Carnival Talkers Those guys at carnivals who try to lure you into the freak shows call themselves Carnival Talkers - never "barkers." Their pitches are carefully structured attempts to part you from your money. Independent producers Jay Allison and Rachel Day bring us into the world of the people who get you to pay good money to see The Lobster Boy and the Geeks.
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Carnival Talkers

Only Available in Archive Formats.
Carnival Talkers

Carnival Talkers

Lost and Found Sound: Luring People to the 'Freak Shows'

Carnival Talkers

Only Available in Archive Formats.

A stylized poster by Snap Wyatt of freak show attractions, including a limbless man. courtesy of the Carl Hammer Gallery, Chicago hide caption

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courtesy of the Carl Hammer Gallery, Chicago

Independent Producers Jay Allison and Rachel Day take us into the world of the side show pitchman. In this story for Lost and Found Sound, they deconstruct the art of the bally — probably the most unabashed sales pitch in recent American history. "Building the bally," "freezing the tip," "doing a jam" — we hear the great barkers (the preferred term is "talkers") reveal the tricks of their trade and lament its passing, and we hear what the young ones are doing for a living now.


Produced by Jay Allison and Rachel Day.