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/.

WAMU 88.5

Art Beat With Lauren Landau, Sept. 18

You can attend an annual Latin American film festival or see a new play about strength, war and family.

NPR

From Coffee To Chicory To Beer, 'Bitter' Flavor Can Be Addictive

If you don't think you like bitter foods, try them again. Jennifer McLagan, the author of Bitter: A Taste of the World's Most Dangerous Flavor, is on a mission to change hearts and minds.
NPR

Ukrainian President Thanks Congress For Supporting Freedom

Petro Poroshenko called Russia's annexation of Crimea a "cynical act of treachery." He is in the U.S. meeting with President Obama and others to lobby for increased aid to fight insurgents.
NPR

Apple: iOS 8 Prevents Cooperation With Police Unlocking Requests

In the rollout of its new mobile operating system, Apple says it has made it technically impossible for the company to unlock phone data, even in response to a law enforcement warrant.

Leave a Comment

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