Tuffy Gessling The Clown May Get Talent Agent, "Overwhelmed" by Support After MO State Fair

tuffy-gessling-facebook-photo.jpg
via Facebook / Tuffy Gessling
Tuffy Gessling, the local rodeo clown at the center of the Missouri State Fair Obama mask scandal, now has more than 80,500 fans on Facebook -- and the time is right to capitalize on that audience.

So says Collin Hughes, a Las Vegas man who created the hugely popular "Support Tuffy Gessling" Facebook page and has stayed in regular contact with the performer since the story got steady national media attention earlier this month.

"He wants to be able to take the talents he has and not be known as the Obama clown or anything like that, but as a talented rodeo clown," Hughes tells Daily RFT. "He wants to do what he enjoys."

See also: Missouri State Fair Scandal: Boonville Schools to Hire Investigator, NAACP Wants DOJ Action

And with such a massive outpouring of support from all over the country from folks who, for one reason or another, want to stand behind this rodeo performer, the time seems right to build on the momentum so Gessling can gain from the experience, Hughes says.

tuffy-obama-mask.jpg
Courtesy of Perry Beam
Tuffy Gessling in the Obama mask at the Missouri State Fair.

"He's getting people calling," Hughes says. "If he had a good promoter to take those calls, he could run with it and do something with it."

Gessling, of course, famously put on an Obama mask on the first Saturday of the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia this month and performed a skit in which he joked about a bull running down the President.

The crowd reportedly loved it, except for at least one offended attendee who photographed and videotaped the performance and whose account quickly went viral. Here's grainy footage, which that individual, Perry Beam, sent us after the fair:

Soon after, Gessling was permanently banned from performing at the state fair -- a taxpayer-funded, government-backed event -- and the president of the Missouri Rodeo Cowboy Association resigned. Critics slammed the stunt as an offensive, racist and all-around inappropriate performance for a family event.

Gessling is now forever banned from the fair -- but his career could very well benefit from the scandal. After all, he's already got some high-profile offers to perform around the country from officials and pundits who want to show their strong support for the clown. Rodeo clowns, Gessling's fan argues, have been mocking presidents for centuries, and this is no different. For example, here's an image that has popped up on Facebook in his defense:

tuffy-support-10.jpg
via Facebook

And now there's merchandise, too:

tuffy-gessling-merchandise.jpg
via Facebook / Tuffy Gessling

"He's getting a lot of great, positive responses on the Facebook page," says Hughes, a 56-year-old airplane pilot who used to announce rodeos himself and who met Gessling many years ago. "But then again, there's the other side of the coin. There's the dark and the ugly. He's received death threats."

"He's getting both good and bad publicity from the deal," Hughes says.

He says he created the page because he thought the outcry against Gessling was unfair and unmerited.

"He's a talented guy," he says. "He just loves what he does. He just wants to go out there and perform. He did this skit that has been done for generations using the images of other presidents."

tuffy-clown-profile-photo.jpg
via Facebook

"Obama is the president. That's the mask he put on. That was it," he continues. "If it would've been Ronald Reagan or a George Bush mask and the same comments were made, nothing would've been said by anybody. You stick Obama out there, and all of the sudden it becomes off-limits."

Hughes says he contacted Gessling, who gave him permission to create the page. Since then, he's chatted with him regularly, keeping him posted on the page and discussing new ideas on how to take advantage of it. He and Gessling may even use it to push some charitable causes, he notes.

"I got the idea of promoting Tuffy in different ways," he says. "But I'd be in way over my head. That's not my area of expertise."

That's why Hughes is reaching out to different talent agencies now who he hopes could help the rodeo clown advance his career.

"He's in awe and overwhelmed and excited and scared," says Hughes. "A whole gamut of emotions and feelings. When you get this much attention, this much support, it's a great thing. But then there's the other side."

tuffy-gessling-rodeo-pic.jpg
via Facebook/ Tuffy Gessling

With the threats he receives, "What do you do with that?" says Hughes. "Do you take it seriously? I'm sure it's a scary thing."

The page has grown at a rapid rate, Hughes notes. When he posts a photo or update, it usually has a thousand likes in a matter of minutes, he says.

"I think that a lot of people are just fed up with the way the media is handling some of the issues of today," he says.

The fact that this clown has gotten so much attention is frustrating to people, he argues. "People are just getting fed up, I think. It's getting ridiculous. He wore a mask. So what?"

See also:
- After State Fair Rodeo Clown Obama Scandal, Pols Say Investigation Must Continue
- Missouri State Fair: Mark Ficken Resigns As Rodeo Cowboy Association President
- Missouri State Fair Obama Stunt: Rodeo Clown Tuffy Gessling Permanently Banned

Continue for more messages of support for the clown from our previous coverage.


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21 comments
jmweathers3
jmweathers3

Gods I wish people would get this story straight. Tuffy was not wearing the mask, a dummy was. No one was hoping the dummy was run over, gored, killed as people keep saying. The announcer said, "Watch out for that bull, Obama." This gag has been done for decades using the same jokes with the same dummies and it has never been a problem before the anointed one took office. I am so mortally sick of everyone screaming racist. If O is that delicate he needs to go home and bake cupcakes.

Courtney Ringle
Courtney Ringle

Lol dude you're stupid if you think you fully understand the.first amendment. He can be fired for acting like an asshole and being a disrespectful bigot. The first amendment protects us.from the government coming down on us for expressing our views out loud. You can still suffer the consequences for being a moron. I'm more of a real American.than you or anyone who thinks like you. Nice try

Jim Carver
Jim Carver

This is not the power of stupidity and is NOT a non-story....what it is...is racism and an attack on our freedom of speech....if you idiots don't realize that....you should have stayed in school longer!...I am about to release a song that real Americans will love...it was inspired by and is dedicated to....the constant attack on our free speech (Tuffy Gessling).....if anyone know Tuffy...have him message me at on fb at latitude music publishing Santa Fe...thanks

jaco1175
jaco1175 topcommenter

This entire story has been completely overblown. To me the real travesty that the media ignores is how overwhelmingly stupid this whole backwoods rodayo concept is in the first place. A great activity to entertain backwoods hick retards.

mwdesigns21
mwdesigns21

One thing I think is important is the fact that Tuffy did not don the mask himself as seems to be the information reported in most all of the stories......

The mask was put on a "dummy" figure that is set up in the arena and sometimes the bull

has a playtime with it.........if you know what I mean.............

and several comments around the internet have mentioned that the offense was the broomstick used to prop up the clown........that has been used for so long in a clown's act....has nothing to do with racial hatred.........and the comment below about the flapping of the lips.........?? I have seen this done on many rodeo "dummies"..........but, the assumption that because obama is black, and what? blacks have big lips?? so this is assumed to be

racially biased???? ridiculous!!

AZrun
AZrun

I believe it would help Tuffy's career for working at publicly funded events with mixed crowds to do more interviews himself.   Having fans and Mr. Hughes interject their own politics akin to the 24/7 "we hate Obama" movement does not help Mr. Gessling enhance his own brand.  I listened to his first radio interview and could be a fan of his rodeo arena talents and enjoyed his good natured, non political, disposition in the interview.   Sounds like a good guy and family man to have a beer with.  

What is keeping my full endorsement of Mr. Gessling at this point and would keep me away from paying money at a rodeo he performed in: no explanation yet of the flapping of the mask lips, Tuffy's apparent love of the extreme inflammatory race baiter himself Glenn Beck and the predominance on the website of heavy likes to comments most duragatory to a sitting president.   All just support the initial story components of what upset the Beam guy and many other folks who also may not like demonizing and disparaging those we disagree with or don't understand the historical pain in certain implied actions.

And to Mr. Hughes, last I saw the president has been elected twice by a majority of voting Americans.  That's how our democracy works.   To call him a "so called" president as you have now on one of your facebook pages, doesn't help your cause for seeking Gessling's more neutral non martyr brand he says he seeks..

I do think the whole thing has been overblown and the non face to face final banning without discussion (if true) by a fair board - cowardly at best, excessive minimally.

Tuffy, you are your best spokesperson.  Would suggest taking the reins youself as some of the crazy train has hitched their wagons to your story and the story is changing, and changing in a way you may not understand by your passive acceptance of letting others editorialize YOUR story and love of rodeo.   

AZrun
AZrun

I believe it would help Tuffy's cause to do more interviews himself

acpetry
acpetry

Where can I buy one of those shirts thats shown up above? I love that and would love to buy one!:)

Steve Mincer
Steve Mincer

still? really? still milking this non-story, RFT?

tntmoose
tntmoose

@jaco1175 If you don't have anything nice to say, then just say nothing.  Who are you to call rodeo folks hick retards?  Just don't go if you don't like it.  The real travesty here, if you care to see it, is how the media gins up anything against the President and makes it about race.

dsheley
dsheley

@jaco1175 Why don't you go back to drinking your latte and writing a stupid blog and leave those of us who feed the nation alone. If snobs like you never left the city or opened your trap to make ignorant comments about a large segment of the state, this would be a much nicer world.

AZrun
AZrun

@jaco1175 I'll agree with your first sentence.  the rest, not so much. 

Maybe getting up in years, but from this city dweller now, many fond memories quite a few years ago of spending time with farming aunts/uncles, cousins etc. and heading out to the fair/rodeo.  It was either that or waiting for tv channel reception w/ bunny ears to work.  No satellites dishes. Can't speak to today's rodeo or motives. 

jaco1175
jaco1175 topcommenter

@acpetry I'm sure you could check at your local Hicks'R'us superstore. I think they are in aisle 7 next to the deer piss and john Deere hats.

jaco1175
jaco1175 topcommenter

@dsheley Get over yourself. You pretend that the vast majority of rural trash doesn't hate on the cities in this state non stop. Tell you what, you get your inbred missurah rural legislators to quit sticking it to the cities and overturning popular ballot propositions and I'll quit calling their constituents hick retards. My derision is deserved because of the amount of venom directed towards those of us who choose to live in cities and not engage in such classic activities like noodling, puppy milling and horse fucking.
Oh and rodayo.

cougar9197
cougar9197

@jaco1175 @acpetry You are obviously a complete idiot or fool or perhaps both.  Before you go running down the country folks you had better think about where your food comes from!  Oh wait...that's right you get your food from a store not a country folk. 

fbmessages
fbmessages

@jaco1175 ........The event is a "RODEO".... apparently, "City Slickers" can't spell as well as us "hick retards"!!!

jaco1175
jaco1175 topcommenter

My bad on the horse fucking misunderstanding, forgive me. I forgot that in missurah it's all about fucking your siblings.

dsheley
dsheley

@jaco1175 Sounds like you're the one that needs to get over yourself, you sound like the typical arrogant city jackass. For every 100 decent people from St. Louis and Kansas City it only takes one of you to make them all look like pricks. I don't know a single person that goes noodling or owns a puppy mill. As to the horse fucking, that is Arkansas.

gospelfiddle47
gospelfiddle47

@cougar9197 @jaco1175 @acpetry 

This is all so ridiculous! it's not even about city vs. country people!  It's about a clown who saves peoples lives..Doesn't anyone care about saving lives anymore? Just FYI...there are some BLACK cowboys that rodeo...I'ts possible that he has saved one of them...Now why would he do that if he were a RACIST?

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