Go set it out. Let it sit there for a little while. And come back out. Pick it up. Yeah, yeah. What are you doing? Have you ever heard of Oregon? Speaker 3 Just doing weird things. Once you come check it out. And so like his it slowly grows in popularity. Just Speaker 2 it's so, but nothing was like hugely successful yet. Like he was he was doing well. He was doing well. Okay, but it still wasn't like I don't have to work anymore. Well, you know, he was shooting for and then he met Tom Thumb. His name wasn't Tom Dunn. That was the name he changed him to. His name was Charles PT Barnum changed it. Yeah. It was Charles Stratton. Unknown Speaker He's like, I'm gonna call you. Tom. Is there a reason? Yeah. I think you know, Speaker 2 his name was Charles Charles Trenton. And he was his parents. Were actually friends of PT Barnum. Unknown Speaker Okay. It's parents like, hey, our kids weird. Speaker 2 They're like, we don't think he's ever gonna be able to make a living on his own. Why? Why he was a dwarf. And at that day and age, I mean, that's a pretty logical conclusion that he's never gonna be able to make much money on his own. And so at four years old PT Barnum says, Okay, I'll pay him or I guess I'll pay you as the parents. $70 a week. Unknown Speaker I'll lease your child Speaker 2 pretty much $70 a week to be in my A big money. Yeah, good money. And so they were like, yeah, like done deal. And so he legally changed his age to 11 years old and legally changed his name to Tom Thumb. Cuz for some, I think he thought that would sell better, which I think it does. I think it is better than Charles Stratton. Okay, and then calls him a general and says, Come see General Tom Thumb at 11 years old and 11 years old, but He's four years old. But he says he's 11 years old. Unknown Speaker Is there a picture of Tom Tom? Yeah. Here's Unknown Speaker a picture of PT Barnum and Tom Thumb standing together. They ended up becoming best friends that are lifelong friends after this. Speaker 1 That makes sense. But like, but like, why 11 If you're going to change the age, just shoot big, you know, go for 160. You know? Speaker 2 Yeah, I don't know why the age 11 was chosen. I think maybe it's because he was still like, he still kind of behaved like a child. So they were like, well, we got it. We can't act like he's an adult. Unknown Speaker But he's a Gen Y. That's why I say like, Gen. He's 11. Unknown Speaker He's an 11 year old come meet the 11 year old General. Unknown Speaker That's what I that's what I'm saying. Speaker 3 It's like, okay, that's the idea is meet the 11 year old general. And then that's what was interesting about him. Sure. And they taught him to say like, general stuff. And so he would walk into a room and he'd be like, hello, troops. I don't know, whatever generals do. Yeah. Speaker 2 And then they taught him to sing and that crushed. And so like, it was like, it was like, it had developed an audience Speaker 1 for like, oh my gosh, he's a he's a war general. And then he goes and they're like, he's singing. Take two quarters. Speaker 3 How many quarters Do you want? Take me to the egress. I can give you more. Unknown Speaker Yeah, he goes, follow me. He's gonna be running around. He's a child. You know, saying? Speaker 2 Yeah, so Tom Thumb makes him a fortune. People. The word spreads of the singing 11 year old general. And people start traveling to New York just to see Tom Thumb. Okay. And so they become a lifelong best friend. They become lifelong best friends. Wow. Him and Tom Thumb. And he takes tom tom on tour a couple times. But more than anything, Tom Thumb is performing at the American Museum for life and making pretty good money doing it. Speaker 1 Yeah. Did PT have a like, I believe against looking at the camera. Unknown Speaker No, I think he did it here. Okay, well, that's also Unknown Speaker why he didn't do it. Creepy, man. Unknown Speaker Yeah, yeah. After that last picture. Everyone was like, Hey, where's Unknown Speaker my eyes? I gotta bounce my eyes. Yeah. So Speaker 2 I love I love TomTom. And so TomTom makes him a fortune. And it really puts the museum on the map. Sure museum was opened for decades. It is a brick thing anymore. People are coming on their own. And it gets to the point where the museum is now bringing in 400,000 visitors per year. By 1846. It gets the point where the museum earns him $80 million. It translated to today's money, I should say. He makes a ton of cash off this museum. And TomTom really kind of put him on the map and meant this out. Okay. And so he goes on a little bit of a spending spree, finding more oddities and kind of compiling stuff to have in in his museum and then says I'm going to open up a new house from a Speaker 1 new house. I'm going to open up a new house for me usually to build yourself a home like a business plan like a business like for me, I like a house for me and then I like that same house build smaller for Tom Thumb. Give it to him for his at Speaker 3 the garage, his 18th birthday. So Unknown Speaker next year. Well, we could change that. Not really. Got more time. Speaker 3 He's got it. Yeah. At least not on us seven years. It's a lot like Tim's anniversary. Unknown Speaker In that in that on papers, two of them yes. So that's okay. The government doesn't listen to this Speaker 2 so he builds this new house and his II wants this house to be a thing though, where it's he has his home But he also hosts major events here. And so he puts in a theater and he builds like a big ballroom because he's like, I want the best music artists in the world to come do their. Their performances here in my home music here. Yeah. And so he opens up a home and he names it. I ran us down. And this is it. Holy cow builds this in Connecticut. In 1948 is when he built it. No, 1848 Sorry. 1848 That's what I meant. Unknown Speaker Otherwise, he'd be 161 years old. Speaker 2 If you're listening, it's a giant house and it's it's in your classic like, India, like temples style. So they've got like a big dome. Like bulbous rooftops with the spires. Stories. Yeah, depending on who you are. If you hugely been tortilleria. You would think this was here. 700 years ago standing is it? No. Speaker 1 Okay, I guess you'll tell us why. So yeah, Giants. This is this Outback also his Speaker 2 whole properties his there's lots of sub building all buildings. Yeah, that's Unknown Speaker Tom those houses. Okay. Speaker 2 And a fountain out front? Yeah. So I mean, just an absolutely obnoxiously gigantic mansion. Even for today's standards. If you saw this in 1848. It will blow your mind at how big this guy's house is. If you saw this in 2023, it will blow your mind at how big this guy Yeah, it's huge. It's a palace by every like, yes, measure. So a couple of years after he built this house, he finds out about a Swedish singer named Jenny Lind, who was huge in Europe. And he thought he could benefit off of her success. And so he calls up her crew, and is like, hey, why don't you guys come on over to the states all tore manage for you guys. And we'll we'll let you build an audience out here. And so Speaker 1 what would an audience translate if you came over from Europe, like would people show up? Typically, Speaker 2 no. But PT Barnum be one of the things that PT Barnum got really, really good at publicity. And yeah, he got really good at marketing stuff. And so he was confident he could build an audience for her before she even got to the states. Okay, so he went to her and he offered 150 Night tour to pay her $1,000 A night. And that is money. So translate it today is $40,000 a night for 150 Night tour. So she was like, Hey, that sounds great. Can you pay me up front? And he was like, Unknown Speaker No. He was like, Yeah, Speaker 2 I think we can do that. So he went and he took out a loan against his museum. He took out a loan against his house, and he's still stupid. And he took he put his entire savings so dumb, and he was still came up $6,000 short of what he offered her. And so he went and he was asking him for money. He found Unknown Speaker no, that's so dumb. Speaker 2 And so he found a point you Speaker 1 just like a musician enough that you're like, we're gonna do it. I'm gonna force it to happen. Speaker 2 He found a pastor in Philadelphia to give him six grand and he needs six grand. And so he told us pastor, Unknown Speaker pastors were rolling. Speaker 2 He found a pastor Philadelphia, and he said, Hey, Jenny Lynn, one of the things she was famous for in Europe was her morality, and her philanthropy. And so he said, I think if we have a star in the United States that's famous for the things she's famous for, we could really see a change in the morality of our nation, and convinced this pastor and the pastor put up $6,000 towards it, and was able to pay her upfront and she put the majority of it straight into her charities, and then sailed to the US. And he started marketing it and he really played up the morality played up the philanthropy stuff and the marketing. And when she arrived, she had no audience in the States before this deal started. When she arrived at Port, there's 40,000 people waiting for her to sail in. And they worked. Yeah. And so she goes to stay at the hotel that night. There's 20,000 people the hotel and they sold out of her merchandise, which is interesting to me. I'm curious Speaker 3 what her merchandise was. Yeah, like, T shirts, like just there's no way they had T shirts like, Unknown Speaker No, I had a blouse, a little fluffy blouse. And Unknown Speaker a fluffy bass. They sewed some suspenders and Unknown Speaker say J lens pulls my pants up. I Speaker 3 don't know what it is. She's so more moral. That she it says morals. The morals tore the mortals toward morals toward morals tore. So Unknown Speaker that night PT was like, oh yeah, this is gonna Speaker 1 work and then she actually crosses in front of somebody. And they're like She's not who they said they were. What a hypocrite. Speaker 2 And then all of the all of the fans daughters, they started putting black eyeliner on their eyes and go into her shows. And we're like, I love Jenny. Unknown Speaker They're like this is the reversible Speaker 2 Jenny's ruining our nation. No. So she plays at the castle garden Theater in New York, the first like, I guess there's a second night in the States. But our first night of the tour, sells it out. 5000 seat theater, huge theater for the day. sells it out. And this single event, because PT Barnum reiterated the PT Barnum decided instead of selling tickets, he was going to auction them because it was so it was already so popular as this single event paid off the Old Testament. Wow. So and then they went and did well, not 150 Nights, they did 93. Halfway through the tour, she dies. Halfway through the tour, she starts realizing, you see Barnum is making an insane amount of money off of this tour. And she's feels dirty about the fact that she's that he's marketing it off of her morality and her philanthropy. And so he says, if you're gonna make this much money off of stuff, he said, You have to give it away, I have to make more off of this is what she said. And so they negotiate a new deal where he would make a $5,500 management fee for each night of the event. And she would make the rest of the profits. And so So she Speaker 1 starts making a killing. Yeah. And so by the end of this, he was like, I don't want to do this anymore. This sucks. So Speaker 2 after 93 nights, the deal kind of fell apart. And they parted ways, because she was frustrated with the way he was marketing it. So they didn't do a full 150 Nights. But for 93 She walked away having earned about $350,000 in 1840 Cash whole equivalent. I've got a calculator up right now in point Unknown Speaker two or 12 million. Speaker 2 It's equivalent to Yeah, 13 point 6 million today. Yeah. And then he netted estimates range around $500,000, which was net. And so I don't know what a million. Yeah, I don't know how much he actually took home off of that. Because he's had a half. Yeah. And so the gamble worked really well for him. And so he started saying, hey, there might be something to this Tor stuff. And so he starts looking at winner do Unknown Speaker part of started with, Unknown Speaker yeah, get that remember? Unknown Speaker What if we had a morality? Speaker 1 What if we tore it is, you know, $10 entry, no tickets. Speaker 2 But they, they like auctioned all the tickets for free, free auction, free auction pre auction. So he gets into this, this concept of touring. And so he starts sending his acts is pretty crazy Speaker 1 how winter jam did that it's $10 cash at the door. They don't have to pay any processing fees on on cards or anything like that. And there's no ticket sales. So there's no other hands in the pot. It's interesting when you learn how things work, when you know how business goes and you go, Speaker 2 Oh, and you're like, yeah, and then they mark it in a certain way. And you're like, Oh, let's Unknown Speaker see what you did here. Yeah, PT Barnum. Unknown Speaker But anyways, you gotta get a winner. Unknown Speaker I do put me on there. I love it. I think you guys are geniuses. I'm so moral. Yeah, he's Speaker 3 also 3131 31 Speaker 2 You're enjoying it and you're enjoying chillin, you've been around for a little bit, I want to invite you to be a part of our Patreon. We have a Patreon that has early access to all of our episodes ad free content, both audio and video. We have a discord with our hosts and producers. That's a ton of fun getting to hang out with all of our patrons in there. We also do once a month now we do these live streams with our patrons. We hang out we get to know each other we eat pizza. It's a blast, along with a bunch of other benefits like a merch discounts message on your birthday like fun stuff. It's definitely worth it. We're having a blast with our patrons. But if that doesn't sound like something for you, like that guy here, just kidding. No, we love you. Thanks for checking out Dylan podcast. How do you how do they get it though? I realized I forgot to put a CTA in mind. Speaker 1 Oh dang we're doing Yeah, they can text Tillandsia 66866 Thanks Jared. Speaker 2 These are set at his axon tour. PT Barnum is sending his accent or making a killing his museum still open make it a killing off the museum and he's sending him out individually on tour, yeah. And he's brilliant. He's bright. He's starting to like, going out on the road, Tom thumb's on the road doing events, wow, singing or whatever. And he's working with a lot of musicians. Now Jenny got him into the music world. For us, they are there to surround trains. And so they he's, he's a huge success, right? Well, in the 80s, the early 1860s. His museum catches fire. Oh, and the newspaper puts out this article of his museum burning, which is Speaker 1 there's like a head, and oh, it's a mannequin. Speaker 2 Yeah, there's I think it's Abe Lincoln's mannequin. Losing ahead. Unknown Speaker Oh, my God. Yeah, it's Speaker 2 a terrifying image. This is an interesting time in journalism. When the cartoonists that would have typically just done no pictures for the front, they had them do everything. And they let them do it however they wanted. Why don't you draw a picture of the fire at the circus? Okay. And they were just like, cool. And they would just Yeah, make it insane. But yeah, so we know what sort of the fire No. But there was there was a major fire and it damaged it pretty bad. He was able to get an insurance payout, but it didn't even come close to covering the damages. But he was able to reopen partially and didn't didn't open. The whole museum backup reopened partially, a few years later, Unknown Speaker a lot more egress signs, Speaker 2 a lot more and eagerness signs. But a few years later, it caught fire again. And this time he couldn't recover. Yeah. And so it was a complete loss. And he shut it shut it down for good. Ironically, a couple years later, his house also burnt down. What so I don't know if this guy was literally playing with fire or if something wasn't insurance at the time. Well, there was there was insurance. But yeah, it wasn't like the sort of thing where it's like, he's not collecting industry. He's not he's not getting Yeah, I mean, he could have been insurance fraud, and honestly, but he wasn't making enough money off of it. He was making more money off his insurance as pilots burned out. That's why we don't have any pictures. That's a Speaker 1 bummer. Yeah. Because it was wild to like, still exist. Yeah. I also think there's Speaker 2 a possibility. So he, at this point in his life, he got into politics. And he was he was in the Republican, the new Republican Party was a brand new thing. And it was very different than it is today. It was actually like the inverse back then. Right. And so he was he was very progressive. Had a had a pretty instrumental part in the 13th amendment. Which is crazy, because because he started from that, yeah. And so well, what he said in his he gave a speech and in his speech, he said that he was once a while it was the word he used basically, like hard headed Democrat, who was a northerner he thought exploiting people was okay. And he said, over my career, he said, I've been privileged to work with people from all over the world from multiple different background, basically, and realize that these people are all the same. Like there's no reason why you should Jr really did change him. Yeah. And so he his life, like exposing himself to other people changed his life. And so then he was instrumental in making the 13 or passing through the 13th Amendment, but he said in his speeches, he was like he he thought he should be punished for the things that he had done in the past really, really looked like a change man after that, honestly, Speaker 1 it's almost like we agree. I was just saying that for political points. I don't think we should actually don't punish me Don't please don't I've been punished enough my business burnt down, my home burned down. Speaker 3 My business burnt down again. And so he he was also instrumental in Speaker 2 passing legislation that made gas lighting a common thing and cities streetlights were all the time man Speaker 1 in the city before nothing like that. Unknown Speaker Gaslight Wow, they're Speaker 1 like, they're like there was no Barnum's Museum. Well, yes, there was. No You're making that up. You're Speaker 3 crazy. Give it up. You're making it up. You're crazy. And he was like, I did that. He was like that. That was me. That was my work bro. More gaslighting here. But I Speaker 2 do think it's possible that because he was such a proponent of gas lighting, that that's what Burton has everything down. Oh, because that was that makes highly flammable. Speaker 1 But like running gas lines as infrastructure kind of stuff. Yeah. And then lighting Speaker 2 the city that way. Yeah. And so he was in point of all this is to say he was influential in politics as a politician. And then at the age of 63. He was like, You know what I haven't done yet. Okay, because I haven't Speaker 3 done a circus yet. said I've done all this stuff. And everybody the future knows me for the circus but I haven't done the circus yet. She's times right. Speaker 2 And so he establishes PT Barnum's grand traveling museum menagerie caravan and hippodrome wasn't great at naming stuff. Great it advertising. Yeah, good naming. I think that was normal back then. long names were long. Yeah. And so he started Speaker 1 to zipper, his name, Phineas Taylor to long pt. Speaker 2 And so he started running that in 1870. Ran for 11 years. Very successful circus in the States. 1k. one of if not the most successful circus in the United States. Meanwhile, across the pond in Europe, there's a guy by the name of James Bailey, who's running a very successful circus. And K. Borrow the UK in Unknown Speaker Butea. Speaker 3 And he learns about it from Tom Thumb. Important sidebar. Tom, Tom went over there. Yeah, important sidebar. I'm Speaker 2 getting ahead of myself a little bit. Sure. Yeah. So in the 60s, during his political career, he ended up getting into some pretty hot legal waters. And so some of the stuff that he did, made some enemies, as happens a lot with politicians, right. And he, he got a little a little too passionate, I think about these enemies. And so he started coming after them a little bit too hard. And so he got sued for libel multiple times, oh, and nearly bankrupt, got bankrupt from the litigations that he found himself in. Because his museum wasn't open anymore. He lost his house. We had a lot of a lot of his assets were literally burnt out, right. And then, and then he was kind of being a little too risky with the slander. He was thrown at some people, and it costs him. And so he almost lost everything. But his old friend Tom Tom, at this time, it had gone off on his own, and was touring in Europe and was like, why don't you come on toward me in Europe? You can open for me. Unknown Speaker I mean, did we tie five at the top? Yeah. Unknown Speaker But here's the thing. PT Barnum, Speaker 2 this whole his whole career was never a performer. He was always the guy running the show, you know, but not the performer. And so opening was like, What's PT Barnum gonna open for? So he opened as a speaker, speaking against alcohol. And so Speaker 1 thanks for coming tonight. I'd like to start this joyous evening of fun and drinking with a talk about how neither of those things are good for you. You should not drink where they serve and drinks it like theaters and stuff Unknown Speaker then I imagine I would assume Yeah. pour that out. Put that out. Dump your drink, dump your drink. Speaker 1 Don't drink or dump your soul. Yeah, he was what was known as yours. He was he was what was Speaker 2 known as a temperance speaker. And so the idea was alcohol is bad for you. You shouldn't drink it you should abstain he Speaker 1 was running a DARE program across the UK basically Speaker 3 opening for Tom. Everybody's everybody's going out to see Tom Tom perform the the 11 year old general he's still 11 So it's a big bait and switch. Yeah, that he comes out and he's like, he's like, Are you drinking tonight? Unknown Speaker Tonight? Well cut it out. You're Unknown Speaker all gonna die. Unknown Speaker As you can see in this presentation. He's like, not a good public speaker is really hurt. Tonight. I'm gonna give you sorry. I'm gonna give you three reasons that drinking is wrong. Not wrong. Unknown Speaker But like not good. Unknown Speaker Cue photos. Unknown Speaker Can you put the pictures up on the screen? Please? Yeah. Speaker 1 Not the one where I'm looking at my camera. But the camera Speaker 3 anyways, you might not know me. My name is PT Barnum. I'm gonna before we get into it, I gotta show you a picture of me and my family. This is me and this is my son. Speaker 1 Hey, guys, thanks for being here. We want to say thank you for being here. There's a card Have a seat back in front of you just fill that out. Let us know you were here. Speaker 2 Yeah, if you just fill that out with your credit card information, you can drop in the bucket when it comes by and we'll just take whatever we want. Unknown Speaker Nice. Unknown Speaker Legally, I'm supposed to say it that Unknown Speaker if you want to reach the summit Unknown Speaker he goes it does this tour. It Speaker 2 makes a good amount of money off of this tour, and he's able to reboot his career and gets into the circus. was a circus for 11 years. And then Tom Thumb who's still on tour in Europe is like, Hey, there's this guy, James Bailey super successful out here. Looks like he's planning on coming to the states, you should get ahead of that. Unknown Speaker Okay. And so he Unknown Speaker calls that's why he started doing the circus stuff. Speaker 2 Well, no, he had been doing the circus for 11 years at this point. Oh, so he calls up James Bailey. And he's like, don't come to my territory. He's like, you're my number one competitor. He's like, you're the target to my Walmart. You're the Pepsi demand Coca Cola. Unknown Speaker He said, I'm a Bailey. Yeah, he's Speaker 2 like, what if? Join sides? He said, he said, What if we what if we be Pepsi Cola? Anyway, that doesn't flow? Right? What about Walgett? What Speaker 1 if we merge? What if? What if? What if you come over here and I buy your circus and we call it x? Unknown Speaker I think it will sell really well. A lot. I don't know, man. I'm just kind of thinking through some stuff. Make sure this Speaker 3 New York City, a giant light up X, on top of a building facing the windows of your enemies. Speaker 1 Will people think it's a weird thing? Ah, you're thinking too far ahead, buddy. But if we just make it with gasoline, I like to think in the moment. And then let my youngsters tell me my mistake. Plan. Speaker 2 And so James Bailey and him, they partner up, Bailey comes over to the states and brings his his elephant named Jumbo. And they buy a train that they had for a long time. Pin like chartering train trips. Yeah, but Speaker 1 you can't get charter a train. Yeah, you can show up with Speaker 2 like, check bag and elephant. Like, the ticket person is good. I know you can't train. And yeah, so they bought a train. They're the first circus to ever own their own train. Speaker 1 Wow. And they were rolling the towns with a full train. Unknown Speaker And so in 1882, they went on their first tour, how Speaker 1 does somebody go ahead of them? I guess that's how people the circus is coming. Speaker 2 I think they would mail flyers or something. I don't know. I mean, he was great at advertising. However he did it people would always come in. That's what I'm saying. Like, why Unknown Speaker would they do that? Speaker 2 They were the first three ring circus, which I think most likely came out of a debate. Because what they have you ever been to a three ring circus? You know what that means? Yeah, I didn't. I don't think I knew what that mean. Like, I went to circuses as a kid. Like there's Speaker 1 a center ring, where all the cool stuff happens. Yeah, there's another one where like kind of stuff happens. And then there's another one where other but they they can because Oh, it's constant entertainment. Speaker 2 Yeah, yeah. So they're all going at once, basically. Yeah. And so I think that most likely came out of a debate where it was like these two circuses came together. And they were like, well, I want to perform now. And they're like, Well, if we all do it at the same time, everyone wins. Yeah, I think that's what happened. But it was their first three ring circus. They launched in 1882. And it ran until 2017. What is the longest running any form of entertainment? Speaker 1 ran until 2017. The other one that came to the shrine mosque Speaker 2 Barnum and Bailey's. I don't know if it was that or if it was the Ringling Bros. Ringling Brothers in like the post war era blew up and they okay for their money. And now I think Ringling Bros. Bring the Ringling Brothers wrinkling. Speaker 1 There's one in June I think is bigger. Now, there's a there's a company in Joplin that does circus circuses. Uh huh. Yeah. So I drive by their field all the time. And like their elephants are just out there. I'm not joking. Like, they're on the side of the interstate. And they got their big semis, and they're still doing it even though people it's like to me, like, how much longer do you think circuses could exist? And also, SeaWorld? How long do you think SeaWorld could exist? Because I think like, millennials aren't SeaWorld? Speaker 2 Yes. Here. Well, it's close. See? Well, it's gotta be close. It's so close to a close very close. Speaker 1 I mean, I would go weeks ago, just just to keep my life Unknown Speaker I don't think I've been to a circus since I was like, six. Unknown Speaker I would do a circus in. I mean, even before then, when I was a kid, I knew I was wrong. I was I was bad. Really? No, we went I think I went to I was like, in I don't know. Speaker 2 I don't know. I mean, I think it depends on the circus. Like if a circus is like doing like, elephants and like animals stuff. Like I think they're, they're on the target list. But I think if a circus is doing like, just acrobatics, yeah. Cuz those suffering do. Yeah, I think I think the acrobatic stuff could last. But I will say like, like, if I'm on the highway, and I see circus tents, like this part of me that's like, I should go to that real quick. Unknown Speaker I should go see real quick. Let me tell you, let Speaker 2 me tell you if I if I'm on the highway, and I see a circus tent on in the parking lot and independent center. Yeah. And as I'm driving by I see a guy walk out with a brick. I'm good. He sets the brick down. Unknown Speaker I can what's he doing? I can't find now I have to find out how to figure out how to make money off this year. What he's doing. He's opening a story loop. For real though, Speaker 3 like That's definitely what he was doing. Like, it's this question of just like, what's up with the break and then you go through the whole museum. And while you get Unknown Speaker through part of it, you got to pay like I still go. Brick Unknown Speaker brick, you go through the whole thing at the very end. Unknown Speaker He's there the gift shop. A copy of my book. The brick book book. No. What's the brick? is about my life. Oh, brick. Oh, yeah. Greg stands up Unknown Speaker and says the Pledge of Allegiance Speaker 1 to the flag of the United States of America for which it stands, one nation indivisible. Speaker 1 You get it. You got what I did there, right? Because that wasn't in the title of right time era, you guys as a good joke. Speaker 3 So the surgeon is what he's known for it but he didn't start doing it until he was in his 60s. Wow. Speaker 2 I mean, he made a lot of money. Throughout his career, like he, the circus was a huge success of his he was a huge success doing everything else before and he knew how the entertainment business worked. And so Speaker 1 I'm going to change my marketing to be Judy Lynn's marketing, which is just like, come see Jaron, he's a really good guy. Speaker 2 Before Barnum and Bailey's started, while he was getting his circus business off the ground, he got into being an author. And so he wrote a book called The Life of PT Barnum. Unknown Speaker We just didn't spit. Speaker 3 Yeah. It's pretty great. He literally literally did that. Unknown Speaker Yeah, but he did under a fake name. So it would be like a biography. No, Speaker 2 it was called by it was life of PT Barnum by himself. Okay. Unknown Speaker Everybody thought he meant it was written by him. But he was like he was by himself all the time. Unknown Speaker And that's the real story. Speaker 3 He few 10 years later, he wrote a book called The humbugs of the world, which was him just slandering mediums. Speaker 2 Because he had a real problem with them. And he actually in the book he offered, he was going to pay $5,000 to any medium who could prove they could actually talk to the debt. Maybe 5000. That was how the book ended. I sound like one of his friends died. He's like, I'm sick of these people sick of these mediums. Unknown Speaker And so then these mediums, there's a group of mediums Speaker 2 that actually they read that book, they read the offer, they found out that was $5,000 up for grabs, if they could prove that they could talk to the dead. So they got together. And one of them told one of the mediums a secret. And the other medium was in the other room, and he'll tell them, and they did the seance thing. And they proved it and so he had to pay them $5,000 That's it made it sorry. Unknown Speaker Obviously, he didn't know the secret. He would have had to tell someone a secret and then kill them. Unknown Speaker And that yeah, so anyway, so they got a few times Speaker 1 to figure it out. They killed a lot of people before they shoot. He has to figure this super Speaker 3 secret is the brick was nothing. Nothing to do with. It was just a break. It's all don't break. Unknown Speaker She was 82. Unknown Speaker And he was for what are you seeing right now? Unknown Speaker Well, I don't know. Your friends gonna tell me in a second. That's probably gonna get marked by the by the YouTube standards. The transcript says stab, stab, stab, actually three different times because I said it. Again, they said you can say stab 10 times. Speaker 3 Let's say thank you. If you stay, poke 11 times, say what's a better word? What's another? What's a synonym of? Unknown Speaker Of what? That's what I thought this conversation is over real hard. You hear Oh, wow. Speaker 3 Knowledge that was just waiting for it. I was just gonna post. Unknown Speaker It says 29 You're good. So Unknown Speaker he writes up. I'll take you through doesn't boast Unknown Speaker you should lose a tooth for the bid Speaker 3 so he he writes a couple dozen books most of all about like couple dozen. Yeah, most of them about how much he hates mediums or about politics or business, Speaker 1 you know, and that's what what happened if we didn't have social media all these people who leave like seven paragraph comments wouldn't think they're authors. Speaker 2 But then in 1880, right before the Barnum and Bailey Circus thing happened, he wrote what is probably my favorite book ever. I haven't read it I just by the title judging the book by its cover. This is my favorite book ever written. This is PT Barnum's the art of money getting Unknown Speaker which is so great. Unknown Speaker I want to read it. I want to read it really bad. Unknown Speaker I don't think this was the original. This was not Speaker 1 this is definitely what's available on Amazon now. Speaker 2 Because and I think that just because this font is very clearly this was made in in PowerPoint, this car. Yeah. But man, I want to read this book, The Art of money getting all about how he got his money. He is widely attributed with for being the person who coined the phrase, there's a sucker born every minute. Oh, I don't. Most people think that he didn't say that. And I think the reason for that is because I don't think the slang term sucker lasted that long. Right? Right, right. But he was pretty vocal towards the end of his life, about the fact that he said that he would say people, it's not that people have a problem with being lied to. They actually crave it they crave being lied to. And so he would create these ridiculous things so people could be lied to because they liked they liked it. They liked being lied to about this. Fiji Mermaid. They like being lied to about George Washington's nurse or Unknown Speaker liked believing things Speaker 2 like weird stuff. And so yeah, he believed he believed that people were entertained by being lied to. And I liked it. And he was he built a career off of doing that for people. Speaker 1 No, I was doing it for your good. So he really was gaslighting at the end wasn't. Hey, you lied to us. Yeah. And you liked it? Geez. No, no, you craved it. You actually I remember you wrote me a letter one time when you were a small boy. Like I was Santa Claus. I'm you said hello, Mr. Pretty Tom Barnum, will you please lie to me? You remember that he's Unknown Speaker lying. And he's like, Wait, you're Unknown Speaker doing it? Right now? You're alright. You know? Yeah, cuz that's what you wanted me to do. That's okay. Unknown Speaker And in at 91, Speaker 2 his health started to really decline. And he knew it. And so he asked the newspaper to write his eulogy, so he could read it. Before he died. He's like, he's like, I think I'm gonna die. So you write my eulogy. Before I put it out, I want to read it first. And at the age of 80, he ends up dying of a stroke. His last words, were him asking his assistant to get him the receipts from last night's circus because he wanted to see how much they spent. And then he died of a stroke. Give me the receipt. never never never stopped working into the last minute. The reason we know about the reason we have circuses, probably honestly, and a major part of of the 13th Amendment, even though he was kind of a problematic person, the majority of cool for Unknown Speaker talking like mergeable. Okay, Speaker 3 this is this is what happens at the end of the day. This is what happens at the end of the radio tour when you walk around the museum with your earbuds in and the person narrates everything for you. Speaker 2 At the very end of it, they get really close to them like to finish the story. Okay, while you read the plaques and try to listen at the same time. It is very difficult. Why don't you give me the ears and the Speaker 3 Why did you give me yours at the same time? Sure. Islands born Unknown Speaker blindfolded guard this museum Speaker 3 America's first blindfolded museum booster that Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So PT Barnum, legendary entertainer. Great author. Unknown Speaker Prolific, great author, lifted gaslighter. Speaker 3 And I do believe in show person. You believe in medium? Unknown Speaker Yeah, cuz so I did the thing with that. I was like, You know what? You didn't know. Yeah, well, I kinda I was like, I'm gonna prove it. So I did the whole whisper of a secret thing. Speaker 3 Whisper the medium. Yeah, that we killed. And I was like, Speaker 1 Why are you laughing? Why did you say why are you laughing? That person's not anymore. And so I was Unknown Speaker whispered a joke to me. All they talk to you is for the secret and then Secret you said was a funny joke. Fiddle off Speaker 4 things last night is a production of space Tim media produced by Christian Taylor audio is edited by Alex Garnett video by Connor Betts social media is run by Caleb Walker and graphic design by Caleb Goldberg. Our hosts are Jaron Meyers and Tim stone please follow us on social media at tellen podcast that's T IO in podcast. leave a review, comment, subscribe, wherever you are. Thank you for listening to things on our last night. Transcribed by

One name stands out in the colorful entertainment world like a shining star: PT Barnum. Known for his incredible showmanship, creativity, and relentless pursuit of the extraordinary, PT Barnum left an indelible mark on the entertainment world. Join us as we journey through the life and career of this remarkable showman, exploring his early life, his museum, his European music tour, and, of course, the iconic Barnum & Bailey Circus.

Early Life

Phineas Taylor Barnum, better known as PT Barnum, was born on July 5, 1810, in Bethel, Connecticut. From a young age, he displayed a keen sense of business and a knack for promotion. His early years were marked by various entrepreneurial endeavors, including operating a small lottery and selling merchandise.

The Birth of PT Barnum’s Museum

In 1841, PT Barnum purchased Scudder’s American Museum in New York City, marking a significant turning point in his career. Renaming it “Barnum’s American Museum,” he filled it with an astonishing array of curiosities, oddities, and unique attractions. This museum became the first chapter in the PT Barnum legacy and a precursor to his later ventures.

Barnum & Bailey Take the Stage

In the late 19th century, PT Barnum joined forces with James A. Bailey, a fellow showman, to create one of the most legendary partnerships in entertainment history. Their collaboration resulted in the famous “Barnum & Bailey Circus,” an extravaganza that showcased various circus acts, exotic animals, and jaw-dropping performances.

The European Adventure

PT Barnum’s desire for novelty and relentless pursuit of the extraordinary knew no bounds. In 1889, he embarked on a remarkable adventure, taking a European music tour with the celebrated European singer Jenny Lind. This tour was a sensation, drawing large crowds and establishing PT Barnum as a global entertainment mogul.

The Spectacular Barnum & Bailey Circus

Under the banner of “Barnum & Bailey,” PT Barnum and James A. Bailey combined their talents to create a spectacle like no other. The circus featured a dazzling array of acts, including acrobats, clowns, trapeze artists, and exotic animal shows. With every performance, Barnum & Bailey brought the magic of the circus to audiences across the United States.

The Legacy Lives On

PT Barnum’s legacy extends far beyond his lifetime. His innovative marketing strategies and knack for capturing the public’s imagination set the stage for the modern entertainment industry. The Barnum & Bailey Circus continued to thrill audiences for generations, becoming known as “The Greatest Show on Earth.”


In entertainment, few figures have left a mark as enduring as PT Barnum. From his early entrepreneurial endeavors to his iconic museum, European music tour, and the legendary Barnum & Bailey Circus, Barnum’s name is synonymous with showmanship and spectacle. His legacy inspires and captivates audiences, reminding us that pursuing the extraordinary is a timeless endeavor. PT Barnum’s remarkable life is a testament to the power of creativity, imagination, and the enduring appeal of the fantastic.

Things I Learned Last Night is an educational comedy podcast where best friends Jaron Myers and Tim Stone talk about random topics and have fun all along the way. If you like learning and laughing a lot while you do, you’ll love TILLN. Watch or listen to this episode right now!




PT Barnum – Wikipedia

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