This Day in Pop Culture for May 21

Ringling Bros Barnum and Bailey

2017: The ‘Greatest Show on Earth’ Performs its Last Show

After performing as the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus since 1887, the circus performed its last show on this day in 2017. The circus’ last stop was in Uniondale, New York and was led by Ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson who had been with the show since 1999. Over the recent years, attendance at the circus had been dropping and protesters would show up claiming that the “Greatest Show on Earth” was abusing the elephants. After several years of complaints, the circus removed the elephants from their shows in May of 2016, but it only added to lower ticket sales which led Feld to make the difficult decision to end the show for good.

1990: ‘Newhart’ Show Ends in a Twist

From 1982 to 1990, Bob Newhart played the role of Dick Loudon in his second successful sitcom for CBS, Newhart. During the series, he played an author of do-it-yourself books who moves from New York City with his wife Joanna (Mary Fran) to a rural town in Vermont to run the Stratford Inn. He and his wife were the “normal ones” while everyone else in town seemed very odd. The very funny sitcom ended with one of TV’s best endings ever. In the very last episode, Dick wakes up in an apartment bedroom with his wife Emily (Suzanne Pleshette) from his former sitcom, The Bob Newhart Show who tells him that it was all just a bad dream.

Movies Released

  • Annie (1982)
  • Enough (2002)
  • Godzilla vs. Kong (2021)
  • MacGruber (2010)
  • Mad Max 2 (1982)
  • Notting Hill (1999)
  • Shrek Forever After (2010)
  • Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
  • Terminator Salvation (2009)

TV Series Debuts

  • Between (2015)
  • Blood & Treasure (2019)
  • Real World (1992)
  • Twin Peaks: The Return (2017)

Famous Birthdays

  • 1952: Mr. T (actor)
  • 1957: Judge Reinhold (actor)
  • 1973: Noel Fielding (comedian)
  • 1974: Fairuza Balk (actress)
  • 1987: Cody Johnson (singer)

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