Let’s take a step back into time, the era would be the 90′s before and slightly after Y2K your point of view is a sea of cowboys and cowgirls rocking the original bangora hats, the fellas have Wranglers on and the gals are rocking the original Rocky Mountain jeans, you know the ones with no back pockets….anyone who was rodeoin back then knows what I mean….in fact some gals still wear them….my Mother would be one of them! Anyways, as you begin to enjoy the rodeo the announcer comes on the speaker with the introductions, and as per usual he missed the clown. So out comes a new face in the business super young and skinny almost looks like he could use a hamburger or two, although he seems brash and cold-hearted with his jokes you can’t help but stay captivated. Constantly on point and making fun of whoever will fuel his tank, it almost gets to the point where he is out performing the contestants and anyone else involved in the rodeo. But does this remind you of anyone? Then it hits you, back in the days of grade school this guy is the Class Clown. Everyone has had one, maybe it was even ourselves. In the year book the Class Clown photo bombs all your good pictures, under his bio it says “Most Likely To Appear On SNL” . Everyone can relate, but then you get the rare cases where the Class Clown bucks tradition and rises above all the doubters and becomes the most successful person in that graduating class. In this case he actually grows to be one of the most recognized people in Ontario rodeo today.
Born and raised on the Scully family farm in Rockwood Ontario Joe was born into a rodeo life, with parents John and Anne along with younger siblings Ross and Kate rodeo came natural to him. I, myself have fond memories of the Scully farm when my Dad would go over for Steer Wrestling practice I would tag along and get into trouble with both Joe and Ross, in fact if you ever meet Ross ask him to show you some stitches I gave him……Pond hockey gets vicious at the Scully farm.
Most commonly known for the timed event end of rodeo Joe and Ross both got into steer riding and bull riding, but both also got a nice reminder why they should stick to roping, 2 broken arms for Ross and for Joe a fractured scapula or shoulder blade along with a huge shot to his so called “Cowboy Tough Attitude”. Both decided that roping was the way to go. To add to Joe’s ability to be the life of the party or entertain people he had his debut in Brigden Ontario when he was dubbed rodeo clown. It was immediately obvious that Joe had the gift, although his jokes were rude,crude, and offensive towards everyone, you could not help but stay tuned in because it was entertaining as hell, and everyone applauded him for it. I would go so far as to compare him to Ricky Gervais hosting the Golden Globes, Ricky took pokes at everyone from the no name actors all the way to legends like Martin Scorsese, even though the board of directors hated him for the jokes and critics tore him up and down they still brought him back to host again knowing the outcome. That pretty much sums up Joe’s clowning career he was also looked to be a trend setter if you will and bucked tradition of how a rodeo clown should run his show.
Clowning rodeo’s eventually turned into working in radio while in college and radio ran his life, he was heard on Erin radio 101.5 CERN-FM or 1460 CJOY-AM in Guelph. Though not in front of hundreds of people Joe could still entertain the masses. Although radio was a huge part of Joe’s life it was not until 2004 when he took up his right place in rodeo as a Pro Rodeo MC.
Much like anyone who starts off fresh you tend to rough it a little and Joe was no exception. Announcing and running the sound himself aloud Joe to be more in check with the performance his first season he used all of his own DJ equipment from his younger years his gear got beat the heck up with the changing weather and constant dust. The next season he went to all-computers. Back then, Joe had stats on the computer and cd players hooked up to remote starts… Along with a 4-disc system with Intro songs in one tray, Ride/Action Songs in another, Positive SFX in another tray and Negative SFX in another. Easily to see that he was well prepared for the job.
Joe used his clowning experience to help aid his MC skills when working with a clown, he knew it takes the announcer and the clown to entertain the audience, the first clown he worked with did not go well at all and Joe thought that Rawhide Rodeo Company was going to fire him but 2weeks later the clown gods sent him Skinny Timmy Johnson a retired bull rider from Maryland who shared Joe’s edgy antics in the arena, and to this day Joe attributes his confidence to the rodeo’s working with Timmy.
That summer sent Joe into a category of very talented announcers in Canada and the US. He went from possibly being let go by rodeo tycoon Rawhide Rodeo to being the voice of Ontario Rodeo, and further more some very notable accomplishments which include being 1 of 2 Canadians to announce a Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association rodeo, which is huge because you cannot just send in a resume and wait for a call, you gotta pay an approval fee then they send someone to rate you then you buy your card, mind you a PRCA card is 500+ dollars. Also winning the International Finals Rodeo contract act where he is the only Canadian to ever achieve this honor. Joe is not only an announcer in rodeo he can also be seen at Monster Jam events, announcing such events as rocking 25,000 in attendance in Toronto, along with 18,000 strong in Greensboro, NC where he was accompanied by the original voice of Monster Jam the late Joe Lowe.
Along with Timmy Johnson’s confidence builder Joe has many other influences that helped catapult his career including a man that I have fond memories of as a kid, Bob Baker knew everything about everyone in the rodeo he made it his mission to get on a personal level and make the rodeo more enjoyable for everyone, and that is exactly how Joe attacks his rodeos. It’s not just riders name and where they are from, Joe gives the audience a little mini bio and every introduction is different. Joe attributes his hype to another Ontario announcer by the name of Pat Mulligan who had a way of amping up the masses with his energy and he could amp any event especially the roping ones which is no easy feat. Joe Braniff instantly connected with Joe while they worked together Joe loved how he used pace and rhythm as part of his delivery. Joe’s first events after working with Braniff, Joe reversed a lot of what he was doing and began focusing on the roller-coaster of guiding crowd energy throughout a performance. American announcer Greg Simas is also a huge part of Joe’s career along with the hugely popular and noteworthy announcer Boyd Polhamus who was the right hand man to the announcing legend Bob Tallman.
Joe’s commitment to his craft has not gone unrecognized, he has been the recipient 4 times for the Mick Flick award for Cowboy Most Representative of the Sport. Getting contracts for announcing all over North America and into Quebec along with 6 Ontario Finals Rodeo’s Joe has had a whirlwind career that all started with Brigden Ontario and a jar of face paint. Though the so called “Glory Days” are over Joe can be found living in Erin Ontario with his beautiful wife Bobbi and smiling son Marshall. Currently at the helm of Ontario Rodeo’s Board of Directors Joe has in a sense slowed down and has taken a different approach in his career, lately he has focusing his attention with the Ontario Equestrian World and allowing himself to broaden his horizons.
The Class Clown of Ontario rodeo is without a doubt Joe Scully but the best part of this story is how he bucks tradition, as a clown Joe was fired 5times for being to edgy with his performance but was always brought back with flying colors. As a competitor he took on his family heritage and won gold buckles, as a radio host he entertained the masses behind closed doors, as an announcer he crafted his skill and took announcing to another level whether he was in-front of 100 people in some random field or in front of 20,000 at a monster jam he rose to occasion. Joe rose to the helm of rodeo in Ontario where he is the current President of the Ontario Rodeo Association. His networking skills with the millions of rodeo fans and the equestrian world is unsurpassed by anyone…….and to think all of this started out with a jar of face paint.
Let Er Buck