The Little Tramp brings his slapstick hijinks to the big top. Charlie Chaplin's film The Circus begins in a fading circus, where the equestrienne (Merna Kennedy) can't jump the hoops and the clowns can't make the audience laugh. Outside on the midway, The Little Tramp falls into a series of wonderful comic routines that end when, pursued by a cop, he bursts into the tent's centre ring and wows the audience. The circus owner/ringmaster (Allan Garcia) auditions The Little Tramp as a clown but discovers he is only funny when he isn't trying. He tricks The Little Tramp into joining the circus as a prop man who wreaks havoc with whatever he does and who unknowingly becomes the star of the show.