Just shoot me: American Chopper refuses to die

Dailies -



Just when you thought our long national nightmare was over…they’re back!!! The bickering, battling and increasingly litigious Teutuls, the bike-building family that lately has sucked all the fun out of dysfunctional, are returning to television. Say it ain’t so! After seven years and 169 increasingly interminable episodes, it looked like “American Chopper” was finally headed for Rerun Heaven, but the Discovery Channel pulled an about-face and booked the series for yet another season.

Subtitled “Senior vs. Junior,” the new installments begin Monday, April 25, and will feature father-son build-offs aimed at finding out, “Who’s the better builder,” we’re told in a 30-second promo for the show. Other principals in the Great Second Coming of the Chopper have gone subterranean – Jesse James and his wandering willie shuffled off to Texas after West Coast Choppers went belly-up; Billy Lane of Chopper’s Inc. fame sits moldering in jail, as he will for the next four years, found guilty of killing a moped rider while driving drunk – but the Teutuls refuse to do the right thing and simply fade away.

Actually, the old man needs the work. Since splitting with son Paulie in 2008 and suing to recoup Junior’s 20-percent share of Orange County Choppers, it’s been a downhill ride for the 61-year-old. OCC’s massive new headquarters, a 100,000-square-foot, $12-million edifice opened with great fanfare just three years ago, is now reportedly in foreclosure. No wonder some of Senior’s extensive collection of hot-rods, muscle cars and classic British motorcycles have quietly been listed on eBay over the past six months.

Curiously, last month Teutul announced plans for a smaller, 25,000-square-foot operation right next door to the current OCC building. As reported by upstate New York’s Times Herald-Record, there are suspicions that Teutul plans to move into the new building and abandon the present headquarters to foreclosure. “To members of a local economic development agency being asked to provide tax breaks for the project, the proposal doesn’t pass the smell test,” wrote the newspaper.

The paper also noted that the Teutuls have a track record of dodgy behavior with business creditors. In 2005 a bankruptcy trustee filed a complaint suggesting that the family had transferred assets from their O.C. Iron Works steel-fabrication operation to a similar business before filing for bankruptcy on the original company. The complaint was settled for $550,000.

Nor is the bike shop’s foreclosure Senior’s only newsworthy misstep. This past February his name was made public in connection with an illegal drug-distribution investigation. A weightlifting aficionado seen almost constantly in sleeveless shirts that show off his bulging, tatted-up biceps, Teutul apparently purchased almost $52,000 worth of steroids and human growth hormone between 2003-06 from a company called Powermedica. The man who wrote the prescriptions, a dentist with a previously revoked license, was just sentenced to four years’ imprisonment.

Who knew? One of cable television’s longest-running series, fueled by ‘roid rage?

  • http://mdynamic.tumblr.com Mdynamic

    Sweet baby Jesus…

  • Denzel

    I try to be optimistic… really I do… then I skim past an episode of this dreck, note they’re customizing some rad bike for FedEx, or Maytag, or worse yet, doing a little miltary pandering, and wonder that there are enough people who like this shit to keep it going.

    For the record: (i) I’m down with the miltary, and (ii) down with HFL for being an antidote, and (iii) will give the Teutuls some props for having perfected the Charlie’s Angels pose :-)

  • jonoabq

    please make them just go away.

  • http://www.thisblueheaven.com Mark D

    I guess riding hard tails is much more comfortable when you don’t have to worry about crushing your pea-sized nuts.

    • JP


  • Thom

    Uggh !

    More Episodes of ” Ol Yeller & Little Yeller ” to glom up the channels and constantly having to avoid .

  • http://www.firstgenerationmotors.blogspot.com Emmet

    This is why I don’t tell people about how I like motorcycles. ‘Oh, you mean like OCC?’


  • http://bloodfalcons.blogspot.com motoguru

    Another reason I’m happy I don’t have cable.

    • Noah


  • Gene

    OCC in foreclosure? West Coast Choppers went belly-up? Senior finally getting smacked for his ‘roids? Well, at least there’s a couple bright spots.

    Seriously though, Discovery brought this back as it’s probably the last season of “Deadliest Catch” because I think the captains are tired of the crap. Their other hit show “Mythbusters” is EXPENSIVE to film, and since it doesn’t pander to lowest-common-denominator morons, that makes the suits nervous.

    • Michael

      Mythbusters was just fine back in it’s low budget days. If it costs too much it’s because Discovery decided to make it way too much about huge stunts and ridiculous explosions. (needed for science, of course.)

      I was watching a new episode the other day and thinking “How much does this thing cost to make?”

      Anyway, Mythbusters will be a re-run cash cow long after OCC is long gone. Discovery will be OK.

  • Dumptruckfoxtrot


  • Terry

    Co-worker of mine was super-excited that he could get every episode via Netflix on his phone. “I love just watching them FABRICATE these bikes into PIECES OF ROLLING ART!” He seemed surprised when I told him it bores me to death… So many people do interesting things with bikes, and they never get a TV show, yet these douchebags become purveyors of high art because the public lacks any sort of real standards.

    The dead-horse beating tells me that the geniuses in charge of television really don’t have anything better to offer, and that’s kind of depressing.

  • Dennis

    I get where these guys are coming from. Motorcycles bore them, so they are devoted to other things. Wacky business deals and family drama. Clothes. Music. TV. Anything but motorcycles.

    Me, I’m into motorcycles. But I realize bikes are not everybody’s cup of tea. The Teutuls just need to eliminate all motorcycles and motorcycle references from their show and then they’ll finally have something they can feel good about.

    • Barry

      I thought they already did that(removed all motorcycle references). Choppers aren’t motorcycles, at least not the “Choppers” they build.

  • Brant

    You can beat a dead horse, but you can’t make him drink.

  • ike6116

    Choppers suck.

  • Adrian

    Please make them go away.

  • Core

    IS this show the reason we have so many cruiser type bikes in the US?

    Anyways… I’ve watched a few eps.. its nothing great. They seem to always be looking for one another.

    They should just name the show:

    American Chopper: Lost family members.

    • Denzel


  • KLR_Pilot

    why? WHY?? There are so many better motorcycle-related shows to air. But then again this show is not for motorcycle enthusiasts.

  • Sean Smith

    I love it every time they say “We’re gonna do something new and original with this build.”

  • zato1414

    The Old Man can build a great “Old School” machine, Junior is a prima donna douche, and Mikie is a welfare beggar. Just shoot me, I can’t take any more.

  • matt

    I don’t have anything nice to say. This isn’t a show about motorcycles, it’s a show about disfunctional people crashing into each other and yelling a lot. This could, and should be placed in a hair salon or muffler shop. Except, if this show was taking place in a muffler shop, there would be less shiny painted stuff to look at. That’s why the hair salon would be a better choice.

  • Dani Peral

    Making a good TV show about motorbikes is very easy. I wonder why nobody has done it yet:

    1. Get Top Gear
    2. Put bikes instead of cars

    It would also be way cheaper than using cars…

    I know people who likes American Chopper, they are all people who doesnt know even a bit about motorbikes. I guess that if you know nothing about bikes, for you there are only 2 kinds of bikes…sportsbikes, those guys that play with their (and yours) lives around your car on the highways at huge speeds, and choppers, those guys who build nice looking things in a tv show.

    They dont care about handling or ergonomics because they dont know anything about bikes.

    • http://www.lgdm.fr stempere

      I have to agree on your three steps program. I love Top Gear, and i don’t even have a car license (and don’t care much for them).

    • RocketSled

      Hard part being: finding a force of nature like Jeremy Clarkson, who is greater than the sum of his flabby, racist, opinionated, parts.

      • boxofbits

        Ha! So true.

  • Brook

    ‘roids explains it. I saw an episode for the first time in a couple of years the other day. My first thought about the show was how deflated and saggy senior’s guns looked. He must have cleaned up.

  • Cheese302

    omg, thats terrible. also always found it funny that jesse james in all of his shows made a couple references to the fact that his favorite bike to ride was his mildly customized sport bike. it even had a stock length swing arm.

  • insomnia

    …and people ask me if I miss New York…

  • http://www.smartcycleshopper.com/author/doug-dalsing/ DougD

    A sub-plot in this turd-novel is the degeneration of a cable channel that, supposedly, one should be able to watch and actually learn something useful. The same goes for History Channel.

    • aristurtle

      TV programming reflects the desires of the audience: if the audience doesn’t want to learn anything, the programming will oblige them so the station can keep its ratings up. Garbage in, garbage out.

      • Gene

        Not true… Discovery used to have a lot of good interesting science content, and most of it is gone now. I used to watch Wings religiously until it became the Military Channel. I used to watch Sci-Fi until it became siffy or whatever and dropped all the good shows. WTF is Firefly doing on Science Channel? I love it, but it is not science. History is about the only channel that’s still on-target, and I’m sure that’s going tits-up soon too. And of course there’s the joke “I’m old enough to remember when MTV showed music videos”

        • HammSammich

          I vaguely recall an era when SpeedTV was a channel where you could watch all kinds of motorsports – F1, MotoGP, Hydroplane races, even some pretty obscure stuff. They filled in their motorsports coverage with thoughtful documentaries and perspective peices about motorsports, racing and automotive history. Now if they’re not actually broadcasting a NASCAR race, they are talking about NASCAR, with an occasional nod to the Barrett Jackson Auction. If you’ve got a DVR you can usually catch WTCC and F1, but that’s about it. It’s no wonder that I don’t watch broadcast/cable TV anymore…only online streaming…

      • Denzel

        Travel Channel = Gluttony Channel

  • NickP


    I’ve never seen a single minute of this show, but whenever I show up somewhere with a helmet and jacket someone has to say “ZOMG I love OCC do you like teh chopperz?”
    Of the people I know who watch that show, none of them actually ride a bike. They just like watching the fights apparently.

    And I too would love a 2-wheeled Top Gear. Top Gear is the best show on television, it’s a real shame Jeremy Clarkson is such a bike hater. You know Hammond and May would test bikes on the show if they were allowed.

  • Michael

    The saddest part is Junior is a really fucking talented metalworker.

    Like Jesse James and Indian Larry, and NOT Billy Lane, if you can strip away the lifestyle bullshit and the unfortunate fact that they are turning out choppers, there’s seem real art amid the bullshit.

    • Esteban

      agreed 300%

    • jason

      I have seen tons of their shows and they makke the most unsafe bikes I’ve ever seen. Nothing says precision like beating in a part with a rubber mallet because it doesn’t quite fit, or not taking into account that powder coating actually has thickness to it! Who knew? They made overpriced, unridable, mostly illegal (as far as minimum safety equipment for NY) bikes. Because the guy can weld doesn’t make him any better than they guys I know who make a living at it. They started with off the shelf pre-made frames, gas tanks and fenders all of the time. To say that is “custom” for the price (over $120000!) is retarded. Just go off into the woods and shoot each other already. I’m glad I’m in western NY.

  • rubber_side_up

    you mean we get to see the same crap get built over and over again with a new paint job?! I can’t wait!

  • slowtire

    They’re bitching at each other all the way to the bank.


    i have to believe the whole Sr vs Jr thing has always been a scripted rivalry. even the lawsuits. its about entertainment, not bikes.

  • Tim

    Unrelated but I watched a Daytona Bike Week show on Travel Channel last night. I naively hoped for at least SOME racing, vendor coverage, actual motorcycling. Of course what I got was 2 hrs of pirates, drunks, Nekkid bikers (male AND female), and general drunken stupidity. Oh and 15 minutes watching a pierced young lady get her 40 th tattoo. And Cole slaw wrestling. All makes and styles of bikes, but all the same class of people. I always THOUGHT I wanted to go to DBW, but I AM obviously not up to it. SIGH

  • David Edwards

    Have to admit that, at its best, “American Chopper” was one of my guilty pleasures–and, besides, Mrs. Paulie packs a tight pair of blue jeans better than anyone this side of a country music video…

    But it’s been a messy downhill slide for series since Junior was fired in ’08. All you have to do is look at the sponsors for the bike builds. Where before there was the Statue of Liberty bike, plated with actual copper remnants from the monument, last season we had the Hair Club for Men bike and the Carolina Carport Company bike. Please…

  • Corey

    But what will become of the fat retarded one they tote around for the cameras? Back in the cage you!

  • Kit

    Just shoot them. Please?

  • Brad

    “whats wrong with this picture”

    So many things I can’t begin….

    Sigh. The current “reality” TV thing has to end soon….right?

  • http://www.postpixel.com.au mugget

    Hahaha “fuelled by ‘roid rage”.

    Well I was gonna say – a man has gotta work – ‘roids ain’t cheap!