Thoughts On The Dead

Musings on the Most Ridiculous Band I Can't Stop Listening To

Juggalos: An FAQ

What in the name of sweet sweaty fuck is a Juggalo?

The offspring of a jackalope and a buffalo.

What would that look like?

Imaginatively terrifying.

Answer the question.

About Juggalos?

Wait. Is it “Juggalos” or “Juggaloes?”

Wikipedia says there’s no E.



It’s so much more complicated than you’d think.

And dumber.

So, so, so much dumber. Okay, so let’s recurisivate.

Not a word.

But it is a concept: What in the name of sweet sweaty fuck is a Juggalo?

A fan of the Insane Clown Posse, also known as ICP, which is a rap group from Detroit.

Are they any good?


That’s subjective, though.

It’s not. Their music is objectively dreadful, but they have a great gimmick.

Which is?

They’re insane clowns.

So, it’s not just a name?

No. Perfect descriptor. They are a posse of insane clowns. Makeup and all.

Colorful makeup with big smiles?

They’re not happy clowns; they’re insane clowns.

Right, right.

Black-and-white deal. Think KISS or King Diamond or every Norwegian metal band.


They spray soda at people.

This doesn’t sound like much of an act.

There are also titties and wrestling.


Besides, the music and show are only part of it. The Juggalos are their own sub-culture.


They have every signifier a sub-culture needs: a jargon complete with unique greeting, a style of dress, iconography out the ass, a calendar separate and overlaid upon “normal” society’s, heroes, villains, origin story, community norms regarding sexuality and commerce. Completely by accident (and hard work), the ICP created a sub-culture.

That sounds like another band comprised of insane clowns.

Juggalos and Deadheads are alike in every way except aesthetics. And class.

Hey now, mister. America is a classless society.

You’re adorable. Deadheads grew up in the suburbs; Juggalos grew up in trailer parks.

Still, though: unpleasant to discuss.

You think Juggalos don’t know they’re poor? It’s kinda the point. They’re White Trash. They’re the only group left in America you’re allowed to openly disdain and mock, and they know it.

When you put it that way, it’s almost like we should stop calling them names and making fun of them for being born into fucked-up circumstances in a broken system.

And join together in solidarity to defeat the landlords and owners.

Sure, I guess.

Viva la revolucíon. 

Come again?

Nothing, nothing.

Why are we even discussing Juggalos, anyway?

They marched on D.C. today.

Just like Dr. King.

There are honestly more similarities than differences. Both preached non-violence and were being fucked with by the FBI.

Much less spraying soda on people, though.

I’ll give you that.

What about the FBI?

They declared the Juggalos a gang.


Well, some of ’em are scary criminals in actual gangs.


But most of them aren’t. You have to figure that in any large enough subset of people, a certain percentage are gonna be fucking around. How many organized crimes you think were committed on every lot during every Dead tour? Shakedown Street was a RICO case waiting to happen.

But that was just a little light drug trafficking. Is that all the Juggalos are accused of?

God, no. These are violent assholes. Stabbings and extortion and dog fighting.

Oh, that’s much worse. There was no dog-fighting at Dead shows.

Well, sometimes dogs would fight.

Spontaneously. And it was discouraged. 

And there would be no wagering.

Right. The owners would pull the dogs off one another and be like, “Bad Jerry!” and “No, Jerry!”

Are both the dogs named Jerry?


Sounds right.

Okay, so these Juggalos are bad hombres. What’s wrong with slapping a gang label on them?

Because, like I said, most of them are normal human beings who live by the rules and they got tarred with this brush, too. Getting designated as a gang member for the FBI is kind of bad if, say, you’re in the military or work for the government. Plus, now stores don’t want to sell ICP’s stuff. Legally, it would be like selling Crip tee-shirts or MS-13 hats, and Walmart doesn’t want the headache.

That’s no good. They should sue.

They did.

What happened?

The court found that the band had no standing to bring suit.

You okay?

I feel like I just got the wind knocked out of me.

Well, you just got a powerful dose of lawyering right to the face.

The party named as a gang doesn’t have standing to sue about being called a gang?


Holy shit, is that some uncut lawyering right there.

It’s impressive. That decision got overturned–

Oh, praise Jesus.

–and the case is still wandering around the legal system, so the band and the Juggalos decided to go for more direct action.

Targeted bombings?

Not that direct. Marching, holding signs, a couple bands played.

Sounds like a nice day out.

And then they got sprayed with soda.

They love that.

They do.

Any actual benefit to the march?

Judging from the internet, everyone loves them now.

That’s a good benefit.

Whoop, whoop.


  1. i thought both of the dogs were named cassidy!

  2. Let me say that most of the ICP kids that I have known well had Grateful Dead tattoos. If that’s to subtle, they are us.

  3. You Don’t Know Me But You Don’t Like Me is an embedded journalism piece that draws the same comparison.

  4. Someone already wrote a whole freakin’ book comparing Phish fans with Juggalos:

  5. @ Adam O – coincidentally reading that book. It’s very funny and I’ve learned a great deal about ICP. I highly recommend it. Magic Magic Ninja What!

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