Archive for the History of FSD Category

How Did the Dr. Creep Benefit Go?

Posted in Behind the Scenes at FSD, History of FSD on February 8, 2011 by freakshowdeluxe

Phil, the Reverend & Jonny together at the Dr. Creep Benefit on January 28, 2011. (photo by Melissa)

A lot of folks have been asking: How did things go at the Dr. Creep Benefit? How much money was raised? And how was this “reunion” show?

Well – the Benefit was, in our opinion, a huge success! Put together in only 10 days by Matt Freeman (DJ from VEX), Kelly Walker, Mike Foy & Foy’s Halloween Stores in Fairborn, OH) some great local artists and people who donated items to the Silent Auction (too many to list here), and a performance by FreakShow Deluxe – the crowd packed the club, and the event raised $1,376!!!

As far as the “reunion” – it featured Reverend Tommy Gunn, Jonny Bailout and Phil, who have not performed together on the same stage since 2004. Granted your Reverend and Johnny have done shows together as recently as 2009, and Johnny and Phil were last onstage together in 2008 – but to get all THREE onstage together was quite an accomplishment!

The boys (greatly assisted by Miss Malice Aforethought and our boy Friday, Kyle Thirteen) rocked almost like they have never been apart. The Reverend chewed apart an entire grinder wheel, then did Blockhead. Phil put his face in glass while an audience member stood on him – then Jonny let us try to cut his head off with a scimitar. Phil risked the bed of blades as we smashed concrete blocks on him, the Reverend ate some fire, and then Johnny wrapped it up laying on the bed of nails while audience members stood on him. And the crowd loved EVERY moment of it!

A couple people wondered where FreakShow Deluxe‘s original fourth horseman, The Wolf, was. Well – he did call up Reverend Tommy Gunn a few hours before the event to wish everyone the best, but it turns out he has moved elsewhere and has his own things going on. We wish him the best of luck!

You can still help Dr. Creep and his family!!

Donations can be made by cash or check to: Memorial Account for Barry Hobart/Dr. Creep (account #4240363896) and deposited at any PNC Branch Location
or to: The Barry Hobart/Dr. Creep Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 186 Franklin, Ohio 45005
Contributions are tax deductible.
Thank you so much, everyone, for all your support!! Perhaps more FSD reunions in the future…?

Why is FreakShow Deluxe at the Dr. Creep Benefit?

Posted in Behind the Scenes at FSD, History of FSD, Upcoming FSD Events on January 27, 2011 by freakshowdeluxe

A number have people sent emails [thomas (at) freakshowdeluxe (dot) com] wondering why Hollywood’s own and ONLY carnival-style sideshow is doing a benefit in Dayton, Ohio – and what does it mean “3 of the original 4 members will reunite on stage?” And just who is this Dr. Creep?

Well – if you have not read enough about the history of FreakShow Deluxe, then please do so here:

Hitting the stage at VEX nightclub in Dayton, Ohio will be your Reverend Tommy Gunn, freshly returned from FSD‘s big Hollywood show with We Are The Fallen at the Avalon Theater. Joining him will be Johnny Bailout (who fans may remember as Jonny Grinder back in the old days), who last joined FSD onstage in Memphis, TN for part of the Delta Fair & Music Festival in 2009, AND Phil (who was also called Phildo the Barbarian back in the day), the mysterious & elusive Midwestern Beer Monkey who last appeared together with both the Reverend AND Johnny October 2004.

Some have asked, why isn’t the Wolf, the other original founder of FSD in on this?

It’s because we can’t reach him. That’s the ONLY reason why not. If you know where he is or how to reach him, please help put us in contact with him ASAP! We have been worried about him.

As far as the Dr. Creep connection — Dr. Creep and FreakShow Deluxe have been intertwined since the beginning of the show! From sharing their first stage with him while busking the queue at the Psychopath Haunted Trail in 2001, to bringing him in to host the ‘banned’ FSD Christmas Special on television – to even now, his signature voice provides the voice-over warning at the beginning of nearly every FreakShow Deluxe show! And if it was not for Dr. Creep‘s influence on the young FSD founders, there probably would have NEVER been a FreakShow Deluxe.

How sad would your world be without it?!

So please come out – revel in the reunion and enjoy the show – it’s for a good cause.

All proceeds donated to Creep’s Family & Funeral Expenses
featuring FreakShow Deluxe!
January 28, 2011 – Doors open at 9:00pm
18+ is $5
21+ is $3
101 S. St. Clair St., Dayton, OH 45402

You can also find more details regarding the event HERE:

I INVENTED SIDESHOW TOUR: Tales from the Road 2

Posted in Behind the Scenes at FSD, History of FSD on October 21, 2010 by freakshowdeluxe

banner by Nathan Halley

When we last left our intrepid members of FreakShow Deluxe on the 2010 I INVENTED SIDESHOW TOUR, sponsored by Lucky 13 Apparel, they had just finished up some rainy performances at the Ozark Mountain Fair, and were preparing to head to the Lakewood Theater in Dallas, TX.

Yeah – there was a fun time.

Hannah Bel and the Amazing Christopher, led by the Reverend Tommy Gunn arrived at the theater, spent eight (8) hours setting up and preparing for the show – only to have the venue owner pull the plug a few minutes before showtime! Apparently, the promoter had failed to actually do what he was supposed to – preshow sales were non-existent and, despite the crowds lining up, the venue owner was not going to open the door until he was paid.

If you are an aspiring promoter, here is a note from FreakShow Deluxe to you:  You have to have all your payout money beforehand! Do not expect to use the money from the gate. If you contract in FreakShow Deluxe, you will pay us everything we are due. If you do not make the gate, expect you will be turning out your pockets for every bit of cash you have on you – and understand we WILL get the rest of what we are owed by you. One way or another.

Our advice to basically everyone else:  Never trust a promoter named Jason. Think you know a promoter named Jason who is legit? Let us be the judge of that.

So, tired and sore, FreakShow Deluxe limped to its secret lair to rest up for the next leg of the tour. Originally, the month of August was pretty busy – but, in a sign of the current economic downturn, most of those gigs had canceled. Except one very important one.

FreakShow Deluxe had been invited to perform at the world-famous HELL CITY Tattoo Festival in Phoenix, AZ! This would mark FSD‘s first foray in the tattoo festival – and what a mark it would be!

Vincent Wolf, Kitty Karloff and Reverend Tommy Gunn arrived ready to party with the hip cats and cool kittens at HELL CITY. Originally, we were supposed to be joined by Murrugun the Mystic, but illness grounded him in parts unknown. We were the headlining act on the main stage after girl boxing and a great band – so your intrepid FreakShow Deluxe cast was ready to go on their big show (also simulcast over the Hell City website) and make the crowd rock!

And, with only a few tiny mic problems (ascerbated, undoubtably, by the Reverend’s constant inciting of the crowd), make the crowd rock is exactly what we did. The nearly capacity crowd stayed glued to their spots, entertained and amused by the FSD crew’s antics onstage. And this was not just an ordinary crowd – these are some of the best tattoo artists and piercers in the country – AND their fans! So to keep the attention of people who really have seen everything before really meant a lot to us.

In fact, afterwards, HELL CITY’s two main guys, Durb and Tony, told the us that the show was by far one of the most entertaining and fun shows they have ever booked. They enjoyed it so much, in fact, that they immediately booked your favorite troupe of sideshow misfits, cabaret cuties & burlesque beauties for the next HELL CITY show in Columbus, Ohio! Dates to be announced…

So the rest of the evening, the we hung out at the pool with all the attendees, chatting and having fun. Only finding out later that the party was technically “illegal,” since Arizona has recently passed some sort of “don’t party by the pool” law. Cue Judas Priest song, “Breaking the Law”… Now.

Now it is September, and the busy part of the season was starting — and there were plenty of hiccups to make sure it started off right:

First, Hannah Bel and the Amazing Chris, still worn out from the fairs, begged off the next leg of the tour to rest up. Fair enough! Second, Murrugun the Mystic, still suffering from illness, dropped off the next scheduled dates as well.

Replacements were found, so Amy Amnesia, William Draven and the returning Miss Malice prepared to return to the road with their first stop a return to the Delta Fair & Music Festival in Memphis, TN. Unfortunately, in a third hiccup, Reverend Tommy Gunn could not do the first couple of days of the Delta Fair because he had already been booked to appear at the Fair at New Boston in Springfield, OH – so something had to be done.

After some discussion, we decided to add 13-year-old wiz kid and the world’s youngest professional magician, Kaleb Kane, to the bill. He has worked with FSD before, so we were prepared with some special things we wanted him to do. With straight jacket escape races against Amy and William, as well as a myriad of card tricks, sleight-of-hand and other illusions, Kaleb drew in quite a crowd throughout the weekend.

In the meantime, the Reverend, dressed in historical costuming appropriate to the post-Revolutionary War period – including a turban, wowed audiences at the annual Fair at New Boston in the Cheapside Theater space, sharing the stage with his former mentor, Dr. Balthazar, who was there with his medicine show. Demonstrating the amazing feats of the sadhus and fakirs of Asia, the Far East, and India (India, India), “The Professor Thompson S. Gunn” cracked whips, breathed fire, lay on a bed of nails and pounded 6-inch steel spikes into his skull in front of captivated family audiences. He even got a “vomiting ovation” from an overwhelmed audience member.

But at the end of the weekend, the Reverend got back down to Memphis as quickly as he could – not eschewing a visit with Kaleb and his family as the two crossed paths in the hills of Kentucky. Once back in Memphis with the FSD crew, we spent as much time as possible visiting the sites when not performing in the tent we shared with the Rhinestone Roper, Dan Mink, and his crew. We also renewed our friendship with the amazing Imperial Knights and the folks at Green Monkey Body Jewelry.

In fact, Thomas, the guy who runs Green Monkey, had come across some special old sideshow memorabilia his Great-Grandfather had in a trunk from his days on the road since the last time he saw us which he presented with great aplomb. The Knights hung out with us whenever they could. And lots of people we saw last year at the Delta Fair came to see the show wearing the t-shirts they got last year and buying some of FSD‘s new merchandise. Many of them brought us beautiful gifts and spent some time with us. THANK YOU MEMPHIS!

Many ask: did FreakShow Deluxe go to visit Graceland? WELL, DUH! Of course we did!! With Derek, one of the Imperial Knights, we set out for Elvis’s private mansion and took in the whole tour experience: the house, the car museum and the planes. It may sound silly, but we all agreed it is an awe-inspiring place – that Elvis, even in his popularity, was humble and giving and a decent guy. That underneath the image that so many make fun and lampoon, was a real person – a family man, and a VERY talented individual. Taking Care of Business in a Flash, baby!

While we had a great time – we also worked really hard, too! By the end of the run, we were more tired than we expected, and had to immediately head to the next venue: PTs Showclub in St. Louis. FSD worked last October at a PTs in Denver, CO – and had such a great time with them, they had recommended us to all their other company shops. So while we were thrilled to do it – we were already feeling worn out. We needed help.

Luckily, Kitty Karloff arrived to save the day! With her feline grace and lovely curves, she was a sight for sore eyes as she arrived at the St. Louis airport. But the question remained: Would this club like us? Would the people of St. Louis come out and see us?? What if they didn’t like us?!?!

So imagine our surprise and elation when we arrived in East St. Louis to PTs Showclub, guess what we found? This GREAT sign at their front entrance!

Pretty cool. huh?

What a great staff! What a great place! What cool people! We had SUCH a wonderful time there, we honestly did not want to leave. Honestly. We did three 20-minute shows a night for a week – each one featuring different stunts and plenty of excitement as we brought the lovely ladies of PTs Showclub Sport up on the stage to help us out every show. AND we stayed at a local casino – so there was nightly slot machine playing and buffets… so we ate well, too. Of course, we wanted to sightsee, too, so there was a visit up to the top of the Gateway Arch (they put you in these tiny claustrophobia-breeding capsules to take you up to the top… it was wacky jamming all 5 of us into one to get to the top).

Apparently, in East St. Louis, there is no law. Sure, there IS… but it seems to fall in this teeny-tiny no-man’s land where they can get away with serving alcohol 24/7 and the dancers could go to levels one usually does not see. No complaints, mind you – but it did come as a surprise. Next to PTs Showclub Sport is its sister club, the Hustler Club – which boasts a private club area with a 5-star restaurant. One of the great managers of PTs, Rich, took us over for lunch one day and it was AMAZING! Even now, we are all trying to figure out an excuse to go back and hang out.

So, exhausted after working so hard, we actually had to gird up our loins in preparation for things to REALLY start getting busy! But before we could do that — FreakShow Deluxe had to go up to put the smack down in Troy, OH.

Stay tuned to find out what happened!



Tila Tequila and the Juggalos

Posted in Behind the Scenes at FSD, History of FSD on September 16, 2010 by freakshowdeluxe

On – they have been going on and on about the alleged “attack” on Tila Tequila by fans of Insane Clown Posse (‘Juggalos’) at the 11th Annual Gathering of the Juggalos at Cave-In-Rock, IL over the weekend. On the posted video of Tequila alleged “performance” on the site – well… it just didn’t look that bad.

FreakShow Deluxe‘s Reverend Tommy Gunn posted the following comment (#176 at

Hollywood’s own FreakShow Deluxe has performed at a couple ICP events, unscathed. Before performing at last year’s Gathering of the Juggalo’s we were told to expect things to be thrown at us – plastic bottles if they liked us, glass & worse if they did not – and that the promoters purposely provide the Juggalos with acts to heckle during their events. ICP fans know what they like – and aren’t shy about showing you they don’t like you.

FreakShow Deluxe won over a lot of Juggalos by taking our stage without fear – even when being pelted with stuff – we just took the show up another notch. No bodyguards or security required. ICP fans are not the roughest audiences we’ve ever had. If Tequila can’t handle them – she has not business on ANY stage. Or on TMZ.

There was also this tweet, over FreakShow Deluxe‘s Twitter account:

#Juggalos attack #TilaTequila because #JuggaloGathering did not deliver #FreakShowDeluxe as originally promised? Could be true!!

Additionally, there were posts to Facebook by Reverend Tommy Gunn, Hannah Bel and other FreakShow Deluxe members — so one might wonder WHY FSD seems to be supporting the Juggalos and ICP. Some might wonder if this means FSD is supportive of attacks on women. There was even surprise from others that FreakShow Deluxe has/would perform with ICP or at a PsychoPathic Records event.

So let’s set the record straight ~

FreakShow Deluxe does not condone violence. Especially not unwarranted, or  violence for violence’s sake. And ESPECIALLY not violence to women. But FSD understands that it happens. Oh yes we do…

But the fact of the matter is that for the Gathering of the Juggalos and other similare ICP-related events, the promoters are told to find acts for the Juggalos to HECKLE as well as cheer on. It is no secret – just look at the list of performers for any Juggalo event, and you can see it.

When FreakShow Deluxe hit the stage at the 10th Annual Gathering of the Juggalos, we were told to expect things to be thrown at us – and what’s more, we were told that if they were throwing plastic bottles at us, it probably meant that they actually liked us (“comedian” Pauly Shore had been hit in the head with a Heineken keg can the night before and had immediately left the stage and venue, fearing for his life). FSD‘s big concern was that things would come flying at the stage during the more dangerous acts, possibly injuring one of us.

But did we fear to go on stage? We did NOT.

Because FreakShow Deluxe has the stones to step out on any stage, anywhere, in front of any audience – and fearlessly face what happens – because we KNOW that our show is entertaining, our performers engaging, and that the connection we make with our audience is fun for both them AND us! We have the versatility to adapt to any situation… even mid-show. AND we have the knowledge of performing – the “chops,” if you will… the kind that only come from years of hard work and onstage experience — and the crowd can smell it.

And Tila Tequila does not.

And the crowd can smell her fear.

Never, EVER forget that being famous, or even being a celebrity, means that people like you! Plenty of hated people are famous. Just because you are a celebrity does NOT mean you have any talent, either!

So don’t sue ICP or Psychopathic Records, Tila, just cause you can’t hang. Maybe the promoter, sure (he is a f*cker, as far as FSD is concerned – pulling us off the bill at the last moment – yes, FSD had been scheduled to appear at the Gathering for months… we had even confirmed it with ICP and the other Psychopathic Records folks when we did that show in Philly with them months earlier – but the promoter f*cked up). But, really, why don’t you wake up and just give it up?

FreakShow Deluxe Wins Award!!

Posted in Behind the Scenes at FSD, History of FSD on July 10, 2010 by freakshowdeluxe

It’s true! FreakShow Deluxe won BEST CABARET/CIRCUS at the Hollywood Fringe Festival. Two nights of oversold shows and TOTAL mayhem!!

Performances included the Hollywood debut of the world’s youngest performer of the Bed of Nails act, the Green Monster!

Then there was the Reverend Tommy Gunn, the Professor, Malice Aforethought, Kitty Karloff, Vincent Wolf, Eerie De Scent, Frankie Fairlane, Johnny Panic, Amy Amnesia, Zachary Strange, music by Brother Daniel the Demented and an appearance by FSD’s new prospect, Brian.

Many thanks to all our friends and fans (old & new) who came out to share some good times with us! Check out this review the show got:


by jacquetta szathmari · June 26, 2010

I was thrilled after a long day to be entertained by this self proclaimed troupe of Freaks. Helmed by a masters of showmanship/ceremonies Rev Tommy Gunn and The Prof. with musical accompaniment, this is some old school sideshow schtick and not for the faint of heart. I spent one third of the show with one hand covering my eyes and the other covering my mouth because I couldn’t believe what I was seeing from the front row. There’s walking on glass, human blockhead action, sword swallowing, suspension, straight jacket escapes, impaling, bead of nails, fire eating, sexy broads… And they get right to it, none of this pussy footing around. The audience was riled up from the start when we got showered with sparks to the end when we got to staple cold hard cash to Rev Gunn. The show in a word—rocked. The most entertaining thing I have seen in a long time. I left feeling as if I should have paid more for the privilege.

Needless to say, I INVENTED SIDESHOW is turning out to be a helluva tour!

(both pictures are by Star Foreman – and were featured in on the LA Weekly web site)

Examining 10 years of FreakShow Deluxe (part 2)

Posted in History of FSD on May 19, 2010 by freakshowdeluxe

By the time the 2003 Halloween season rolled around, FreakShow Deluxe was primed for big things to happen! The former two-member troupe (Rev. Tommy Gunn & The Wolf) was now four-member troupe (adding Dirty Jonny Grinder & Phil to it’s regular show), it had performed for 13,000 people at the annual X-Fest concert event, hosted by Clear Channel radio in downtown Dayton, Ohio and everyone had been working hard on new props and stunts for the annual PsychoPath Haunted Trail in Xenia, Ohio.

This was Rev. Tommy Gunn’s and The Wolf’s third year at the redesigned (by Rev. Tommy Gunn) PsychoPath, and now, with newbies Dirty Jonny Grinder and Phil rounding out the cast, a new stage set with props built by Jonny, Andy Copp’s documentary DVD in wide release, and expanded advertising for the Haunt was featuring The Wolf’s face as the prime focus – hopes were high. And with good reason!

In 2002, FSD had built themselves a 150 seat theater at the PsychoPath. Most nights, however, the show never came close to filling it. So the boys decided to close up the space, taking 50 seats out and bringing the walls in closer for a more intimate venue. But during October 2003, FSD blew the walls out of the space they had set up for themselves. Not only were they scrambling to find space to add more chairs in the space they had, the boys usually had to add a fifth show to their four-show a night run to accommodate the hundreds of people trying to cram into the small theater!!

With the addition of two more cast members, the show began to change is an unexpected way. With just the original two, the show was more serious – the message that if you train and work hard enough, you can achieve anything demonstrated in an ominous and earnest fashion as Rev. Tommy Gunn & The Wolf demonstrated their stunts. Once Jonny Grinder and Phil joined the show, competition began to become a part of each performance. The message was the same, but the cast members began pushing each other to take their acts to the next level, increasing the danger and, inadvertently, the comedy.

What had started out as some friendly rivalry on the FSD stage during Clear Channel’s X-Fest – with each member trying to outdo each during the pierced weightlifting act, then again choosing things to break over Phil’s head – began to emerge as a regular part of the show as cast members got in the habit of interrupting each others acts with additional stunts and comedy bits, adding a real light-hearted, improvisational “anything-can-happen” kind of feel to the shows that audiences really seemed to like.

btw: the ladies involved X-Fest, Kirva Jade and Devilicious, were not as involved in the competition aspects of what was going on during those shows, though Kirva Jade never shied away jumping right in to match what the boys were doing. However, by the time the Halloween season rolled around, both of the girls were too involved with their own things to be a part of the show. Besides, a bigger the cast means the less money getting paid to everyone involved – so the regular cast size was capped at 4 members.

So the shows were a success – and so was the merchandise. Rev. Tommy Gunn introduced the official FSD logo: with letters looking like blood dripping (reminiscent of logo for the band, The Cramps). The first t-shirts and stickers introduced were black with the FSD logo prominently on the chest in white – with the phrase “carnival-style sideshow” and the website address added by the printer, local Dayton company Death Industries. Dirty Jonny Grinder coined the phrase “Devils or Madmen? You Decide!” which was printed on the back of the shirts and would become an ongoing rallying cry for FSD.

Gunn also created the official website,, through another local Dayton company, Nihilist Media. Immediately, it was put to work advertising show dates and talking points. The Myspace account at hit the web soon thereafter. Gunn also began working on FSD’s very first video reel with footage from the 2003 X-Fest and PsychoPath Haunted Trail.

In the year after the 2003 PsychoPath, The Wolf & Rev. Tommy Gunn worked with film director Andy Copp on his film “Her Name Was Samantha,” playing two misogynistic villains who run a strip club with a snuff film studio in the basement. It was great fun for both! Individually, Gunn continued to manage his theater, and began doing some small shows as a solo performer,  writing magazine articles and designing the next year’s PsychoPath, while Wolf worked his regular nightclub gig. Dirty Jonny Grinder set to making all kinds of artwork – AND creating lots of new props to prepare for the upcoming Haunt season. Phil… just did whatever it is Phil does when he is on his own.

But as things were moving forward, there were things in the works which would forever change FreakShow Deluxe in 2004.

The Carnival Sideshow Psalm

Posted in Behind the Scenes at FSD, History of FSD on March 1, 2010 by freakshowdeluxe

Carnival Sideshow Psalm
by Reverend Tommy Gunn: FreakShow Deluxe

The Road is my shepherd; I shall not stop.

It maketh me to pull into random truck stops:
It leadeth me to liquor-drenched bars.

It robbeth me of my soul: it leadeth me down the
paths of debauchery for its own name’s sake.

Yeah, though I travel through the shadow of
Death Valley; I fear nothing: for I am the
baddest motherf*cker there; my sword and my torch
they comfort me.

It preparest a stage before me in the
presence of rowdy audiences: they staple
my forehead with $20 bills; my blood overflows.

Surely red dates and mayhem shall follow me all
the days of my life;  and I will dwell on the
road for ever.

Written & Published by Rev. Tommy Gunn of FreakShow Deluxe, LLC. Please feel free to repost – but link back to this blog, or to

Examining 10 years of FreakShow Deluxe (part 1)

Posted in History of FSD on November 12, 2009 by freakshowdeluxe

After doing some figuring and pouring over calendars, we realized that the FreakShow Deluxe IS indeed coming up on 10 years of shows and such – but it is a bit more complicated that originally figured. In truth, the 10-year anniversary is a celebration that will sort of begin in October 2010 and then continue until the following Halloween season!

It’s kind of like this:

FSD didn’t start out as the show it is today – originally, Rev. Tommy Gunn was working for a outdoor theater in 2001 that sponsored a haunted trail on its property as a big fund-raiser every October. The Reverend realized that people were standing for as long as two-hours in line after they had already purchased their tickets for the event, just waiting to get in – so he tried to figure out a way to entertain them. Calling upon some skills he had as a fire-eater and with the bed of nails, he began busking the queue.

Within a few minutes of starting to entertain the crowds, the Reverend was joined by The Wolf, a local who had been hired to scare people as a monster along the haunted trail’s path. Turned out The Wolf had some skills of his own in fire-breathing and a great look perfect for the stage. Shortly, the duo was responsible for entertaining the crowds waiting in the long lines on those cold southwestern Ohio nights to walk the haunted trail. They built up a show, bringing in local television horror host Dr. Creep to assist in running the show and creating a lifetime bond of friendship.

Rev. Tommy Gunn and The Wolf entertained a few thousand people that October – but once it was over there was a real question of what they would do next… Dr. Creep gave them an idea.

Dr. Creep has a charity called Project Christmas Smiles, supplying food and toys to needy people in Ohio’s Miami Valley during the Christmas season. It was the good Doctor who suggested to Rev. Tommy Gunn and The Wolf that they should do some sort of fundraising event for the Project. So arrangements were made with the local public access station for a single live variety television show in December that would promote the Project.

When called upon to come up with some sort of name, however, it took a bit of doing. Rev. Tommy Gunn had a habit of calling all of his projects by the pet name “Pigf*cker.” When asked, his first off the cuff answer was to call the show “Pigf*cker Deluxe.” While that name was quickly shot down by the television station for obvious reason, the idea of it stuck in the Reverend’s head and, when pressed, he coined the name “FreakShow Deluxe.” So, the show officially became FreakShow Deluxe in December 2001 for the television show “FreakShow Deluxe: a Christmas Special.”

The notoriety of the troupe and show started with the television special – especially when its combination of sideshow stunts (including Human Pincushion and Pierced Weightlifting as well as the Bed of Nails and Fire-Eating), a live rock band, risque improv comedy, strange modern art, professional wrestling, and a drag queen turned out to be a little too much for some viewers. Complaints were called in, a sister station abruptly stopped broadcasting the show partway through, and eventually some people at the television station and some who worked at and promoted the show at the local newspaper were fired… allegedly because of the show’s content.

But the seed was sown, and the idea just would not go away. By Halloween 2002, Rev. Tommy Gunn had arranged for the fledgling FreakShow Deluxe to return to the same haunted trail – but this time as a separate ticketed event on its own stage! The previous year’s television show and this new development interested filmmaker Andy Copp enough to come out and shoot a documentary about the new show. Rev. Tommy Gunn and The Wolf did four (4) shows a night three days a week during the month-long run of the haunt, to disappointingly small crowds in their special theater – but once the Halloween season ended, things began to pick up.

Copp’s documentary, FREAKSHOW DELUXE (available from Copp Films, and other internet resources), garnered some interest and positive reviews and this, couple with favorable responses to the shows of the past two Halloween seasons, interested the local Clear Channel station enough to enter with Rev. Tommy Gunn in a partnership deal for the haunted trail – AND some sponsorship (for lack of a better word) for FreakShow Deluxe!

By the summer of 2003, it was decided the haunted trail’s entire advertising campaign would focus on FSD, and Clear Channel began using FSD for promotional events – including their huge concert festival, where FSD had their own stage and performed for over 13,000 people that year!

Rev. Tommy Gunn and The Wolf also realized that with this added attention and the need for bigger shows, they needed to expand. Before the big concert event, Rev. Tommy Gunn brought in Dirty Jonny Grinder, and The Wolf brought in Phil. Jonny brought his skills as a talker and (obviously) with the grinder, while Phil added his own special appeal of getting audience sympathy while the rest of the cast abused him and The Wolf broke boards, bottles and other things over his head. The group was rounded out with two girls: Kirva Jade and Devilicious, who performed their own acts – and FSD made what would amount to a giant leap towards the big time.

The show was VERY well received at the concert event – attracting and holding far bigger crowds than expected around their tiny stage. Interest was growing around the group – but the real test would be the 2003 Halloween season where they were preparing a new show to return to the haunted trail.

Hello world!

Posted in History of FSD, Uncategorized on November 6, 2009 by freakshowdeluxe

The first FreakShow Deluxe Blog!

So FreakShow Deluxe just finished up a 70-day, multiple city, 17-date, simultaneous casts tour of these United States — the Sideshow Stimulus Tour! While it was a lot of fun (to be recapped here in one way or another over some time — along with other history of the troupe), we are about to embark on some NEW plans and get some old ideas back up on the drawing board.

You can easily find out a lot of what you want about your FSD on the show’s website – including troupe members, acts available, and much, much more. However, this blog will serve as an additional resource to find out more about the overall company as well as individual troupe members.

Since 2001, FSD has strived to present the best in classic carnival-styled sideshow acts in a professional theatrical way. Something above and beyond what the average person would consider a “sideshow” or “freakshow” –  And, for nine (9) seasons, that is exactly what FSD has done! From the humble beginnings of two (2) guys and a handful of stunts busking the queue of the PsychoPath Haunted Trail in Xenia, Ohio – to no less than four (4) separate casts/shows out on the road this Halloween season, playing places from Coney Island, New York City; to the Magic Castle in Hollywood, CA; to the Delta Fair & Music Festival in Memphis, TN; to the Kings Dominion Halloween Haunt in Doswell, VA; from Iowa to Ohio and beyond…FSD now boasts more than 40 cast members and over 40 stunts available!! And that includes the time in 2004/2005 we now refer to as The FSD Reboot.

So now, with 2010 coming up quickly, it is obvious that FreakShow Deluxe needs to do something big. A big tour? The planned relaunch of the musical Flawedville? Something more…?