Mike Hayhurst has been a rodeo clown for more than 30 years, but he may have entertained audiences for the last time when he took the mike and told an offensive and racist joke comparing First Lady Michelle Obama and Ann Romney.
At the Creston Classic Rodeo on Saturday, Hayhurst caustically bellowed out into the stands: “Playboy is offering Ann Romney $250,000 to pose in the magazine, and the White House is upset about it because National Geographic only offered Michelle Obama $50 to pose for them,” recounted a woman in attendance. Not only does Hayhurst insinuate that the elegant and educated First Lady is worth less than Ann Romney, but he reduces her to the image of the naked tribal woman in Africa, a subtle way of saying her skin color makes her less refined that the white alternative.
The crowd in the small town of San Louis Obispo, California, unamused by the tasteless barb, responded to the “joke” with boos.
While initial reports blamed the off-color joke on announcer Ed Kutz, a board member for the rodeo set the record straight for the San Luis Obispo Tribune on Sunday. Mike Barrett, speaking for the board, said members will ask Hayhurst for a public apology and will discuss at its next meeting whether Hayhurst is to be terminated. “We probably won’t be using his services in the future,” Barrett said of Hayhurst.
Hayhurst was taken to an area hospital on Saturday after his bad joke for treatment of head injuries. It is unclear whether he sustained these injuries when a bull tossed him into the air, or if they occurred in some other fashion. A reporter from the San Luis Obispo Tribune reached the clown on Sunday by phone to ask if he wanted to apologize or excuse his comment, to which Hayhurst retorted: “I cannot believe how insensitive you are. I am in the hospital!” Then he uttered a vulgarity before hanging up on the journalist. Yes, how insensitive can one be!