The History of Roys in Siegfried & Roy
Due to the tragic tiger attack on magician Roy Horn of the legendary duo "Siegfried & Roy", the show has been indefinitely canceled. The attack happened within days of another tiger attack in Harlem, but the incidents are unrelated. Being a professional showbusinessman, Roy would undoubtedly want the show to go on. Hundreds of Las Vegans will be out of the job if the show doesn't go on, and no one would want that.
Many fans of Siegfried & Roy are unaware that Siegfried has partnered with many people over the years. His first partner started with Siegfried in Atlantic City, while simultaneously maintaining his own solo television career.
Siegfried & Rogers
Mr. Rogers was a fearless man with a calm demeanor (which kept the big cats in line), and he always looked good in a sweater. Just check out his steely gaze as he handles Daniel, the lion, below. And, look at him sitting inches away from a real live ferocious gorill-ill-ill-ill-la. It'd kill him in an instant for a banana flavored Tic Tac. But Mr. Rogers wasn't nervous. Maybe he was on drugs.
When Mr. Rogers left the show due to artistic differences, Siegfried wanted to find someone whose name also began with R, to avoid the high cost of re-monogramming all of the towels. With so many animals back stage, you need a lot of towels. Then fortune smiled when a legendary performer turned up for the audition.
Siegfried & Roy (Rogers)
This was the beginning of the Siegfried and Roy legacy. Originally, Roy Rogers got the job because not only did his name start with R, but it was the same name! They could keep their stationary and big billboards exactly as they were. The only change was to paint on a cowboy hat. However, Siegfried never liked the name "Siegfried and Rogers". People kept calling them "Rogers and Hammerstein" and singing "Oklahoma" to him on the street. They changed the name to Siegfried & Roy, and things went well.
Well, that is, until Roy left the act to open a chain of fast food restaurants. Siegfried was becoming a household name by this point, and after an all-night negotiation in a Kentucky meat packing plant, Siegfried recruited the second Roy, also known for his country flare.
Siegfried & Roy (Roy Clark. Tigers love banjo music.)
All good things must come to an end, and eventually Roy #2 left to join the cast of "Hee-Haw". A little-known fact: Roy Clark tried to take the animals with him to "Hee-Haw", but after a white Bengal relieved itself in Minnie Pearl's hat, it was returned to Siegfried (the tiger, not the hat).
After Roy Clark left the duo, Siegfried was left looking for another partner. Due to a severe Roy shortage, he decided to expand his search to people whose names rhyme with Roy.
Siegfried & Boy
(Boy George. He was let go after putting eye shadow on the white lion.)
Siegfried & McCoy
("Star Trek" was off the air, but deForest Kelly's Dr. McCoy was a huge hit until audiences got tired of hearing him say "He's dead, Jim!" after every trick. )
Siegfried & Loy
(Myrna Loy made the cats jealous of her good looks and she left the act amicably.)
Siegfried & Joy
(During a brief corporate sell-out phase, Siegfried enjoyed the financial rewards of partnering with lemon-scented Joy dishwashing soap. While the audience liked the bubbles, the pairing ultimately didn't work out.)
Siegfried & Soy
(Soy beans. High in protein, high in fiber, they're the vegetarian's best friend. The public's fascination with healthy eating and the backlash against red meat led to this unusual pairing. Even though everything can be made out of soy, the effort to replace the tigers with soy animals caused Siegfried & Soy to break up.)
Siegfried & the Balshoi
(In an effort to bring more class to the act, the Russian Balshoi ballet teamed up with Siegfried. The dancers ate less than the tigers. While this was the first time dancers were used in a magic show, the ballerinas kept slipping on the large feline feces, forcing the dissolution of their partnership.)
Siegfried & the State Capitol Building of Illinois
(While the name did rhyme, the mixture of magic and political landmarks never caught on with audiences.)
At this point, Siegfried decided there was no need to lock himself into partnerships based on one rhyme. So he looked for partners that sounded good with his own name.
(Gilbert Gottfried. The big cats were soothed by his gentle and reassuring vocal commands.)
Siegfried & Shannon Tweed
(Who wouldn't want to team up with her?)
Siegfried & a Hayseed
(Cletus the Slack-Jawed Yokel before he hit it big.)
Siegfried & Dr. Walter Reed
(He was the guy that proved Yellow Fever is spread by mosquitoes, which led to the suppression of the disease and allowed for the Panama Canal to be built. Sadly, no one cared.)
Siegfried felt for a while that using his full name was too formal, so he looked for partners based on his nickname, "Siggi". Perhaps that isn't really his nickname, but it should be if it isn't.
Siggi & Ziggy
(Much less chance that people won't be able to tell who's who on their posters.)
Siggi & Piggy
(Miss Piggy knew how to work an audience.)
Eventually, Siegfried found the perfect partner in Roy Horn and everything was perfect (and he could re-use his old business cards!). Over the years, when Roy would have to miss an occasional show due to family obligations or teeth cleaning appointments, celebrities would do guest appearances.
Siegfried & Larry
(He wasn't used much, because lions don't like to getting hit on the head with frying pans as much as one would think they would.)
Siegfried & Freud
(Combining magic and psychoanalysis proved to be less than successful. When Freud asked Siegfried on-stage what the giant fire-breathing dragon represented, things fell apart. They had constant arguments about the billing, too. Freud preferred "Sigmund and Sigfried".)
Siegfried & Mr. T
(He was banned from backstage forever after giving the baby tiger cubs matching Mohawks.)
Siegfried & Pauly Shore
(Everyone else was busy that week. Everyone.)
Siegfried & Tenille
(During a spat with the Captain, Tenille joined up with Siegfried for a short while. She sang her greatest hits, like "Love Will Keep Us Together", and many others.)
Siegfried & Rip Taylor
(Despite rumors, Rip's efforts to replace the cats with confetti cannons didn't get him fired. In actuality, he left when the tigers wouldn't stop humping his toupee.)
Siegfried & Schwarzenegger
(Before he conquered the world of politics, Arnold Schwarzenegger conquered the worlds of body building, action movies, and yes...magic! Reports that he groped Siegfried are unsubstantiated.)
Siegfried & Martha Stewart
(Not only was the stage cleaner than ever before, but Martha made delightful tea cozies for audience members out of shed tiger hair.)
Siegfried & Blaine
(While technically they never appeared on stage together, David Blaine wanted to "take his endurance tests to the next level" by spending 128 days buried in the giant litter box for the Siegfried & Roy show. He may still be there, who cares?)
Siegfried & the Star Wars Kid
(The beloved internet celebrity known as "the Star Wars Kid" figured he'd reached the limits of human humiliation until he saw his costumes for the show. He and Siegfried had been looking for a project to do together.)
Siegfried & 50 Cent
(An unusual match-up, but one of the more successful ones. The ASPCA was uncomfortable with 50's frequent references to "busting a cap in that big pussy's ass". Siegfried tried, albeit unsuccessfully, to get 50 Cent to smile more. "You have beautiful teeth, show them to the world!" he'd say, but no luck.)
Siegfried & Chan
(Fearless, acrobatic, funny, and accustomed to horrible on-the-job injury, Jackie Chan is one of the most popular guest co-magicians. He's even familiar with the "tiger" style of kung-fu.)
In the future, other celebrities might be more inclined to work the show if it were made a bit safer. To that end, we offer the following suggestions:
1) Replace the real tigers with Tiger Woods.
(Sure, you may get hit by a club or the very rare out-of-control slice, but at least this Tiger will yell "FORE!" before bad things happen.)
2) Have Marlon Brando play the part of the lion.
Bert Lahr's dead, so Brando is the perfect choice. If anyone can do a convincing lion, he's the man. The Godfather, Apocalypse Now, On the Waterfront, Streetcar Named Desire...not to mention that he played Jor-El in Superman! UPDATE! Brando is dead now too, but he's still a better choice than a lot of the actors out there...
3) Use the cast of "Cats" for the rest of the animals.
Hopefully this historical resource will be helpful to the producers while Roy recovers.
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Copyright 2003, Michael D. Lynn