The power and
advantages that come with having your own national television show cannot be
Take, for example, the Teutul family. Before being discovered by the
Discovery Channel they were operating a motorcycle shop in Middletown, N.Y.,
down in Orange County. They were building custom motorcycles in what is
often referred to as "relative obscurity." Television changed that.
The Teutuls might not be household names, but they are household faces,
especially for those interested in motorcycles. The father and his two sons
are stars of "American Chopper," a 30-minute television show about building
unique motorcycles, and also about arguments amongst the people doing the
Right here I should point out that about 30 million people watch "American
Chopper" and that the Teutuls no longer toil in relative obscurity.
Another way of knowing when you are a hit is when T-shirts are offered for
sale. The Teutuls not only have their own line of T-shirts, they have hats,
key chains, wallets, belts, and bobble head dolls of themselves.
Paul Sr., the father, is the one with the walrus-like moustache and huge
arms. Paul Jr. has facial hair that's more in line with a Fu Manchu look.
Junior also has huge arms. Mikey has no facial hair, pudgy arms and long
hair. He acts and looks like he comes from a family other than the Teutuls.
I've watched several episodes of "American Chopper," but not because I'm
interested in motorcycles. My only contact ever with a motorcycle, actually
a scooter with a motor, came many years ago in the Virgin Islands, an
experience that now causes me to set off alarms at airports because of the
screws, bolts and wire in my right arm and shoulder.
The reason I was watching "American Chopper" was because I was waiting for
Paul Sr. to slap Paul Jr. upside the head. Truth be known, I was hoping Paul
Jr. would make a preemptive attack and throw a tool in the direction of Paul
Alas, I stopped watching "American Chopper" when it became clear to me that
words were the only things that were going to fly in that garage.
Which reminds me of a question. Besides smiling all the way to the bank,
what does Paul Sr. do? I've never seen him do anything in the garage except
walk around with a scowl, arms folded across his chest, occasionally
shouting insults and complaints as Paul Jr. does all the work and Mikey
acts, well, like Mikey.
I hope to ask those questions and others when the Teutuls come to Oneida
County, something I expect to happen sooner rather than later. I'm sure the
Teutuls will ride their bikes up to Griffiss one day soon.
The Teutuls are part of a new motorcycle parts company, SuperChrome, details
of which can be found elsewhere on this page. This is a big addition for
I just hope the Teutuls bring a Discovery Channel crew with them when they
come. We need to expose those 30 million viewers to Griffiss and what's
available at the Park, including that long runway.
If the Teutuls do that, I'll start watching their television show again.
Heck, I'll even buy their bobble head dolls.
Joe Kelly is the editor and publisher of The Boonville Herald & Adirondack
Tourist and THE GRIFF.