By: Billy Billy von Billy of The Sturdy Beggars
Photos: Courtesy of Steven David
1980! Let's let that sink in...1980!
What year am I talking about...That's right - 1980!
Yup, 1980, Jimmy Carter was President, Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust" was a hit, gas prices rose all the way up to $1.19, AND it is the year that The Mud Show® plopped upon the hallowed soil of the wondrous Texas Renaissance Festival. (In fact, we have been eating this TRF earth for so long, it is a wonder there is any faire left!) Since then, the first, original Mud Show® has toured to over 22 Renaissance Faires across the continental United States.
After a quick look at our calendars, we were jollywogged to discover that this glorious summer shall begin our 40th season doing whatever it is that we do here at TRF. Gosh, we have been performing The Mud Show for almost 2/3 of Queen Elizabeth II's reign!!! Okay, she has really been around a while, so it doesn't sound like much. Oh, hey, how about this! Our Mud Show has been performed during the tenures of seven of the 45 Presidents of the U.S. of A!
Need more context? Okay, chew on this, if on the day we began, we would have gone backward in time, the same amount of time between when we started and now, well, that would take us back to a year before the U.S. of A entered World War II!
Yup, we've been around, but how?
You know, over the years, professionals and amateurs alike have stopped us after witnessing the Mud Show and asked us, "Why do you keep doing it?" and, with tears in our eyes, we point to our audience, and declare, "They made us!" and they have.
Our audience made us what we are today. The jury may still be out on exactly what "it" is we are, but whatever "it" is we are, we are proud to be "it". Proud to be "it" for our audience. Because...(sniff) We...are our audiences' biggest fans! There - we wrote it! We are our audience's biggest fans! All of 'em, the yahoo, the yeehaw, and their yearlings, we love 'em all! We think our audience is the greatest, no matter what anyone else says. And if we ever heard anyone put our audience down, why, we would immediately come to our audience's defense and passively resist their foes for them.
Our audiences have kept us alive, kept us alive with their energy, their energy which they have generously bestowed upon our muddy little selves. Why, we would just be emblematic unanimated toys without our audience's eager energy winding up our metaphoric key. We can't thank our audience enough, seriously, we don't know how or why they do it!
But what exactly is The Mud Show? Well, to quote a very great and learned man, "The Mud Show is a wonderful juxtaposition of social mares which illuminates man's foibles erupting their audience into geysers of cathartic laughter." There, what could be plainer?
For 40 years these mountebanks of mirth have maintained their mesmerizing immaturity in the mud here at TRF. For 40 years the Mud Show has been an entertainment where Grandma, the kids, and the friendly biker all laugh as one! So, come on by the Tower Stage here at the Texas Renaissance Festival this Fall and watch The Mud Show ingest, digest and just plain jest around in the mud. Yes, come watch The Mud Show, an unadulterated 40-year institution, before they are institutionalized!