CLAREMORE, Okla. – There is one good reason Cody Sosebee has been nominated five times as the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Clown of the Year.
“I’ve always said that it doesn’t matter what you’re selling, if people don’t buy into you, they’re not going to buy what you’re selling,” said Andy Stewart, a ProRodeo announcer who will be the voice of Claremore’s Extreme Roughstock presented by the Kubota Center of Oklahoma. “That’s where Cody is one of the best; he’s such a likeable guy. What you see in the arena is him all the time. He’s not afraid to make fun of himself.”
That’s a key ingredient that Sosebee brings to the table at the inaugural event, set for 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov 4, at the Claremore Expo Center.
“Maybe someone in the crowd is feeling bad about themselves, maybe their job or their body or their marriage,” Stewart said. “When Cody steps into the arena, people tend to relax and think, ‘I feel comfortable with him; he’s just like us.’ Through making fun of himself, we’re laughing at ourselves. That’s a very unique trait that he has that makes him a really special clown.”
In addition to his clowning nomination, the former competitor also has been nominated for the PRCA Comedy Act of the Year two of the past three seasons. But there’s much more to Sosebee than meets the eye. Over his lifetime, he’s competed in nearly every rodeo event possible and was at the top of his game in bareback riding.
It’s part of the life growing up in a family that was heavily involved in rodeo. His father was a pickup man, so Sosebee has been part of the sport as long as he can remember.
“I got into clowning by accident by filling in for guys,” said Sosebee, from the tiny community of Charleston, Ark., just 25 miles east of Fort Smith, Ark. “I didn’t know where I was going to go with my rodeo career when I quit riding barebacks, and it turned into a good living. I get to see the world.”
A born competitor, the clown has made the adjustments he needed to get the true fix after a lifetime of being part of the contest.
“I’ve always been a competitor in anything I did, from football to basketball to when I was in freestyle bullfighting,” said Sosebee, who has been selected to work as the barrelman at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in December. “I miss putting my hand in the riggin’ and nodding my head to be 80 points to win the rodeo, but I’m a realist. I’m 43 years old. While most of the guys I rodeoed with have slowed down and have found jobs, I get to be in the arena and get to make a living in rodeo doing something I love.”
Sosebee also plays to his strengths. Bigger than many in the game, he showcases a true athleticism that is rarely seen among men of his stature. It’s comedy at the purest level.
“Having the ability to laugh at myself is probably my biggest strength,” he said. “I don’t take anything too serious. When I’m watching a comedian, the funniest thing I see is when they’re honestly open and having a good time.”
That’s why Sosebee has excelled as one of the premier rodeo clowns in the game.