Rodeo Clown and ‘Outside the Barrel’ Talk Show Host Flint Rasmussen talks about his favorite music, Wrangler NFR memories, and rodeo events.
Q: Tell me about your career and what you do at the Wrangler NFR.
It’s such a long story about how I got into rodeo so I’ll start part of the way through. I had a good career as a rodeo clown and I actually worked the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo as the barrel clown for eight years in a row. I made a career move and I now work in the arena exclusively on the Professional Bull Riders tour. I’m still doing the makeup and funny clothes, but when I’m here at the Wrangler NFR it’s all about my ‘Outside the Barrel’ show. It’s like Letterman or Jay Leno. It’s a talk show, we use cowboys as guests and we always have a musical guest because I love music. The people have grown to know that this is a staple of their trip to Las Vegas. I wish there was 3,000 of them watching live every day, but we don’t have space for that anyway. At night, I emcee the go-round Gold Buckle awards at South Point. For a full two weeks I’m running around like crazy. I don’t get to live the Vegas life like a lot of people do, because I have to pace myself, but it’s a good time.
Q: What is your favorite moment or memory of the Wrangler NFR?
My favorite moment of the Wrangler NFR is probably the first time I walked into the arena working as the rodeo clown. It was thrilling and nerve-wracking at the same time. To summarize my favorite memory, I probably have more great memories from doing this stage show. I’ve gotten to be friends with country music singers and comedians – Larry the Cable Guy and Bill Engvall – because they’ve been on the show. Years ago, we got stacked with two singers in one day and we don’t like to do that. We were wondering how we were going to fit them in, so we put one in the beginning and one at the end. The first one was Chris Young and the second was Taylor Swift, so really we catapulted their careers into what they are. That was a real cool thing that as years have gone by they’ve actually remembered me and that’s a thrill for me.
Q: What is your favorite rodeo event to watch?
When I was younger, I wanted to be a bareback rider. That was always my favorite event. Believe it or not, it’s not always the bull riding. I probably know the most about that. But I think what it comes to – especially at the Wrangler NFR – the event that is the pure depiction of who’s the best on that night is barrel racing. There’s no horse that doesn’t buck well, there’s no calf that kicks when they are trying to tie it; it’s the barrel racing because it is who is the fastest on that night and it’s a pure race.
Q: Who is your favorite country music artist?
There’s so much country music right now, that it’s more about what song affects me at the moment. I like some old stuff. A friend of mine, Darrel Worley, has had some great songs. I’ve always like Joe Nichols. I like those pure country voices. On the other hand, I’m not big on Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard, and Johnny Cash. There’s some stuff back in the day Steve Warner, Darrel Worley, Darrel Singletary.
Q: What Wrangler style of jeans do you wear?
When I come to the Wrangler NFR, I pack 13 pairs of starched Wranglers and my goal is that every one of them is a different style. Give me some fancy pockets and a relaxed fit and I am a happy man. I pair them with a nice Rock 47, Retro or 20X shirt. I’m all about it!