Freakshow is a character and a major villain from the Nickelodeon animated television series Danny Phantom, voiced by Jon Cryer.
His name is derived from his real name, Frederich Isak Showenhower. He is the ringmaster of the Circus Gothica, and comes from a long line of ghost-obsessives. His family has the largest known knowledge of ghostly artifacts. He is voiced by comedian and actor Jon Cryer who is best known as Alan Harper on Two and a Half Men.
Freakshow first appeared in the episode "Control Freaks", where he opens a circus called the Circus Gothica in Amity Park. The performers in the circus are actually ghosts that are on a crime spree, held under Freakshow's command by a special staff. The staff is Freakshow's main weapon in this episode and is so powerful that even a picture of the staff makes a ghost weak and willing to do the bearer's bidding. (For more information, see "Crystal Ball Staff".)
Danny accidentally catches sight of the staff when he sees an ad for the Circus Gothica and ends up in Freakshow's command, stealing money for him and becoming a performer in his circus. He is saved by Sam, who manages to return him to the hero he truly is. Danny subsequently rescues Sam, destroying the staff in the process. Following the staff's destruction, Danny and most of the formerly controlled ghosts (except Lydia, the tattoo ghost lady) confront Freakshow, trapping him in his own stolen goods until the police can arrest him.
Freakshow reappears as the main antagonist in the movie "Reality Trip." In this episode, the Guys in White have captured Lydia, using her to get Freakshow to talk about The Reality Gauntlet, which he does. Freakshow tricks the Guys in White into giving him the Reality Gauntlet and he uses it to escape with Lydia. He then attacks Danny at Casper High's "School's Out!" Dumpty Humpty concert. Danny, Sam, and Tucker use the Gauntlet's defense mechanism to transport three critical gems from the gauntlet, making it useless. Freakshow escapes with help from Lydia, but not before revealing Danny's secret identity to the entire school and Amity Park media. Nursing his wounds, Freakshow comes up with a plan to get all three gems back by kidnapping the parents of Danny, Sam, and Tucker. Freakshow forces Danny, Sam, and Tucker to retrieve the three gems in exchange for their families' lives, giving them three days to do so. After Danny and friends succeed, Freakshow double-crosses Danny and retakes the Reality Gauntlet, giving himself control over all reality. In a fatal attempt at showmanship, Freakshow gives Danny the chance to save the lives of his friends and family from a roller coaster filled with deathtraps.
Informed by Jazz that Freakshow suffers from "ghost envy", Danny, in an attempt to defeat Freakshow, taunts Freakshow and makes him jealous of Danny's ghost powers. Outraged, Freakshow transforms himself into a full ghost and Danny captures him in the Fenton Thermos. Danny then uses the Reality Gauntlet to undo Freakshow's madness and to rewrite reality so that his secret identity was never revealed. Danny uses the gauntlet to turn Freakshow human again and gives him back to the Guys in White. Despite Danny's reality rewrite, Freakshow's lack of a blank expression suggests he may actually still know Danny's secret identity.
Freakshow makes a cameo in Phantom Planet where he appears as a ghost. This implies that he may have died somewhere between Reality Trip and Phantom Planet or more likely it is an error.
A charismatic performer, Freakshow is a smooth talking man of drama and showsmanship, seeing the world as a circus with him as its ringmaster. A glutton for power, he is a controlling, vindictive man who does whatever he can to get what he wants.
Ironically, he uses ghosts as his main tools (calling them derogatory names like "minions") for battle despite his "ghost envy" an obvious jealousy toward ghosts and their powers, throwing tantrums and fits of rage whenever he is "upstaged" by ghosts. He claims to "love ghosts", since his family has worked with ghosts for generations, but this fueled an inferiority complex towards ghosts, feeling that his parents, his audience and even he himself likes ghosts more than himself. This envy fuels his desire to acquire even more power, but is also a great weakness (giving Danny the chance to tease him into a losing position in "Reality Trip").
Lydia is more than a mere assistant or sidekick to Freakshow. It is hinted that the two have or had, a romantic relationship despite Freakshow being a human. It could be that she was Freakshow's wife, girlfriend, or fiancée as a human.
Freakshow sees Danny as his main enemy. He wants revenge for being sent to prison, and kidnapped Danny's family as a scheme to get the reality gems back. After Danny sent him to prison again, it is most likely that Freakshow's desire for revenge has only increased.
Jazz Fenton appears to be the only person Freakshow seems to respect. Their relationship is based on their common ghost envy, though Jazz's is not as bad as Freakshow's. because of their common envy, Jazz understands him well. However, it is clear that Freakshow doesn't care about her because he attempts to kill her along with the rest of Danny's friends, family, and friends' families on the deathtrap-filled roller coaster.
Powers and Abilities
Possible Ghost powers
- Hovering: In the episode Phantom Planet we can see Freakshow flying on the tower, helping to turn the earth intangible, this could be either a mistake or that Freakshow became a full ghost permanently during Reality Trip and Phantom Planet, probably because he died or because Danny didn't take away his ghost powers, only his ghost form.
- Intangibility: Assuming that he is actually a ghost, is possible that he can turn himself intangible since he helped to turn the earth intangible.
- Knowledge of ghostly artifacts: His family has the largest known knowledge of ghostly artifacts, thereby he knows absolutely everything there is to know about ghost and their artifacts. This also gives him an impressive knowledge of how they function, being able to operate the Reality Gauntlet within moments and has even written a book about them.
- Crystal Ball Staff (formerly): In "Control Freaks", Freakshow uses his circus as a distraction so that his minions can rob banks and jewelry stores. In this episode, Freakshow used a family heirloom called the Crystal Ball Staff to control ghosts, until Danny destroyed it.
- Reality Gauntlet (formerly): Later, in "Reality Trip", Freakshow uses the Reality Gauntlet to turn Danny's world into a circus nightmare. The Reality Gauntlet controls reality with the help of the Reality Gems, which are the Gem of Life (ruby), the Gem of Form (topaz), the Gem of Fantasy (sapphire), and a final gem that serves as the power source of the Gauntlet, which Freakshow disguises as one of his earrings. Using the legendary Reality Gauntlet, Freakshow temporarily became the self-dubbed 'Ringmaster of All Reality' until Danny defeated him and destroyed the Gauntlet. Thus temporarily Freakshow became the most powerful being in existence, weilding omnipotent powers greatly exceeding those of Dan Phantom and Pariah Dark, who are the most powerful ghosts in existence.
- 120. "Control Freaks"
- 219. "Reality Trip"
- "I am Freakshow; Ring Master of the Circus Gothica."
- "Cross over to the dark side..."
- "Greetings fellow outcast, I am Freakshow your master of ceremony..."
- "Prepare to be disturbed and appalled by a small sample of the bizarre world of CIRCUS GOTHICA!!!"
- "Don't let the runtins of the close minded norms beat you down."
- "Show them your true colors, and when I say colors I mean ALL BLACK!!!"
- "Oh that narrows it down to, EVERYONE IN THIS TENT!"
- "What are you doing, dolt? Get back out there and do your encore!"
- "Consider that a warning, girl!"
- "What are you waiting for!? GO!!!"
- "Don't waste your breath children, he's under my control now."
- "Ah, the Guys in White, top secret ghost catchers who can't actually catch ghosts."
- "THE REALITY GAUNTLET...! Never heard of it."
- "These Gems, touched in the proper sequence, will allow to control all reality!"
- "But the Gauntlet is useless without its power source... Which I so may happen TO HAVE RIGHT HERE!!!"
- "What shall we do with our new found freedom? Dinner? Movie? MAKING MYSELF THE RINGMASTER OF ALL REALITY!!!?"
- "And Freakshow said: LET THERE BE LIFE!"
- "Freeze? If you insist!"
- "Looks like our showdown is going to require a bigger audience... A MUCH BIGGER AUDIENCE!"
- "Au Contraire; that's French for; I'll bet this hurts!"
- "The Gems are gone; We must flee, but DRAMATICALLY!"
- "Oh I'm sorry did I say need? I meant DEMAND!"
- "I WILL NOT... BE UPSTAGED... BY GHOSTS!!!"
- "I don't have Ghost Envy!"
- "Thanks to you NOW I AM THE RING MASTER OF ALL REALITY!!!"
- "The deal was, bring me the gems if you want to see them alive again; well here there are, alive, FOR NOW!"
- His is similar to Nosferatu in clothes and face, but his face is similar to the Gru's.
- Freakshow has the honor of being the only fully human villain of the series. (Valerie and the Guys in White being more like "anti-heroes.")
- The red, triangular left earring Freakshow wears is revealed in Reality Trip to be the power source of the Reality Gauntlet.
- Although Freakshow is not really a ghost, in Reality Trip he had a ghostly glow just like the other ghosts in the series.
- He is the third villain who tried to kill off Danny's family and friends.
- Freakshow's physical appearance seems more or less inspired by The Joker of DC Comics, but his face seems more inspired by The Penguin of DC Comics.
- The reason why he is so pale is because he is anemic, as revealed in RealityTrip.
- The circumstances of Danny's defeat of Freakshow in "Reality Trip" are similar to the circumstances that allowed Aladdin to defeat Jafar in the Disney film, as both cases featured the hero tricking a powerful villain into transforming into a fundamentally more powerful form that nevertheless possessed a crucial weakness that the hero could exploit (Just as Freakshow becoming a ghost allowed Danny to trap him in the Fenton Thermos, Jafar becoming a genie condemned him to be trapped inside a lamp).
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