It’s hard to believe that people could have ever thought this was a good idea, but in 1966, there was a TV series entitled Europe’s Big Top Circus Stars Live from the Hippodrome – AKA The Hippodrome Show – and it featured big TV and movie stars of the day serving as “Guest Ringmasters” of a televised circus. In fact, stars like Merv Griffin, Tony Randall and Jack Carter played host for this brief series that is described by IMDB as such:
Spectacular variety series featuring the whole nine yards, jumping dogs, trapeze acts, brass bands, vaudeville as well as contemporary singers and musicians. Hosts were the same but different line ups or episodes were made to suit each country.
Right off the bat, my attention is piqued with jumping dogs, but is that all that they do? Maybe I’m spoiled in this Internet generation, especially with my incredible research team and tireless fact checkers, but if all those dogs did was jump, then I don’t want to hear about how awesome the 60s were anymore.
But the reason that I bring this not-necessarily-sports-news up is because a friend sent me a video last night – it’s an old one but I’d never seen it – featuring Woody Allen boxing a kangaroo in front of the Hippodrome audience. Specifically, this is from the third episode of the show’s 11-episode run, and Allen’s show also featured something called the Dubsky’s Football Dogs. That certainly sounds a lot more exciting than just “jumping dogs”. Unfortunately, there’s no video of those dogs, so you’ll have to settle for a scared kangaroo and a delightful ending.