Showman (1937)

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SHOWMAN raw, explaining that the Turk was too hungry to wait for them to be broiled. The reporters had been duly tipped off to be on hand and the next morning the Terrible Turk—my new name for him—was on every front page in the country. First and last he must have got as much space in the papers as Admiral Dewey. Fundamentally, he was a freak attraction and I played him as such. Quite aside from his fantastic ap- pearance and cockeyed habits, however, he had the ad- ditional advantage of producing the goods in the ring, as most freaks cannot do. With the advantage of all this publicity, I matched him with Ernst Roeber, a first-rate German wrestler, who called himself the American champion, at the old Madison Square Gar- den. Roeber was probably the best man in the country, but the Turk got him down on the floor in pretty short order—and Roeber started fouling. People were always fouling the Turk—something about his very appear- ance frightened them so they forgot the rules and pulled anything that promised to rescue them from his clutches. And fouling was the one thing that always made the Turk go haywire. On this occasion he treated Roeber the same way he had the negro in Washington —threw him out of the ring. Since it was a boxing-ring, with high ropes and a considerable drop to the floor, it didn't do Roeber a bit of good when he landed on his head. Which produced another riot. I know wrestling draws lots of money nowadays. But it isn't the same game it was forty years ago. The mod- 216