It’s Called ‘The Circus’

Nate Edwards
Sep 15, 2016 · 5 min read

INTERVIEWER: We use a lot of metaphors for presidential elections, like “race” or “wrestling match,” et cetera. If you had to construct a metaphor for the 2016 election thus far, what would it be?

INTERVIEWEE: Well for me Mark, this election cycle has been like a —

INTERVIEWER/MARK: Don’t say my name, because the audience won’t hear me in the final piece. So also if you could kind of repeat the questions back in your answer, like —

INTERVIEWEE: Oh right, right, sorry, I know. Got it. So for me, this election… Ask me the question again.

MARK: We use a lot of metaphors for presidential elections, like “race” or “wrestling match” or things of that nature. To you, what has this 2016 election cycle been, metaphorically?

INTERVIEWEE: Well… To me, this 2016 election has been like a —

MARK: Stop. Sorry. Helicopter.

INTERVIEWEE: [LAUGHS] I thought I did something wrong again.

MARK: Nope, just the noise, can you hear that?

INTERVIEWEE: Yeah, yeah. Okay, ready now? This election has been —

MAN: Hey, John?

INTERVIEWEE/JOHN: We’re filming.

MAN: We tried to turn off the air conditioning to make your thing quieter but I think the thing we turned off was the sprinkler system. So don’t start any fires while you’re in there.

JOHN: [LAUGHS] Okay, no problem. So no progress on the A/C?

MAN: No, guess you’ll just have to deal with the noise.

JOHN: Alright. Okay, we still rolling?

MARK: Mm-hmm.

JOHN: If I had to compare this 2016 election to anything, I would definitely say it’s been a circus.

MARK: Go on, expand on that.

JOHN: This 2016 election cycle is a circus. It’s crazy and action-packed. It’s got spectacular performances. There are a lot of animals involved.

MARK: Animals?

JOHN: Donkeys, elephants. The party symbols.

MARK: I guess.

JOHN: Also… “Political animals” is a phrase, I think.

MARK: Maybe, but not sure that’s good enough.

JOHN: Okay, scratch that. This election is like a circus. Everybody just picks a side and roots for their guy until the very end.

MARK: In a circus?

JOHN: And it’s in Orlando more than anywhere else.

MARK: What?

JOHN: But that brings me to my next point: Who is the Black Knight of this year’s election?

MARK: Oh my God, you’re thinking of Medieval Times. Not a circus.

JOHN: Is Medieval Times not a circus? Have I ever been to a circus then?

MARK: The show isn’t called The Medieval Times: Inside the Greatest Political Show on Earth presented by Showtime, it’s called The Circus, colon, all that other stuff.

JOHN: Crap, what should we do?

MARK: Look, I know what a circus is. Let’s just switch places.

JOHN: Really?

MARK: Yeah, you’re the interviewer now, sit over here.

JOHN: Okay.

MARK: It’s only the one question, so just ask it again.

JOHN: [CLEARS THROAT] If this election were not an election but a totally different thing, what would it be?

MARK: The 2016 election is a circus. That’s just the perfect comparison, it’s an absolute circus. When I go to a circus, the main thing I’m thinking is “All of this is silly and unnecessary, and it won’t solve the big problems our country is facing today.”

JOHN: Uh huh.

MARK: It’s unnecessarily combative, like a circus. Why do there have to be three rings? I want to watch the ponies and the acrobats and the jugglers, but they make me choose just one!

JOHN: Great.

MARK: Circuses are full of clowns!

JOHN: Yes!

MARK: The way that these candidates act… They’re clowns, aren’t they? For one, Trump’s hair is funny, much like clowns. Sometimes the candidates scare children on accident, I bet. And… Shit, I need a third one.

JOHN: Those are strong, but we do need a third comparison point there. Oh, do you hear that? I think they finally turned the A/C off.

MARK: Yeah. Do we need to redo everything, then?

JOHN: Uh… Nah, just keep going. Is there a third way the election is like a circus?

MARK: Do presidential candidates ride around in tiny cars? I can’t remember, but I feel like they do.

JOHN: It’s usually like really big buses I think. Kind of the opposite. I can also imagine a big Escalade or something, maybe.

MARK: Huh… Oh! They wear makeup! For TV! Like clowns!

JOHN: There we go, excellent. We’ll edit that together. What else is circus-like about this election?

MARK: Well, I know you were talking about a different thing earlier, but the point is still valid: This election does have animals, much like a circus.

JOHN: Yeah, redo that one since now you’re the guy on camera.

MARK: Okay. We called our big serious documentary show about how the election works The Circus because elections are a lot like a circus, mostly in that they involve animals. Like donkeys and elephants.

JOHN: Oh, crap.

MARK: What?

JOHN: No more elephants in the real circus anymore.

MARK: What?

JOHN: Yeah, cruelty or something.

MARK: Well there are still animals.

JOHN: Right, yes. Anything else?

MARK: Uh… Oh, one of us has to say the promo line for Showtime with the juggler behind us.

JOHN: Oh, right. Somebody call the juggler to come in here.

JUGGLER: Hey, guys. Where’s my mark?

MARK: Hi, I’m Mark. [LAUGHS]



MARK: But seriously, right stand right behind me. Just start your thing and I’m going to say The Circus: Inside the Greatest Political Show on Earth, only on Showtime, then keep juggling for two seconds, and we’re done. Okay?

JUGGLER: No problem at all.

MARK: Okay, still rolling?

JOHN: Yup, just look straight into the camera and say your thing. Juggler, go.

MARK: The Circus: Inside the — Holy Lord, that’s hot. What are you — Oh shit, you’re a fire juggler?!

JUGGLER: Ah! Don’t yell at me, I’m a little skittish.

JOHN: Don’t drop the torches! Pick that up! Pick that up!

JUGGLER: Don’t yell at me!

MARK: Jesus Christ, my chair’s on fire! And the rug!

JOHN: Fuck, the sprinklers are off!

MARK: Run! Crew, grab all the cameras and run!

JUGGLER: I can’t believe this is happening to me again!

The Circus: Inside the Greatest Political Show on Earth can be seen every Sunday on Showtime, or on demand on or the Showtime Anytime app.

A thematically appropriate photo from Flickr Creative Commons

Nate Edwards

Written by

Humorist, Motivational Speaker, Author of the NYT #1 Bestseller “The Bible”

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade