The Good Clowns: Lecile Harris, Pro Rodeo’s Master Comedian

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In light of the recent “clown scare” involving shootings and multiple arrests throughout the U.S. and in Texas, many people are afraid of running into a clown lurking in their neighborhood, a public area, or on a college campus. Scary clowns have widely been portrayed as villains since the Joker first appeared in the debut issue of the comic book Batman on April 25, 1940. Then, when American author Stephen King released his horror novel “It” in 1986, the clown once again got an evil villain persona. Only recently, however, the vilified clown has taken its bad rap to a whole new level…a ridiculous level causing mass hysteria. And, unfortunately, these criminal jokesters are giving all clowns a bad name — which is far from the truth.

Recently, we reported on the arrests made in Texas involving these creepy clown “pranks”. In a twist of fate, it caught the attention of famous rodeo clown, Lecile Harris. Our reporter unknowingly used a Flickr-shared fair use image (not shown) of the famous rodeo clown as the featured image of the arrest story, causing quite the stir. It was by complete accident; however, our fans, Mr. Harris’ sponsors, and even Mr. Harris himself contacted us immediately requesting urgent correction. Needless to say, we got right on it! As the Editor-in-Chief of our website and print magazine, I was shocked and horrified, left feeling terrible. The Flickr photo was a multi-image compilation made to look distorted, so I didn’t immediately recognize it as Lecile. But, once pointed out, I immediately and apologetically changed out the photo. Mistakes like these often occur in the news and on media sites, and it’s important to address them as such and tell the “other side of the story” immediately.

Photo: Facebook/Lecile Harris

The “other side of the story” is one of great importance during these recent, strange days of clown “pranks”, shootings, and hysteria. After speaking with Mr. Harris, I was intrigued by his stories of the years he’s spent dedicating his life to protecting those cowboys and entertaining the crowd. He’s hugged hundreds of children throughout his career, and recently, was asked to hold and pose for a picture with a 6-month-old baby. Naturally, he was delighted and gentle with the infant. As he stood there, a woman in her mid-to-late twenties standing by observed him and began screaming, causing a scene, and ran out of the building. Lecile was in complete shock.

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