A Rodeo Clown Finds His Calling

A Rodeo Clown Finds His Calling

Shawn Boom Boom Thompson may have started by accident, but now he’s one of the best rodeo clowns around. He will be making people laugh at this year’s Shrine Rodeo in Tonganoxie May 22 and 23.

As a high school senior Thompson was asked what he wanted to be when he graduated and he answered sarcastically, “A rodeo clown.”

“I’ll be doggoned if [my teacher's] sister wasn’t a secretary for the rodeo company and I got a call two days later for a rodeo school out in Nebraska,” said Thompson. “I’ve been hooked on it ever since.”

Thompson is 39 years old and lives in Sidney, Iowa working as a special education teacher and high school football coach. He’s been selected by his peers as 27x rodeo clown of the year in many different associations all around the country.

In 2002, he was diagnosed with Stage 4 Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. Now he’s cancer free and spreading happiness through being a rodeo clown.

“I feel like God’s used me in a sense, in that way, so I feel like I have a purpose in life,” said Thompson.

While he was sick, Thompson pursued his coaching career and became a volunteer coach.

“I was sick and couldn’t work, so I took some time off. I decided I couldn’t sit there and die, so I followed a passion I had,” said Thompson.

Two years later he was offered the offensive line assistant head coach for a junior high school team.

Thompson loves making people laugh.

“That’s my whole intention is to just take somebody’s everyday stress out of their life and just make it disappear for just that three hours a night at that rodeo or bull-riding event I’m working,” said Thompson. “I’m there to deliver joy and fun and a comical relief.”

Thompson will entertain both nights of the Shrine Rodeo at the Leavenworth County Fairgrounds in Tonganoxie May 22 and 23. The rodeo begins at 7 p.m. each night. Tickets range from $12 for adults to $4 for children ages 6-12 and are available at the Shrine Rodeo office at 5300 Metcalf Avenue, Overland Park, or by phone at 913.362.5300,

 For more about the rodeo: 94country.com/2014/shriners-offer-family-friendly-rodeo-memorial-day-weekend/