Ryan Rodriguez has two passions: Making people laugh and spending time with his family.
Now he’s living the best of both worlds, sharing his entertainment for audiences all over the world while working with his 5-year-old son. Welcome to the world of “Radical” Ryan Rodriguez, a rodeo clown who will be part of the Professional Championship Bullriders events this year.
“When I got into the business, all I wanted to do was go from one rodeo to another and make people laugh,” Rodriguez said. “Then when I had my son, I was all about that. That was the greatest thing in the world. As he got old enough to walk and talk, he wanted to start helping out with the act. When he put on the greasepaint and walked into the arena, he was a natural entertainer.”
That’s the life of Rad Rain Rodriguez, who this past December announced his presence before the rodeo world during a featured specialty act at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.
“You put him in front of one or two people, he’s kind of shy,” Ryan said of his son. “You put him in front of 17,000 people, and he just shines.”
The act is part of the “Radical” repertoire, something he’s worked at since beginning his career two decades ago.
“We started the act, then pretty soon it was an act that everybody was requesting,” Rodriguez said. “Pretty soon we got a call from the NFR. He’s just a showman. He loves doing it. He made 17,000 people laugh and roar and stand up to do the wave.
“There’s no prouder feeling than to do something you try to do all your life, and your son does it in five years.”
Rodriguez has a lot to be proud, from his son to his own accomplishments. He’s worked some of the biggest events in rodeo, from regional championships to tour finales in Las Vegas and Omaha to the National Western Stock Show in Denver and the prestigious Calgary Stampede. He’s also been the featured barrelman/funnyman at Professional Championship Bullriders events for several years.
“I watched this PCB grow from a little bull riding to a huge following,” he said.
That following will likely grow with the entertainment package that features country artist Jake Owen, who will present a concert after the bull riding competition concludes, and Don “Hollywood” Yates, one of the elite bullfighters in the sport who has expanded his talents into other areas of entertainment. He was the character “Wolf” in the 2008 version of “American Gladiators.”
It’s all the brainchild of Robert Sauber, a former bull rider who runs the PCB.
“Everything I saw Bob was trying to do was top shelf,” said Rodriguez, who grew up in Clayton, Mich. “Bob has taken an event like this and put it into this area of the United States. He brings quality bulls and quality bull riders. It’s something nobody else has done.”
Sauber sees the tremendous benefits of having a class act like Rodriguez as part of the show.
“Radical has been a big part of any success the PCB has had over the years,” Sauber said. “He’s one of the best acts in all of rodeo, and he’s sees what we’ve been trying to do. I’m happy to call him my friend.”
Rodriguez has colored his face with greasepaint for nearly 20 years and has traversed the country presenting his brand of entertainment to the masses. He does so because he loves to hear the roar of the crowd, whether it’s in Denver or Calgary or Las Vegas.
“Getting to go to the NFR is like every football player’s dream to go to the Super Bowl,” he said. “It’s what you dream about and what you strive for. It’s a sign you made it.
“But I get to go to work I quality buildings like we have with the PCB. I’ve gotten to work the PCB Finals the last four years, and me and my son wear our PCB buckles proudly.”