The recent performance at the Missouri State Fair in which a clown donned a mask of President Obama is skirting the boundary of the normal shtick associated with the rodeo.  It might have been entertaining if done right.  One example could have used the element of danger to say, “Don’t worry.  I’ve got health insurance.”  “The NSA is watching.”  “Hush.  The Secret Service doesn’t know I’m here.”  Even wearing a Joe Biden mask would have been less abrasive.  This joker says “Soon as this bull comes out Obama don’t you move.  He’s gonna getcha, getcha, getcha,” which gets you thrown into the Book of Infamy and banned from the fair.

Protection is the paramount role for the rodeo clown or in some circles bullfighter.  Riding bulls carries an intense amount of danger as a cowboy sits atop a 2000-pound animal and attempts to stay on for 8 seconds.  The rider’s dismount in many cases is awkward.  The athletic clown/bullfighter is skilled in both attracting and evading the bull.  That gives the cowboy precious seconds to gather himself and exit the arena.

Safety is primary.  Comedy is secondary, especially when you need a 30-foot ladder to reach amateur night status.  Now the rodeo clown is facing down the press, Missouri legislators and the Missouri State Fair Board and that’s no bull.