NEW YORK – They are the self-proclaimed “Most Hated Band in the World,” and now they’re bringing their own theater of the absurd to the Fuse Network with the aptly titled “Insane Clown Posse Theater.”
For 24 years, Joseph Bruce and Joseph Utsler have taken on the personae of wicked clowns, transforming themselves into their alter egos, Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope.
On their weekly forum, the Detroit-area rappers critique all things pop culture, claiming to bring an outsider’s perspective “as people not involved with pop culture.” A good part of the show has the guys critiquing music videos, much like Beavis and Butthead from a generation ago.
“Maybe this is conceited, but I don’t care,” Bruce said. “This is what we believe right here. Nobody is qualified to do something like this as ICP because ICP is the only group in the position in the history of rock ’n’ roll that ever sold as many millions of records as we had and had as much success as we’ve had and it’s still considered a joke. It’s still considered the most hated band in the world.”
With a sardonic smile, he added: “We love to be hated.”
Perhaps that’s just when it comes to their music because both want the show to go beyond their infamous Juggalo fan base. Throughout their long career, what the duo had lacked in terms of a mainstream audience was overshadowed by their dedicated, clown-faced fan base known as Juggalos.
A portion of this vast subculture has come under attack in recent years, and at one point the FBI had classified them as a “gang threat.” The band filed a lawsuit that was eventually settled, saying that a majority of Juggalos are law-abiding folks who are simply misunderstood.
“Calling them a gang is people who fear what they don’t understand,” Bruce said.
Utsler added: “It’s a huge body of people. In any group that large you’re going to have people that aren’t the most fantastic people in the world. You’re going to have awesome people. So how can you say just because, like, there is a group of kids that happen to be Juggalos that are in a gang that you can say, like, little Jimmy Beaver from Iowa in the cornfields is a gang member because he’s a Juggalo? That’s ridiculous. It’s stupid.”
The band started to gather this fan base in the mid-1990s with the song “The Juggla,” and started calling people around them Juggalos. The name stuck, and the fan base grew.
As for “Insane Clown Posse Theater,” the guys have poked fun at videos by Miley Cyrus, D’Angelo, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Christina Aguilera. Besides watching music videos, they have a different guest star each week, make fun of red carpet photos and poke fun at different trends. One thing that they won’t do is talk about news.
“I don’t care about a royal baby,” Utsler said. “I don’t care about Detroit going bankrupt. I’m just living. And I don’t know all the details. I don’t know politics, who caused it or why it’s caused. I’m just dumb like that because I don’t care.”
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