Big Brother (magazine)

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Big Brother
EditorDave Carnie
Chris Nieratko
Staff writersSean Cliver
Earl Parker
Jeff Tremaine
Chris Pontius
Marc McKee
PhotographerRick Kosick
CategoriesSkateboarding magazine
PublisherLarry Flynt
FounderSteve Rocco
Final issue2004
CountryUnited States

Big Brother was a skateboarding magazine founded by Steve Rocco in 1992,[1][2] which was notable for ushering in street skating and the sub-culture of skateboarding. Big Brother ceased publication in 2004.[2]

No subject was taboo. Early articles featured step by step ways to commit suicide and rip-off schemes such as how to make a fake ID. They would often use odd gimmicks like printing the magazine in different sizes, packaging it in a cereal box, and throwing in items like trading cards and a cassette tape. Early writers were Sean Cliver, Earl Parker (Thomas Schmidt), Jeff Tremaine, Marc McKee, Mike Ballard, Pat Canale, and others.[3]

They also released a few videos, including "Shit", then "Number Two", with a few stunts and pranks, but the videos were mostly skateboarding-oriented.

A documentary on the magazine's history, Dumb: The Story of Big Brother Magazine premiered on Hulu on June 3, 2017. The documentary featured interviews with Bam Margera, Steve-O, Johnny Knoxville, Spike Jonze, Jeff Tremaine, and others who were involved in the magazine's creation.[4]


The magazine contained mostly articles about skateboarding,[1] as well as some nudity, stunts, pranks, and random ramblings from its staff. Its later days were characterized by the clever wordplay of editors Dave Carnie and Chris Nieratko.[5] The magazine was purchased by Larry Flynt in 1997. After Flynt began publishing the magazine, the nudity was toned down or scrapped altogether, though the vulgarity remained.

In 1998, Laura Schlessinger was in Beach Access, a Costa Mesa surf shop, with her son when she began perusing Big Brother. Schlessinger deemed the magazine to be "stealth pornography" and said so on her radio show. When Tom Moore, the owner of Beach Access, publicly denied that she found pornography in his store, Schlessinger sued Moore for lying and claimed that his denial had hurt her reputation.[6] When Schlessinger's case went to court, the judge said it was a frivolous lawsuit and dismissed it. Moore's $4M countersuit[7] against Schlessinger, lodged for hurting the reputation of his store (defamation), was allowed to stand.[8] The suit has since been settled, but terms of the settlement have not been revealed.[9] Behind the scenes and off the record, Moore's lawyers and friends claimed victory, indicating the settlement was "about the amount of a moderately priced Orange County home" (at the time, $650,000 to $2 million).[citation needed]

In one of the most bizarre episodes of the magazine's history, the subscriber list for Big Brother got mixed up with Taboo, one of Larry Flynt's hardcore magazines: Big Brother subscribers were sent pornography, and those who subscribed to Taboo got a skate magazine. This incident was parodied on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in which one of the band members was delivered an issue of Big Brother live on stage, suggesting that he subscribed to Taboo and received it in error.[10]

The magazine was unexpectedly dropped by Larry Flynt publications in February 2004.[11] In early 2008, it was announced on that Big Brother would be returning in a digital format.[12]

Volume 1 No. 1 of KingShit Magazine, based in Toronto, Ontario, was released in May 2009. Dave Carnie is the editor-at-large, and Chris Nieratko is a contributing editor.

Big Brother was also credited for the development of the television series Jackass, as Jeff Tremaine recalled in the Jackass episode "Where Are They Now?".

Big Brother videos[edit]


Year released: 1996

Number Two[edit]

Year released: 1998

  • Cover: Johnny Lee Countee in a Devo suit
  • Showed an obscure old school skateboarder (Johnny Lee Countee) skating in front of his house, the only area he ever skated at.
  • Showed Johnny Knoxville testing out self-defense equipment, including pepper spray, two types of stun guns and a small caliber pistol. This footage was the basis for the MTV reality series Jackass, though MTV omitted the last part of the segment that showed Knoxville shooting himself in the chest with a small handgun while wearing a kevlar vest.[13]


Year released: 1999

  • Cover: Editor Dave Carnie in a gold spandex suit and rollerblades; ("boob", when looked at in a mirror upside down, reads "poop").
  • Contained several skateboarding tours and also featured a Steve-O stunt section and editor Dave Carnie skateboarding in a gold spandex suit.[3]


Year released: 2001

  • Cover: photographer Rick Kosick in an adult diaper while tied to a cross
  • Showed the "Depends Olympics" and/or "Jesus Games," which involved the Big Brother staff getting drunk, wearing adult diapers, and participating in games. One of the games was the Jesus Race, where people race while heaving a large wooden cross on their backs.


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ a b
  4. ^ Wharton, David (June 4, 2017). "'Dumb: The Story of Big Brother Magazine' uncovers the wild scene that spawned 'Jackass'". The Daily Dot. Retrieved October 24, 2017.
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Dr. Laura Goes After Surf Shop For Porn". Archived from the original on January 16, 2009. Retrieved December 14, 2008.
  7. ^, Dr. Laura: Surf's Up
  8. ^ Judge Dismisses Dr. Laura Schlessinger Suit Against Beach Access Owner
  9. ^, Dr. Laura Makes Nice
  10. ^ "". Archived from the original on August 10, 2006. Retrieved August 5, 2006.
  11. ^ "Big Brother is Coming Back.. as a Book". Jenkem. January 29, 2016. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  12. ^ "". Archived from the original on March 30, 2008. Retrieved March 24, 2008.
  13. ^

External links[edit]