Twenty years have now passed since OJ Simpson was found 'not guilty' of murdering his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson. On 3 October 1995, 150 million people tuned in to watch the judge deliver the verdict - that's more viewers than that year's Super Bowl.
The reason for the public's obsession was simple: Simpson was easily one of the most famous faces in America. He was a superstar on the American football field, breaking records at both the collegiate and pro level. Following his stellar career in the NFL, he suceeded where countless other ex-athletes have failed - he transitioned into a career in showbusiness. Granted, he wasn't exactly due an Oscar, but he was hilarious in the Naked Gun movies and I'm currently hard-pressed to think of a better comedy franchise.
When police discovered Nicole Brown Simpson's body, OJ was immediately considered a suspect. After failing to turn himself in, LAPD pursued him in what has arguably become one of the most iconic moments in TV history:
After his acquittal, OJ struggled to regain the public's trust. On top of the fact that most Americans - regardless of race (you should probs just Google the racial subtext surrounding the trial) - still believe he's guilty, OJ spent many of his post trial years doing everything in his power to convince people that he was anything but innocent. This included writing a book titled If I Did It which serialised the murder by reopening the evidence and positing OJ as the killer. It was a baffling move - sociopathic, if you will, so it isn't really suprising that OJ is currently serving a life sentence on charges related to kidnapping, armed robbery, and a string of other felonies.
Prior to his current incarceration, OJ's oddest venture, beside the book, was a little known prank show called Juiced. It was similar in format to MTV's Punk'd, but without the funding, production quality, or narrative structuce of the Ashton Kutcher led series. By all accounts, it was a total farce. On a recent episode of This American Life, co-star Harmon Leon described it thusly: "It just didn’t have any payoff of anything. It was just like all set on the whole premise of, something happens and then O.J. Simpson. They didn’t think it out further than that. And every gag was just based on that premise.”
Although a very small run of DVDs was released, the producer behind it (who also happened to be the brains behind grotty internet series Bumfights) did a good job at burying all evidence of it. Even YouTube bore no trace of Juiced.
Until last month, when a true hero uploaded the entire 58 minute show. I've been at my computer for two hours now and it's taken me about 90 minutes to write this post because I'm flicking back to watch Juiced. This is car-crash TV at its absolute best. It's cacophonous, nonsensical, and occassionally boobs pop up. Watch it below.
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