Rodeo Clown 'Would Be Honored' To Shake Obama's Hand | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

Rodeo Clown 'Would Be Honored' To Shake Obama's Hand

"I didn't do this to do any hating on anyone. I did this to be funny. I did it to be a joke," says Tuffy Gessling, the rodeo clown behind a skit at the Missouri State Fair earlier this month that sparked outrage when a masked "President Obama" was chased by a bull that Gessling said was "gonna getcha, getcha, getcha, getcha!"

That, and reports of another clown playing with the lips of the Obama mask, led some in the crowd to compare the act to a "Klan rally" and prompted politicians from both major parties to condemn the performance.

In his first on-camera TV interview, Gessling tells Kansas City's KCTV that he's had death threats since the incident and the publicity that followed. But he believes the skit was no different than others before. "I didn't think anything more of it than what we've done 15 years ago, 10 years ago, five years ago, when we've done it with Bush, Clinton and Ronald Reagan," Gessling tells the station.

Of the uproar, Gessling says: "Look at the country as a whole, there is a lot more to be mad at than a rodeo clown at a rodeo trying to make somebody laugh."

According to KCTV, "Gessling is inviting politicians to come out," to rodeos where he performs in the future, to "watch and grill him with any questions they have."

"If President Obama turns out, I would be honored to shake his hand," Gessling said.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

After A Ho-Hum Summer, Hollywood Ramps Up For Fall

Until Guardians of the Galaxy came along, this year's box office figures were the worst in years. But critic Bob Mondello says there are bound to be some fall films that get pulses pounding again.
NPR

These 5 Crops Are Still Hand-Harvested, And It's Hard Work

Saffron, vanilla, palm oil, cacao and cottonseed oil are still picked by hand in some parts of the world. Sometimes that manual labor shows up in the price of the food; sometimes it doesn't.
NPR

Guns Boom In 2014 Campaign Ads

Ads with candidates shooting guns are proliferating this year. It can all be traced back to Sen. Joe Manchin's famed 2010 spot "Dead Aim."
NPR

Why Do We Blindly Sign Terms Of Service Agreements?

Audie Cornish talks with University of Chicago Law School professor Omri Ben-Shahar about terms of service agreements for software and websites.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.