Not so long ago the nation was cast into a terrible state of dread when a clown in an Obama mask performed in a rodeo. Many people had troubling telling apart the clown from the real Obama. Some thought the clown would do a better job of negotiating with Putin.
The NAACP demanded a Federal investigation followed by a swift and decisive lynching. Every major Missouri politician apologized on behalf of the state, the human race and plastic masks.
But now the clown is back and is negotiating with Putin. Meanwhile the original clown is still performing at rodeos with the support of the crowd.
At the Jaycee fairgrounds in Jefferson City Friday night, people laughed and applauded as Tuffy Gessling, the controversial rodeo clown, performed for the first time since his infamous appearance at the Missouri State Fair. Gessling was banned from the Missouri State Fair and the video of the stunt involving an Obama mask was in national media.
I think he’s probably the first rodeo clown to be described as controversial.
Some fair-goers were wearing shirts they made to support Gessling.
“My shirt is actually gray with Barbed wire on it, has Tuffy Gessling’s face on it, and says ‘I support Tuffy Gessling,’” said Stephanie Harmon, a friend of Gessling. “Then we have another set of shirts that are blue that say ‘We support Tuffy Gessling on them, and on the very back it says ‘We believe in Tuffy Gessling and the first amendment.’”
The shirts referring to the first amendment were designed by Carie Fouch, another friend of Gessling’s, “I talked to Tuffy the Tuesday after the event had happened and it was all over,” she said. “He was a little torn up by it and I asked him if he would mind if I did this to help support any legal fees that he might have. He agreed and within two hours we had the shirts made,” Fouch said. “By the end of the day we had 150 sold, and as of now we have 800.”
Gessling’s manager, Isaiah Dunn, said he was surprised by the attention the act received.
“I rode bulls forever, and not just in Missouri, it’s all across the United States, California, Texas, New Mexico, everywhere you go they have masks of presidents out there in the arena usually,” Dunn said. “And it’s the oldest skit in the book, you can pull it up on the internet and you’ll find old videos of guys doing it with Nixon and Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush Senior, all of the presidents.”
Sure but they were just plain old presidents. Not post-American messiahs.
Although the rodeo clown has received death threats, media attention and other backlash from a skit in which President Obama was teased to be “run down by a bull,” Gessling said the way he performs won’t change a bit.
“We aren’t changing anything,” the man said Friday prior to his appearance at the Jefferson City Jaycees Fairgrounds. “We’re still in the business of PBS — that’s putting butts in the seats.”
Meanwhile the original clown in D.C. is in charge of PPOOW– that’s putting people out of work. He almost did it to Gessling too.
Having been a part of the rodeo scene since he was 11 years old, Gessling said he was surprised people took offense to the politically-themed skit.
“It was just supposed to be a funny, haha,” Gessling noted.
He said this was not the first time that skit had been performed, and that several past presidents’ faces were placed in similar scenarios.
In light of all the attention over the past month, Gessling has purposefully kept secret the name of the other man involved in the skit, the man who was actually wearing the Obama mask. During the performance Gessling made the remarks, and said there is “no sense” in dragging the other man into the negative spotlight with him.
Gessling performs around 25-35 weekends a year, and said he is living his dream.
“There isn’t a little boy who doesn’t dream of being a cowboy. I get to be a part of that dream,” he explained. “These people are my family.”