12-year-old Corky has been adopted by a traveling circus owned by Big Time Champion. He is water boy to baby elephant Bimbo and otherwise participates in the behind-the-scenes life of the circus. Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
One of Micky Dolenz's competitors for his role in "Circus Boy" was singer-songwriter Paul Williams. Ten years later, Williams competed with Dolenz again, for a role in The Monkees (1966). Williams didn't resent Dolenz for beating him out twice, and the Monkees later recorded one of his songs, "Someday Man". See more »
Circus Boy was a typical example of a 50s show that was perfect for us at that time, but would be unlikely today. As such, it's wonderfully nostalgic for those of us who were kids then.
In the 50s we saw a rash of shows with the same basic theme--a boy loses his parents and is adopted by someone who is kind and also cool and the kid gets to live with men and have all kinds of adventures.
We had Fury (a boy on a ranch), Circus Boy, Rin Tin Tin (a boy wit the cavalry), and Captain Gallant of the Foreign Legion (though in this case the boy's father is present, but not his mother. I include it because the kid gets to live with the men and have the adventures, so it had a similar feel.) They all seem to be inspired by the movie Captains Courageous, even though they were on TV 20 years later. Back in the 50s, kids couldn't wait to be grownups and this kind of show fed their fantasies. Parents liked the shows because they encouraged kids to grow up to be responsible adults.
Note that we never had any shows where an orphan gets adopted by a bunch of women and gets to hang out baking pies and cleaning carpets. That wouldn't be much of a fantasy. Mothers were normally home all day, while fathers were gone to a mysterious job all day. So men had a cachet that housewives didn't have. (Things are different now.)
As a girl, I ate up all these shows and daydreamed of being in the same situation (I was usually adopted by firemen and I lived at the firehouse).
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