Historical records show that many of the character names and songs of Billy Rose's "Jumbo" in the 1935 stage production were entirely different. Jimmy Durante appeared in the original New York stage production, but not as the owner of the circus. He is listed as "Claudius B. Bowers", a character name not in the film.
This was Doris Day's last appearance in a full-on musical - and one of the last of the lavishly-budgeted MGM musicals as well. Despite Day being ranked the #1 box office star at the time of its release, it was widely considered a box office failure.
The 1935 musical play of Billy Rose's "Jumbo", on which this film was based, was the final stage presentation at New York City's venerable Hippodrome Theatre, which was torn down to make room for a parking lot. The show opened on November 16, 1935 and ran for 233 performances.