This week, for the fifth consecutive year, the good people at Psychopathic Records have smiled upon us and delivered unto the Internet another magical miracle in the form of their Gathering of the Juggalos informercial. For the unaware who may not be “down with the clown,” The Gathering of the Juggalos is the largest convention of Insane Clown Posse fans in the world. This August marks the 14th installment, a five-day spectacle at Cave-In Rock, Illinois. In honor of this latest clip, we at the Weekly have decided to raise a glass of Faygo to the Clowns by cranking our collective Riddleboxes and ranking the five Gathering of the Juggalos informercials in order.
See Also: The Brilliant Branding of the Insane Clown Posse
5) 2012 – War on the Mainstream
To some, Juggalos may seem like the most reviled fanbase in all of popular music. Not unlike the Grateful Dead's Deadheads, Jimmy Buffet's Parrotheads and Jimmy Ray's Rayheads, they're a group largely marginalized and victimized because they're really excited about a particular artist's music. Granted, the Dark Carnival's welcoming arms tend to be so inclusive that they draw upon many societal misfits, which made last year's infomercial a call-to-arms from the warzone that is underground vs. mainstream. Coincidentally, the lines between mainstream and underground hip-hop became more blurred that summer including at the Gathering which featured performances from Danny Brown, The Game and Master P.
4) 2011 – In a Galaxy Far, Far Away
The 2011 Gathering informercial boasted our beloved hosts Sugar Slam and DJ Clay joined by Vanilla Ice and producer Mike E. Clark donning alien costumes and bringing a full outer-space outsiders' perspective on the Gathering of the Juggalos. As great as it is to hear Clark/Clerg's excited reaction to Juvenile's announced performance, the real achievement here is how in its third installment the Gathering informercial feels like a full-fledged event. The production values stepped up, signaling the informercial truly being an institution.
3) 2013 – Weekly Freekly Weekly
This year's informercial largely did away with the special guest hosts as Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope themselves, as well as Sugar Slam, gave us the lowdown through their mock special news broadcast the Weekly Freekly Weekly. In further proof that the clowns happen to be really funny guys, this year's presentation appears to be largely off-the-cuff. If anybody knows how to get you excited for a group neither you nor the person talking to you has ever heard of, it's Violent J. Also notable this year is the emphasis on young talent. Whereas the bulk of the other Gatherings have promoted returning stars of yesteryear, this year's heavily hyping debuts of hither-to unknown artists like Big Hoodoo, first Gathering appearances of Sevendust and Buckwheat Groats and even the wrestling tent promoting today's independent favorites such as The Young Bucks and Kevin Steen.
2) 2009 – The Original for the 10th Annual Gathering of the Juggalos
Everyone remembers their first, and for many this was it. A year before the Insane Clown Posse were seen from computer screen to computer screen asking the immortal question “Fucking magnets, how do they work?” and a good month before they returned to the number four slot on the Billboard 200, ICP began their viral insurgence with this informercial for the 10th annual Gathering of the Juggalos. Hosted by Sugar Slam and DJ Clay, the rundown of acts promoted alongside “dudes on stilts” and “helicopter rides” became so embraced that it eventually lead to a recurring sketch on “Saturday Night Live.”
1) 2010 – The Wild West
At the height of their “Miracles” resurgence that saw the duo become not only increasingly relevant but, dare I say, respected for their 20+ year hustle, ICP unveiled their second Gathering of the Juggalos informercial and, not unlike The Godfather Part 2 or Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie, it proved the second incarnation was the best of the franchise. This year's theme was The Wild West in honor of the release of the duo's western comedy Big Money Ru$tla$, as so we join Sugar Slam, DJ Clay and Detroit rap legend Awesome Dre as they road trip to the Gathering, promising some of west coast hip-hop's legit all time greatest along the way. From the chemistry of the hosts, to the sheer glee of announcing the Gathering debuts of Gallagher and Tom Green, this informercial is truly as good as the Dark Carnival's corner of the Internet gets.