I’ll be honest, the first time I saw one of those Underground Festival sketches on Saturday Night Live, I didn’t realize it was a parody of the Gathering of the Juggalos infomercials. I just thought it was a goof on the whole subculture of weird, non-mainstream concerts and events. Then a friend directed me to the actual Juggalo videos they were spoofing, and the SNL versions immediately became less funny. Don’t get me wrong, they’re still enjoyable, but this is one of those situations where the parodies can’t do any justice to the originals. They must be seen to be believed.
Point being: The infomercial for the 2012 Gathering of the Juggalos was released on Friday, because OF COURSE it would be released on Friday the 13th, and it is 23 minutes of joyously random insanity.
First of all, the whole thing is set in a post-zombie apocalypse world where everyone is armed with machetes, axes, and machine guns, and is occasionally standing in front of military-style dune buggies. It’s like The Walking Dead crossed with the music video for “California Love.” Second of all, if you like all-caps graphics about event festivities flying towards the screen in rapid succession, then, oh man, you are in luck. For example, there is a “DAYTIME BARBEQUE” with “THOUSANDS OF FREE CHEESEBURGERS,” and “JCW WRESTLING” featuring “DEATH MATCHES GALORE.” Oh, and in case you were wondering, they “FIRED THE OLD HOST UPCHUCK THE CLOWN” and “HIRED SPECIAL GUEST HOST UPCHUCK THE CLOWN.” I think that’s important.
As far as the line-up, it’s actually pretty mainstream. Sort of. While there are lots of musicians and performers with names that you’ll recognize, the juxtaposition of all the names together is something to behold. Say what you will about the Juggalos, but I really don’t think there’s another event on Earth that could bring together DMX, Master P, Cheech and Chong, P.O.D., the Nature Boy Ric Flair, Bobcat Goldthwait, a Michael Jackson tribute band, Hed PE, Raekwon, an MMA event, and a band named Swollen Members, and spread them all out over five days for the enjoyment of thousands of people in clown makeup. In that way, ICP is doing the Lord’s work.
R.I.P. Ass Dan