Margera in 2017
Brandon Cole Margera
September 28, 1979
|Known for||Co-star of Jackass; Viva La Bam|
(m. 2007; div. 2012)
|Partner(s)||Jennifer Rivell (1998–2005)|
|Relatives||Jess Margera (brother)|
Vincent Margera (uncle)
Brandon Cole "Bam" Margera (// mar-JAIR-ə; born September 28, 1979) is an American skateboarder, stunt performer, television personality, and filmmaker. He came to prominence in the early 2000s as one of the stars of the MTV reality stunt show Jackass. He also created the Jackass spin-off shows Viva La Bam and Bam's Unholy Union and co-wrote and directed his films Haggard and Minghags.
Margera was born in West Chester, Pennsylvania, the son of April (née Cole) and Phil Margera. He is the younger brother of Jess Margera and nephew of Vincent "Don Vito" Margera. His grandfather nicknamed him "Bam Bam" at the age of three after noticing his habit of purposely running into walls; over time, that nickname was shortened to "Bam" by his schoolmates. He attended West Chester East High School and cites his friendship with Chris Raab as his only reason for attending high school. He dropped out after finishing his junior year, citing Raab's expulsion as his motive. Margera later received his GED.
Television and film
Margera began shooting videos of himself and his friends skateboarding and doing stunts, which eventually turned into the CKY video series. He independently released CKY. CKY2K, CKY3 and CKY4 have also been released. CKY stands for "Camp Kill Yourself", a name shared with his brother Jess Margera's band, CKY, which was named as a tribute to the film Sleepaway Camp. These early videos feature many of Margera's friends, including Ryan Dunn, Brandon DiCamillo, Rake Yohn, Chris Raab, and Brandon Novak, who form a loose collective known as the CKY Crew. The video and band projects are heavily interlinked.
Following CKY's success, former Big Brother editor Jeff Tremaine noticed Margera's videos and drafted him into the team that would eventually become MTV's Jackass. Margera and Ryan Dunn became mainstays of the cast while other CKY crew members played supporting roles to various degrees. Margera went on to appear in Jackass: The Movie, Jackass Number Two, Jackass 3D and Jackass 3.5. Several skits in the first Jackass movie were CKY-style pieces filmed in and around West Chester, but similar scenes in the second movie were removed after the arrest of Margera's uncle Vincent Margera on suspicion of inappropriately touching two minors.
In 2003, Margera played himself in the movie Grind, which portrays four young men following a professional skateboarder from Chicago to California. The film contains numerous cameos by Jackass members, as well as many professional skateboarders and other celebrities. Upon release, it was met with generally unfavorable reviews from critics, but was rated much higher by the general public.
After Jackass, Margera was given his own MTV series, Viva La Bam, which ran for five seasons from 2003 to 2005. The show followed Margera and his crew as they performed various stunts and missions. The show was primarily filmed in West Chester but also visited New Orleans, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Brazil, Finland, Mexico, Amsterdam, and Transylvania. In addition to the regular series, special episodes have included "Viva La Spring Break" and a "lost" episode included on the Viva La Bands CD.
In 2007, Margera was engaged and the wedding was filmed for Bam's Unholy Union as a follow-up to Viva la Bam. The show follows Margera, his then fiancée Missy Rothstein and their friends in the lead-up to their wedding. In 2008, Margera had a "prominent, non-sex role" in a pornographic film by Gina Lynn, The Fantasstic Whores 4, with Brandon Novak. In 2009, Margera appeared on Nitro Circus.
Margera appears with Dunn and skateboarder Tim O'Connor on Bam's World Domination, a half-hour Spike TV program that debuted on October 13, 2010. The first episode showcased Margera and his friends' attempt to conquer an obstacle course race in the Tough Guy Competition, held in Staffordshire, England.
In the beginning of his career, during 1997 and 1998, Margera was sponsored by Toy Machine Skateboards. From 2001, Margera was a member of Team Element, the demonstration team for Element Skateboards.
As of 2016, Margera is no longer on the team. He was also at various times sponsored by Speed Metal Bearings, Adio Footwear, Electric Sunglasses, Volcom, Landspeed Wheels, Destroyer Trucks, Destructo Trucks, and Fairman's Skateshop.
As of 2017, Margera is without any major sponsorships and has effectively retired from professional skateboarding. He did return to skating casually, resulting in a renewed partnership with Element Skateboards to celebrate the brand's 25th anniversary by rereleasing a series of ten of his most memorable deck designs. The boards were released weekly between September 6 and November 8, 2017. Each deck is signed by Margera and limited to 50 units.
Margera has written, produced and starred in three independent films. He co-wrote, directed and starred in Haggard (2003), an independent film based on real events in the life of his friend Ryan Dunn. Dunn played himself as the main character while Margera played "Valo", a character based on himself and elements of HIM singer and friend Ville Valo.
Margera also directed Minghags, formerly titled Kiss a Good Man's Ass. The film is a loose sequel to Haggard and features the "garbage juicer" invention from that film. Filming started April 5, 2007. On an episode of Radio Bam, Margera said that they were trying to make the movie PG-13 rated, but with the amount of swearing and a shot of nudity, an R rating could not be avoided. The first viewing of the rough version of the film was on August 7, 2007, at Sikes Hall. The movie was released straight to DVD in December 2008.
Also in December 2008, Margera released a Christmas-themed movie, Bam Margera Presents: Where the#$&% Is Santa?. The movie is about Bam and his friends going to the Arctic Circle in Finland on a quest to find Santa Claus. The film features Ville Valo from HIM, the Dudesons, Hanoi Rocks, and Mark the Bagger.
Radio Bam and music
Margera began a weekly Sirius Satellite Radio show on Sirius channel 28 Faction on November 24, 2004, called Radio Bam. The show initially featured Margera and his friends from the CKY and Jackass crews. Later shows featured less of the two crews and more of Margera's newer friends.
In 2005, Margera started a music label, Filthy Note Records, and has directed music videos for Clutch, Turbonegro, Viking Skull, Vains of Jenna and several for CKY. He also directed seven music videos, "Buried Alive by Love", "The Sacrament", "And Love Said No", and "Solitary Man", for the Finnish band HIM, and three for The 69 Eyes, "Lost Boys", "Dead Girls are Easy" and "Dead N Gone". He also plays the keyboard in a novelty band called Gnarkill along with Brandon DiCamillo, Jess Margera, Rich Vose and Matt Cole.
Margera's band, Fuckface Unstoppable, was written about in 2013 on the Buddyhead website and the article questions the seriousness of the band ("a joke band(?)"). The band featured Margera, his brother, his girlfriend and Brandon Novak. Chad Ginsburg, from CKY, was the band's guitarist before quitting. The band released their debut album titled FFU on May 27, 2014, through Artery Records. A deluxe edition of the album featuring five live performances at Zombie Hut and a bonus track was released on August 28, 2015, through Casual Madness.
The Evesdroppers, a new band featuring Bam, Jess, Nikki, Mike Nappi, and Chad I Ginsburg, released a self-titled album on September 28, 2016 through Casual Madness.
In January 2015, Margera announced that he had been working on an autobiographical documentary film which he hoped to premiere in the near future. On April 9, the first trailer for the film, titled I Need Time to Stay Useless, was released to YouTube and other media outlets. The film will deal primarily with Margera's life after the death of his close friend and co-star, Ryan Dunn, who died in a car crash in 2011. According to Margera the film has been three years in the making, and will give viewers a glimpse into his childhood, career and rise to fame, while focusing mainly on his recovery from the death of Dunn. Musician Brent Hinds of the band Mastodon will play Dunn in what has been described as "dramatic fantasy interludes" that ties the film together while also re-enacting what Margera considers his "darkest moments" after Dunn's death.
During a Facebook Q&A on December 7, 2015, Margera stated that the name of the film would change from I Need Time to Stay Useless to Earth Rocker and that it would be released February 2016. In the 2017 season premier of Vice's Epicly Later'd, Margera stated that after working on the film for four years straight, sometimes for weeks at a time, he had reached the point where he had had enough of doing so. Margera stated that he had approximately eleven terabytes worth of video footage and that editing it down into a two-hour film was impossible. When asked if the project was on pause for the moment, he responded that it was.
Margera has been animated as a character in the Tony Hawk video game franchise, specifically Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4, Tony Hawk's Underground, Tony Hawk's Underground 2, Tony Hawk's American Wasteland, Tony Hawk's Project 8 and Tony Hawk's Proving Ground. He also voiced a character in the video game Scarface: The World Is Yours. He made cameo appearances in the movies Grind and Destroying America.
In late September 2008, Margera opened a bar/theater called "The Note", in his hometown of West Chester, Pennsylvania. Serious restrictions from West Chester Borough Council caused a multitude of issues for Margera and the bar, and The Note closed its doors in January 2014.
In late 2009, Margera released a book containing private writings and pictures titled Serious as Dog Dirt.
In 2020, Margera started appearing in YouTube videos including a viral water balloon fight video with model Jeb Carty.
Margera was engaged to Jenn Rivell, a divorced single mother. Rivell played a prominent part in several of his projects and the couple appeared to be cohabiting in various episodes of Viva La Bam. Their seven-year relationship ended in 2005. In November 2006, Margera filed for "Protection from Abuse" from Rivell after she allegedly broke into his house.
In 2006, Margera became engaged to childhood friend Melissa "Missy" Rothstein. The events leading up to their wedding (with about 350 friends and family in attendance) on February 3, 2007, in downtown Philadelphia, were chronicled on the MTV series Bam's Unholy Union. The couple's honeymoon was in Dubai. In 2008, during an appearance on LA Ink, Margera told Kat Von D about $13,000 in damages that occurred during his wedding celebration, explaining, "I was kind of ready for it, though. I was like, 'I'm inviting the Jackass crew. If something doesn't get broken then that's not right.'"
In July 2009, Margera was taken to hospital by paramedics and state troopers after Missy called 911 following a four-day alcohol binge. In regard to the drinking binge, Margera said, "I may get a divorce... booze helps." In October 2010, Margera told Howard Stern that he and Missy were living in separate cities, they meet once a week, and that Missy knew that he had girlfriends. The couple divorced in November 2012.
On October 5, 2013, Margera married Nicole Boyd in Reykjavík, Iceland. On June 19, 2017, Margera announced that Boyd was pregnant with the couple's first child. On September 7, 2017, it was announced that the child, a boy, would be named Phoenix Wolf. Margera's son was born on December 23, 2017.
Name, residence, and legal troubles
In an October 24, 2007 interview with the Cleveland Free Times, Margera stated that although he had completed paperwork that would legally change his first name to Bam, he was "still debating" filing it after a conversation with his father.
Margera owns two houses in the West Chester, Pennsylvania area, his present residence and his former home, known as Castle Bam, which he bought in 2004. Castle Bam is a large house in Pocopson Township, Pennsylvania that was often featured on Viva La Bam. The house has a gothic theme, a skatepark in the driveway, and is situated on 14 acres (5.7 hectares) of land. In January 2007, Margera built a ramp in the backyard which caused trouble with the township. In 2018, April Margera began renovating the home in order for it to be used for short-term rentals via Airbnb. Margera has made it known that the home will not look the way it did on Viva La Bam. Rentals of the home were expected to be made available in 2018.
On June 12, 2010, Margera was allegedly attacked with a baseball bat outside of his bar, The Note. Margera spent the night at Crozer-Chester Medical Center, where he was treated for head injuries. According to the alleged assailant, Elizabeth Ray, it was because Margera allegedly called her a "nigger". Ray denies attacking Margera. Margera denies having said the word, claiming "I called her a crazy bitch and an idiot, but I definitely didn't use the n-word".
In July 2013, Margera was arrested at Keflavik Airport in Iceland, having left the country without paying damages following a rental car dispute the year before. Margera had rented a Toyota Land Cruiser during a holiday in Iceland in 2012, which he had returned in "terrible shape" five days later, but left the country before paying for the damages. Margera was released later the same day after paying the outstanding fees, and admitted in an interview that he had trashed the car in a drunken stupor.
Health and alcoholism
Margera is an alcoholic, with a history of alcohol abuse since his twenties. He was frequently seen drinking and/or intoxicated on-camera in Viva La Bam and in behind-the-scenes footage from the Jackass films. In July 2009, Margera was taken to the hospital by paramedics and state troopers after a four-day alcohol binge. His drinking habits had worsened after his previous shows ended in 2007. In December 2009, he entered rehab for the first time after an intervention from his friends and family but did not complete the program and left after only four days. Following the death of Ryan Dunn in 2011, his drinking intensified even further. By his own accounts, Margera considers 2012 as the year he lost control of his drinking, after bone spurs forced him to put skating on hold, and he began binge drinking "to kill the boredom".
In 2015, Margera entered rehab again for alcoholism, but left shortly after without finishing the program. Later that year he took part in Family Therapy with Dr. Jenn on VH1 with his mother, after which he remained sober for several months. In an interview with People magazine the following year, Margera opened up about his mental health issues, including anxiety and eating disorders, and revealed how his unhealthy lifestyle had forced him to relearn skating after five years, and also left him overweight. In late 2016, he relocated to Spain with his family to focus on his skating career, but moved back to Pennsylvania in 2017, before his son was born. In a 90-minute interview with YouTube-series The Nine Club recorded and released in November 2017, Margera discussed his health issues and alcoholism, claiming that he had been "mostly sober" since 2015.
In January 2018, Margera entered rehab for the third time after a DUI, and remained sober for seven months. Later that year, he relapsed after being robbed at gunpoint during a holiday in Colombia. In January 2019, one year after his previous attempt, Margera entered rehab for the fourth time, but left after ten days, stating that he "didn't belong there", and was planning on beating his alcoholism on his own. In March 2019, TMZ released a video showing Margera screaming at and threatening his manager at West Side Comedy Club in New York City. Additionally, Margera made Instagram posts in which he insulted his own wife and damaged his own home, leading to friends and family members coming together to have Margera committed to a mental health treatment facility. Margera was released from treatment and returned home after one week.
On August 3, 2019, he was removed from a commercial airline flight following an altercation with an airport police officer who told him he was too drunk to fly. The following day, Margera posted a chain of videos on his Instagram account, publicly pleading for Dr. Phil's help. He directed a lengthy tirade towards his mother April Margera, wife Nikki Margera, and childhood friend Brandon Novak, candidly stating his relationship with his family is broken. Dr. Phil reciprocated Margera's pleas the next morning, referring him to a treatment center following a one-on-one session.
|2002||Jackass: The Movie||Himself||Writer|
|2003||Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle||Irish Dock Worker||Cameo|
|2003||Haggard: The Movie||Valo||Writer, director, executive producer|
|2006||Jackass Number Two||Himself||Co-producer|
|2006||The Dudesons Movie||Himself|
|2008||Bam Margera Presents: Where the ♯$&% Is Santa?||Himself||Writer, director, producer, executive producer|
|2008||The Fantasstic Whores 4||Himself||Cameo|
|2009||Minghags: The Movie||Lenny||Writer, director, executive producer|
|2017||Dumb: The Story of Big Brother Magazine||Himself||Documentary|
|2003–2006||Viva La Bam||Himself||Co-creator, executive producer|
|2006–2009||The Dudesons||Himself||2 episodes|
|2007||Bam's Unholy Union||Himself||Co-creator, executive producer|
|2008||Jackassworld.com: 24 Hour Takeover||Himself||TV special|
|2009||Nitro Circus||Himself||3 episodes|
|2010||Bam's World Domination||Himself||Co-creator, director, executive producer|
|2011||A Tribute to Ryan Dunn||Himself||TV special|
|2012||Loiter Squad||Himself||Guest star|
|2014||Bam's Bad Ass Game Show||Himself||Co-creator, executive producer|
|2014||CKY: The Greatest Hits||Himself||TV special|
|2016||Family Therapy with Dr. Jenn||Himself|
|2018||King of the Road||Himself|
|2019||Dr. Phil (talk show)||Himself|
DVDs and videos
|1998||Toy Machine: Jump Off a Building||Himself|
|1999||Landspeed presents: CKY||Himself|
|2001||Hook-Ups Presents: Destroying America||Himself|
|2002||Adio: One Step Beyond||Himself|
|2002||CKY4: The Latest & Greatest||Himself|
|2005||Element: Elementality Vol.1||Himself|
|2007||Tony Hawk's Secret Skatepark Tour 3||Himself|
|2008||Element Bam's or Bust!: The Adventure Begins||Himself|
|2017||Element: Welcome Back Bam||Himself|
|2001||Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3||Himself|
|2002||Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4||Himself|
|2003||Tony Hawk's Underground||Himself|
|2004||Tony Hawk's Underground 2||Himself|
|2005||Tony Hawk's American Wasteland||Himself|
|2006||Tony Hawk's Project 8||Himself|
|2006||Scarface: The World Is Yours||Liquor Store Owner||Voice|
|2007||Tony Hawk's Proving Ground||Himself|
- With CKY
- Volume 2 (1999)
- With Gnarkill
- With Fuckface Unstoppable
- Fuckface Unstoppable (2014)
- With the Evesdroppers
- The Evesdroppers (2016)
- "Toy Machine Bam Ad". Skately. 1997. Archived from the original on April 1, 2019. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
- Niesel, Jeff. "Soundcheck: Bam Margera: Jackass/international Celebrity". Archived from the original on October 30, 2007. Retrieved October 24, 2006.
- Nieratko, Chris. "Big Bro Interview". Retrieved August 20, 2006.
- "Raising a Jackass". Philadelphia Magazine. May 15, 2006. Retrieved October 21, 2018.
- "Bam Margera, 21, making the leap to fame". Tribune News Service. July 19, 2001. Archived from the original on January 3, 2013. Retrieved September 1, 2009.
- "Grind". Metacritic.com. Retrieved January 4, 2018.
- Nordyke, Kimberly (December 14, 2006). ""MTV makes room for Margera", The Hollywood Reporter, 2006-12-14". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on January 4, 2007.
- "The Fantasstic Whores 4". AVN. 2009. Archived from the original on October 3, 2009. Retrieved September 1, 2009.
- "Did Bam OD, or was he thirsty?". The Philadelphia Inquirer. July 21, 2009. Archived from the original on July 24, 2009. Retrieved July 24, 2009.
- Jackass 3D' box office boom, New York Daily News, October 18, 2010
- "To Daniels, a 'Precious' film". The Philadelphia Inquirer. October 20, 2009. Archived from the original on October 22, 2009. Retrieved September 1, 2009.
- "Family Therapy With Dr. Jenn TV Series Cast Members - VH1".
- "Team Element: Bam Margera". Element Skateboards. 2009. Retrieved October 24, 2009.
- "Team". Element Skateboards. 2016. Retrieved October 1, 2016.
- "Bam Margera Volcom Ad". Skately. 1999. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
- "Bam Margera Landspeed Ad". Skately. 1999. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
- "Bam Margera Destroyer Ad". Skately. 2000. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
- Ahlroth, Jussi. "HIM: the metamorphoses of Ville Valo". HELSINGIN SANOMAT. Archived from the original on July 12, 2008. Retrieved August 22, 2008.
- "Radio Bam". Radio Bam. Episode 109. February 26, 2007.
- Epstein, Daniel Robert. "Bam Margera Interview". UnderGroundOnline. Archived from the original on August 22, 2006. Retrieved August 20, 2006.
- April 2, 2007 episode of Radio Bam on Sirius 28 Faction.
- "Radio Bam". Radio Bam. Episode 114. April 2, 2007.
- IMDb.com[permanent dead link].
- "Radio Bam". Radio Bam. Episode 127. July 30, 2007.
- "Official Bam Margera Presents: Where the #$&% Is Santa?". bammargeradvd.com. 2009. Archived from the original on July 31, 2009. Retrieved August 7, 2009.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on April 1, 2019. Retrieved August 6, 2018.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Dan Ozzi (April 26, 2013). "Bam Margera's Joke Band(?) Fuckface Unstoppable". Buddyhead. Buddyhead. Retrieved July 23, 2014.
- http://www.sickchirpse.com/bam-margera-documentary/ timw_brap, sickchirpse, 11-04-15
- "Mastodon's Brent Hinds Is Playing Jackass' Ryan Dunn In A Bam Margera Movie". January 12, 2015.
- "Bam Margera - Timeline - Facebook".
- Klein, Michael (December 17, 2007). "No joke: Prankster wants to open hometown theater". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Archived from the original on December 25, 2007. Retrieved January 16, 2007.
- Gerrard, Jeremy (January 13, 2014). "The Note in West Chester to close". Daily Local News. Retrieved September 9, 2016.
- "Serious as Dog Dirt". Simon & Schuster. December 17, 2009. Archived from the original on April 12, 2010. Retrieved April 26, 2010.
- "The Story Behind The Viral Video Of The World's Most Epic Waterfight Between Bam Margera and Jeb Carty". spacecoastdaily.com. Retrieved July 21, 2020.
- Fanelli, Brian (November 4, 2006). "Margera files for protection". Daily Local News. http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=17421112&BRD=1671&PAG=461&dept_id=17782&rfi=6 archive.org link
- "Bam in the slammer," Philadelphia Daily News, March 7, 2006 link
- DFTFamily (June 10, 2009). "Bam Margera LA Ink" (Video upload). YouTube. Google, Inc. Retrieved August 24, 2013.
- $13,000 Worth of damage at his wedding – Bam Scape
- "Bam Margera leaves hospital after being 'dehydrated' from four-day bender". New York Daily News. July 21, 2009. Retrieved July 24, 2009.
- YouTube (October 18, 2010). "Bam Margera interview". Retrieved October 23, 2010.
- The Howard Stern Show (September 19, 2006). "Bam Margera interview". Archived from the original on December 2, 2010. Retrieved October 23, 2010.
- "Bam Margera divorced". Toronto Sun. November 3, 2012.
- "Bam Margera Marries Nicole Boyd in Iceland—Watch Now!".
- Kimble, Lindsay (September 7, 2017). "Bam Margera Reveals What He'll Name His Son - and Why He Has 'Mixed Feelings' About Teaching Him Jackass Stunts". People.com. Retrieved September 8, 2017.
- Aciz Stanton, Leanne (December 23, 2017). "Bam Margera and Wife Nicole Boyd Welcome Their First Child: Photos". usmagazine.com. Retrieved December 23, 2017.
- "Dan Gross: Margera at the Murano". Philadelphia Daily News. August 5, 2009. Retrieved August 7, 2009.
- "Radio Bam". Radio Bam. Episode 128. August 6, 2007.
- "Bam Margera's West Chester home, 'Castle Bam,' is going on Airbnb". April 10, 2018. Retrieved June 19, 2018.
- "Dan Gross: Police: Woman hit 'Jackass' star Bam Margera with bat". Philadelphia Daily News. June 14, 2010. Archived from the original on June 17, 2010. Retrieved June 17, 2010.
- Gross, Dan (June 22, 2010). "Bam Margera denies using racial slur, will testify against alleged attacker". Philly.com. Retrieved November 6, 2010.
- In several social media posts, such as the eight-page letter to his fans in January 2019, Margera claims his alcoholism escalated "at age 27" and became a problem "at age 33".
- "Bam Margera Looks Back at His Viral Video Roots on MTV's 'CKY: The Greatest Hits' (Video)". October 28, 2014.
- "Family Therapy With Dr. Jenn TV Series Cast Members | VH1". VH1. Retrieved May 7, 2016.
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