Channeling his inner Barnum

April 26, 2009 § Leave a comment

Do you believe in the reincarnation of Barnum ?

Advertisement for the Feejee Mermaid from the Charleston Courrier, Jan. 1843

Advertisement for the Feejee Mermaid from the Charleston Courrier, Jan. 1843 (Museum of Hoaxes online)

These are two publicity stunts suggested by publicity material (from the great Kino 3 dvd set):

 

Do you believe a man beaten unconscious, frozen into an iceberg, and hewn therefrom a century afterward, with animation suspended, can be brought back to life?

and

As Houdini in The Man from Beyond is first disovered in a mass of ice on board a derelect barkentine, a lobby display might be arranged with a fish frozen in a cake of ice. The placard on the ice can read: “The Man from Beyond slept in an ice prison for a hundred years but was restored to life. He will be inside this theatre (date).”

Feejee Mermaid, anyone ? Or, as Barnum (in Neil Harris’s Humbug) would ask: “is it real, or is it humbug? You decide.”

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