Circus (Series) (1978-1985)

Ladies and gentlemen and children of all ages! This series offers the Big Top on the small screen, a weekly half hour of circus acts and musical entertainment. A couple of young, scrub-faced professional singers named Cal Dodd and Sherisse Laurence do the singing and crack the ringmaster's whip, but the main drawing-card is the age-old lure of the circus itself... painted clowns, fire-eaters, daring aerialists, trained horses, balancing acts, performing dogs of all sizes, bareback riders, majestic trained elephants, cages roaring with wild animals, a blaring, brassy band and circus queens in dazzling tights. The series was based on a top-rated CTV special.

Circus expanded to an hour and had Billy Van as a regular in the second season. In the fourth season, Circus expanded its "Sideshow" segment. And by the sixth season, the series featured new sets and new host — the versatile Pierre Lalonde, and his co-host Rumpy the Clown, a longtime series favourite.

Cal Dodd .... Co-host (1978-1983)
Sherisse Laurence .... Co-host (1978-1983)
Pierre Lalonde .... Host (1983-1985)
Roger Prystanski .... Rumpy the Clown (1983-1985)
Billy Van .... Regular (1979-80)

Original Broadcaster(s): CTV

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Comments (1)
Cal Dodd and his family came to Canada from Ireland, when he was very little. His mother was a well-known music teacher, so music has always been a big part of his life.

Since the 1980s, he's written and performed hundreds (if not thousands) of jingles in commercials (including the 1980s Raisin Bran "lumberjack" commercial which was revived a couple of years ago). As a result, he's known as "The Jingle King" of Canada. He put out a self-titled CD of songs, in 2007.

If you want to find out more about him, he has a website. (

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For an in-depth look at CBC programs (1952-82),
Blaine Allan's directory