Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus was a world-renowned circus act, founded in 1919 with the merging of the companies owned by P. T. Barnum, James Anthony Bailey, and the Ringling Brothers. It has often been touted as "The Greatest Show on Earth", and operated for nearly one hundred years until its closure in 2017.
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. (EKA: Episode 3529)
- In the "At the Dance" sketch in episode 111 of The Muppet Show, Mildred asks George the Janitor if he likes circuses, particularly Ringling. He replies that he's never "Ringled."
- 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 walks out of the train station in Christmas Eve on Sesame Street.
- A season 12 episode of Sesame Street features the arrival of circus-leader P. T. Bunkum of the "Bunkam and Ballyhoo Circus."
- Issue #21, September 1988 of the Muppet Babies comic book is titled "The Weirdest Show On Earth."
- In the book Something Special, Fozzie's Grandpa has asked him to go see the Swingling Brothers Circus.
- A season 28 episode of Sesame Street features the "Wriggleling Bros. Circus."
- 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.