Brandon Cole "Bam" Margera (pronounced /mɑrˈdʒɛərə/ mar-JAIR-ə; born September 28, 1979) is an American professional skateboarder, television and radio personality, and daredevil. He released a series of videos under the CKY banner and came to prominence after being drafted into MTV's Jackass crew. He has since appeared in MTV's Viva La Bam and Bam's Unholy Union, all three Jackass movies, and Haggard and Minghags, both of which he co-wrote and directed.
Margera was born in West Chester, Pennsylvania, to Phil and April Margera. He is the younger brother of Jess Margera and nephew of Vincent Margera. His grandfather nicknamed him "Bam" at the age of three after his habit of running into walls. He attended East High School and cites friend Chris Raab as his only reason for attending high school, and dropped out after Raab got expelled for smearing feces on a locker. He later received his GED at the insistence of his parents.
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 reference to the film Sleepaway Camp. These early videos feature many of Margera's friends, including Ryan Dunn, Brandon DiCamillo, Rake Yohn, Chris Raab, Brandon Novak and others who form a loose collective known as the CKY Crew. CKY is also the name of a rock band featuring his brother Jess, and the history and relationship between the video and band projects is heavily interlinked.
Following the CKY success, former Big Brother editor Jeff Tremaine noticed Margera's videos and drafted him into the team which 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, and Jackass 3D. 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.
After Jackass, Margera was given his own MTV series entitled Viva La Bam, which ran for five seasons between 2003-2005. The show followed Margera and his crew as they performed various stunts and missions. The show was primarily filmed in West Chester, Pennsylvania 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.
Following the show, 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 Melissa Rothstein and their friends in the lead-up to their wedding. Also in 2008, Margera had a "prominent, non-sex role in" a pornographic film by Gina Lynn called The Fantasstic Whores 4 with Brandon Novak.
In 2009, Margera appeared on Nitro Circus.
In October 2010, Margera appeared in Jackass 3D and the movie broke box office records. He visited Europe doing press for the movie in late October.
Margera appears with Dunn and pro-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 outside London, England.
Since 2003, Margera has been a member of Team Element, the demonstration team for Element Skateboards. He is also sponsored by Speed Metal Bearings, Adio Footwear, and Fairman's Skateshop.
Margera has written, produced and starred in three independent films. Margera 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 will feature the "garbage juicer" invention from that film. This film was confirmed on Radio Bam and the front page of FilthyNote Records by Tim Glomb. Filming started April 5, 2007.On an episode of Radio Bam, Margera said that they are 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. They had its first viewing of the rough version of the film on August 7, 2007, at Sikes Hall.The movie was released in December 2008. The film was a straight-to-dvd release.
Subsequently, Margera released a Christmas-themed movie entitled Bam Margera Presents: Where the#$&% Is Santa? in December 2008. 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, Mark the Bagger, and more.
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 features Margera along with friends from the CKY and Jackass crews.
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 has been animated as a character in pro-skateboarder Tony Hawk's video games Pro Skaters 3 and 4, Underground and Underground 2, American Wasteland, Project 8 and 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.
In late 2009, Margera released a book containing private writings and pictures titled Serious as Dog Dirt.
Margera was previously engaged to Jenn Rivell, a divorced single mother six years his senior. Rivell played a prominent part in several of his projects and the couple appeared to be co-habiting in various episodes of Viva La Bam. However, the relationship ended in 2005. In November 2006, Margera filed for "Protection From Abuse" from Rivell after she allegedly broke into his house. He further alleged that Rivell had exhibited irrational and aggressive behavior towards him on several previous occasions including stealing several computers and vandalizing his house immediately after their initial breakup. The judge dismissed the allegations as "speculative" and "hearsay".Their break-up was attributed to rumors Margera had slept with pop star Jessica Simpson, which Margera initially denied before admitting they had been "intimate". Margera reasserted that nothing untoward had happened after he and Simpson met at an MTV Video Music Awards after-party in 2006.
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 LA Ink, Bam told Kat Von D about $13,000 in damages done to the hotel for his marriage, saying " 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 the hospital by paramedics and state troopers from his West Chester home after his wife Missy called 911 after a four day alcohol binge. On the drinking binge, Margera said "I may get a divorce . . . booze helps." In October 2010, Margera told Howard Stern he and Missy were living in separate cities, they meet once a week and Missy knows about his girlfriend in San Francisco and another in West Chester.
Name, residence and assault
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 currently resides in "Castle Bam", a large house in Wawaset, Pennsylvania. The house has a gothic theme, a skatepark in the driveway and is situated on 14 acres (57,000 m2) of land. In January 2007, Margera built a ramp in his backyard, near the old casino seen in Viva La Bam. The ramp itself caused trouble with the township.[ Margera's parents and select members of the CKY Crew lived in the house while shooting Viva La Bam, with Margera's uncle residing in a house on the property.
On Saturday, June 12, 2010, Margera was allegedly attacked with a baseball bat outside of his bar, The Note, in West Chester, Pennsylvania. Margera spent the night at Crozer-Chester Medical Center where he was treated for head injuries. According to Elizabeth Ray, the alleged assailant, Margera used "the n-word, with black in front of it".Ray denies attacking Margera. Margera, on the other hand, denies having said the words, claiming "I called her a crazy bitch and an idiot, but I definitely didn't use the n-word".
TV, film, and releases
Jackass (TV series) (MTV, 2000–2002)
Viva La Bam (MTV, 2003–2006)
Bam's Unholy Union (MTV, 2007)
Jackassworld.com: 24 Hour Takeover (MTV Special, 2008)
Nitro Circus (MTV, Two episodes in 2009)
Bam's World Domination (Spike, 2010)
Jackass: The Movie (2002)
Jackass Number Two (2006)
The Dudesons Movie (2006)
Jackass 2.5 (2007)
Bam Margera Presents: Where the ♯$&% Is Santa? (2008)
The Fantasstic Whores 4 (Gina Lynn Productions, 2008)
Jackass 3D (2010)
CKY video series: CKY, CKY2K, CKY3 and CKY4. (1999–2003)
Don't Try This At Home - The Steve-O Video Vol. 1 (2001)
Hook-Ups Presents: Destroying America (2001)
Don't Try This At Home - The Steve-O Video Vol. 2: The Tour (2002)
Bam Margera, Serious as Dog Dirt (MTV; November 17, 2009) ISBN 1439147736