Rodeo clown looking forward to full house for Heart O’ Texas Fair & Rodeo

Published: Oct. 8, 2021 at 2:42 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - The rodeo is back in town for the fair, and that means so are the rodeo clowns. Johnny Dudley, or Backflip Johnny is back for his eighth Heart O’ Texas Fair & Rodeo.

Dudley said his name comes from all the backflips he does during rodeos. He learned how to do them as a kid at the Groesbeck pool, and started doing them off fences and over bulls when he got involved with the rodeo.

While he doesn’t do as many backflips anymore, Dudley said he will still be up to plenty of tricks. As a rodeo clown, he helps fill any pauses in the rodeo with skits and jokes.

Dudley said entertaining people like that is one of the coolest parts of his job, but it can also be one of the hardest parts.

“It don’t matter from 5 to 55 to 95, and that’s the hardest part of the job as well because to be able to tell a joke that a 5-year-old is going to laugh at, and a 55-year-old and a 95-year-old, that’s pretty difficult,” Dudley said.

This year, the rodeo is back to full capacity, after being limited to 50 percent capacity last year because of the pandemic. Dudley said it’s a lot easier for him to tell jokes and make the crowd laugh when it’s a full house, so he’s excited about the change.

“It’s all interaction, so if I do something that’s funny, and crowd laughs, and there’s more people, everybody starts laughing, it’s just contagious,” Dudley said.

The rodeo starts at 7 p.m. on Friday night. If you’d like to purchase tickets, or want more information about the fair schedule, you can find all the details at

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