Rodeo Clown in Fair Controversy Speaks

Posted by Warren Krech on September 5, 2013

The rodeo clown at the center of controversy across the nation last month speaks out. Tuffy Gessling is now banned from working at the Missouri State Fair, after he organized a skit with a bull charging a clown in a Barack Obama mask.

“I don’t know if anything went wrong, to be honest,” Gessling says. “Somebody took offense to it. It wasn’t meant to be any offense. I’m a guy that puts on makeup and entertains children, so I don’t know why someone would take offense to that, but they did.”

Gessling says the skit isn’t racist, and it’s been passed down for generations of rodeo clowns.

“This was passed down from a mentor of mine. He showed me how to do it a lotta years ago. I just went with it, and did just like he told me to do it.”

Gessling says the response he’s received so far has been mostly positive.

“There was nothing said, there was nothing done wrong in that deal,” Gessling says. “So when they’re saying they’re proud of me for what I’ve done…I didn’t do anything different a month ago, it’s just this has gotten national attention.”

Gessling rode in a La Plata parade on Labor Day. He’ll perform as a rodeo clown Sept. 13-14 in Jefferson City, and hints he may do the Obama skit again.

(Comments from Gessling courtesy of Missourinet.)

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