I recently found an old photograph of a Barnum an Bailey sideshow from 1933. Some of the people were fascinating, some sort of depressing and one very curious, that is Vito Bassili. My question is, what would the vegetable king DO in a circus sideshow? He seemed “normal”, dressed like a bellboy and was holding some sort of unidentifiable object. The barabee circus museum in wisoonsin had some info on him, i.e. he exists, but nothing to give any idication as to what his act was. Any ideas teeming millions?
Never heard of him.
Here is a link that is devoted to sideshows. It’s called “Shocked and Amazed.”
Maybe they have something on him.
Vito Bassili, The Vegetable King, was a member of the Barnum troupe during the depression. He traveled throughout the county stunning audiences by performing death-defying feats like “Tubers of Doom” and " Zucchini of the Damned". His masterpiece was a performance that consisted of using his mighty chloroplasts to produce glucose and simple starches using only carbon dioxide and sunlight.
Sadly, a failed romance with the Gorilla Girl embittered Vito, and he turned his unique gifts to crime. He and his partner Louie “The Legume” Tataglanio terrorized farmer’s markets and green grocers throughout the East Coast. Those who dared to stand up to him were often found dead, his grizzly calling card, a summer squash, lodged in their throats.
But it would all soon come to an end. One fateful night while attempting to steal a prize-winning pumpkin, Vito and Louie captured and lynched to death, ironically by an angry mob of vegetarians. The meaning of his last words, “Damn the Paprika”, are still debated to this day, though not by anybody worth knowing.