Bubba the Love Sponge
Clem, a native of Warsaw, Indiana, began his radio career on Indiana State University's WISU-FM. Following school, one of his first paying jobs in radio was at WGRD in Grand Rapids, Michigan where he worked evenings. Clem was in trouble with WGRD almost from the start due to the sexual content of his show. Clem also insulted crosstown competitor WKLQ, in particular Danny Czekalinski (better known as Danny Douglas) who worked at WKLQ during the evening, calling Douglas a homosexual and at one point claiming that Douglas had AIDS. After Roger's Department Store canceled their account with WGRD, management at the station met with Clem and explicitly told him what he couldn't say on the air. Clem also apologized to Douglas, but less than a week later Clem once again disparaged Douglas on the air. On December 20, 1988, a 13-year-old-girl listening to the show called Clem to defend Douglas. Clem made sexual references to Danny and to the 13-year-old female caller and was fired the next day. Clem then worked for a brief period WLUM-FM in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. By 1999, Clem had legally changed his name to “Bubba the Love Sponge.”
Hog incident and the FCC
On February 27, 2001, while on the air at WXTB in Tampa, Florida, Clem slaughtered and barbecued a wild Florida boar that had been captured by a professional hunter. Sound effects of hogs feeding were broadcast to lead listeners to believe the hog was being harassed and aggravated. Based on the incident Clem, his Executive Producer Brent Hatley, and two other people were charged with animal cruelty. The trial received coverage outside Florida including Court TV. All four defendants were acquitted by the jury. On July 29, 2014 Bubba stated on radio that he never killed the hog, but he did consume it and took responsibility for the Incident.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a Notice of Apparent Liability (a precursor to a fine) of $755,000 against four stations owned by Clear Channel Communications (including its parent station, WXTB) on January 27, 2004 for objectionable segments of "Bubba the Love Sponge". The fine consisted of the maximum of $27,500 for each of 26 airings of a segment plus $40,000 for record-keeping violations. The segments included graphic discussions about sex and drugs and according to the FCC were "designed to pander to, titillate and shock listeners". One segment featured the cartoon characters Alvin and the Chipmunks, George Jetson and Scooby-Doo discussing sexual activities.
Clear Channel Communications discontinued Clem's show on February 23, 2004 and two days later, Clear Channel CEO John Hogan testified in front of Congress, stating that the "Bubba the Love Sponge" show would no longer be broadcast on Clear Channel.
Total Nonstop Action Wrestling
On January 3, 2010, Bubba announced via his Twitter account that he had signed with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling as a backstage interviewer. He made his debut the following day on the special live, three-hour, Monday night edition of TNA Impact!, participating in four short backstage segments.
On January 16, 2010, Clem made remarks on his Twitter account that were disparaging of Haiti's struggle to recover from the January 12 earthquake. Although he later apologized, his tweets created a rift between himself and TNA management, and for a while he was not used by the company on their television broadcast.
On January 19, 2010, Clem claimed that he had been blind-sided and physically assaulted by Awesome Kong while backstage for the taping of TNA Impact! the previous day, claims which were substantiated on his program by TNA's Hulk Hogan. According to all three, the altercation was a result of the Twitter comments made by Clem concerning the Haiti relief project. On February 25, Clem announced that he was finished working with TNA Wrestling. That same day, news broke that Awesome Kong had filed a lawsuit against Clem for an alleged threatening phone call. Later on The Cowhead Show, Clem confronted Stevens, allegedly using racially charged comments.
Clem returned to TNA television as the personal interviewer of wrestling stable, The Band, in late March, only to be fired from the company on April 30, 2010 stemming from the Cowhead Show incident.
Clem has been married twice, most recently to Heather Clem (née: Heather Cole) January 14, 2007 at First Baptist Church of St. Petersburg, Florida. He filed for divorce from Heather September 15, 2011.
Hulk Hogan sex tape
In early 2012, it was reported that Clem had filmed his then-wife Heather Clem and Hulk Hogan having sex in his bedroom. On October 4, 2012, Gawker released a short clip of the video. In this video, Clem can be heard saying that the couple can "do their thing" and he will be in his office. Furthermore, at the end of the video, Clem can also be heard telling Heather, "If we ever need to retire, here is our ticket". Hogan filed a lawsuit against Clem and his now ex-wife for invading his privacy on October 15, 2012 . Hogan later settled the lawsuit on October 29, 2012. Following the settlement, Clem also publicly apologized to Hogan.
In August 2013 an audiotape was released on YouTube of Clem voicing a commercial for Vermont Teddy Bear. In this commercial, Clem is heard saying many racist remarks, which he told WTSP were just meant to be comical outtakes. Clem's company, Bubba Radio Network, ordered the removal of the video from YouTube, although it is now hosted on TMZ.
- Ringler, Lance (26 October 2011). "Bubba the Love Sponge Btls.com". Zimbio. Retrieved 12 February 2013.
- "All the latest from Bubba Army Radio". radioio. Retrieved 12 February 2013.
- The Grand Rapids Press, 16 December 1988
- The Grand Rapids Press, 22 December 1988
- "FCC Issues Steep Indecency Fines". CBS News. 2004-01-27.
- Clem, Todd (2010-01-03). "watch spiketv(Monday)8pm est 4hulks return 2wrestling I'm the new backstage guy think I'm on a total of 4x Please tell everybody u know.". Twitter. Retrieved 2010-01-04.
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- "Info Regarding Bubba the Love Sponge". TNA Wrestling. 2010-04-30. Retrieved 2010-04-30.[dead link]
- Deggans, Eric. "Bubba Files for Divorce". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved 6 October 2012.
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- Daulerio, A. J. (4 October 2012). "Even for a Minute, Watching Hulk Hogan Have Sex in a Canopy Bed is Not Safe For Work but Watch it Anyway". Gawker. Retrieved 17 February 2013.
- "Hulk Hogan Sex Tape". SexTape.com. 4 February 2013. Retrieved 12 February 2013.
- "Hulk Hogan to sue former friend Bubba the Love Sponge, sex tape partner Heather Clem for invasion of privacy". The New York Daily News. Retrieved October 15, 2012.
- "Hulk Hogan Settles Sex Tape Lawsuit With DJ". The New York Times.
- Gicas, Peter (29 October 2012). "Hulk Hogan Settles Sex Tape Lawsuit With Bubba the Love Sponge". E! Online. Retrieved 12 February 2013.
- "Bubba the Love Sponge accused of racist remarks".
- "Bubba the Love Sponge -- Racist Filth Caught on Tape".