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Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus was founded in 1919 with the merging of the circuses owned by P. T. Barnum, James Anthony Bailey, and the Ringling Brothers. It is often touted as "The Greatest Show on Earth", and still tours (with two individual troupes) today, run by Feld Entertainment.
The Muppets have featured the circus on several occasions.
- In the Fall 1983 issue of Muppet Magazine, Kermit, Robin, Miss Piggy, Fozzie, Gonzo and Animal visit the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.
- In a Sesame Street video segment, David Larible, a clown from Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, appears with his daughter.
- Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker appear at the "Ring-a-Ding Brothers Bunsen and Beaker Circus" in the Great Muppets in American History coloring book.
- In the book Something Special, Fozzie's Grandpa has asked him to go see the Swingling Brothers Circus.
- Issue #21, September 1988 of the Muppet Babies comic book is titled "The Weirdest Show On Earth."
- In a Sesame Street sketch where Ernie sets up an apple stand, a poster on the fence behind him advertises the "Pingling Bros. and Parnum & Pailey Circus." The same poster can also be spotted during the second verse of the "True Blue Miracle" sequence and during when the gang walking out of the train station in Christmas Eve on Sesame Street.
- In the "At the Dance" sketch episode 111 of The Muppet Show, Mildred asks George the Janitor if he likes circuses, particularly Ringling. He replies that he's never "Ringled."
- A season 12 episode of Sesame Street features the arrival of circus-leader P. T. Bunkum of the "Bunkam and Ballyhoo Circus."