Would you be able to build a monster machine out of a normal car in only seven days? Though that’s an accomplishment hardly achievable for even the most skilled mechanics and fabricators, it was a must for everyone who appeared in “Monster Garage”.
Modifying and transforming common cars into unbelievable but fantastic automobiles was a hard task in itself, but most teams did it even in spite of the limited budget and time. Nonetheless, the most difficult part was fulfilling the expectations of the show’s host Jesse James, who was never afraid to speak his mind or even destroy any failed projects.
Though the series was a success for as long as it aired, in 2006 it came to an abrupt end after only five seasons. So whatever happened to “Monster Garage”? Was it cancelled or was there another reason for its end? What happened to Jesse, and is it ever coming back? Keep with us to discover all!
- 1 Why Did “Monster Garage” End?
- 2 Is “Monster Garage” Back On TV
- 3 What Happened To West Coast Choppers?
- 4 What Happened To Jesse After Monster Garage Ended?
- 5 What’s Up With Jesse James’ Personal Life?
- 6 Was “Monster Garage” Real?
Why Did “Monster Garage” End?
It’s known that reality TV isn’t shy at all when it comes to revealing details of its stars’ personal lives, but there are other things which are meant to never be revealed.
“Monster Garage” kept a stable spot on Discovery’s program schedule for four years, before pulling its plug as its fifth season wrapped up. Of course, the suddenness of it all resulted in much speculation, including those which pointed out an insufficient budget, and Jesse James’ willing resignation as the cancellation’s causes.
While those rumors were left unconfirmed, and the downfall of the show’s ratings is the most accepted theory behind the cancellation, viewers also suspected there was something else. As it happens, in 2006, Jesse traveled to Iraq to film the documentary “Iraq Confidential With Jesse James”. His trip to the Middle East in the middle of a war wasn’t taken lightly by the network’s executives, who apparently ‘threatened to fire’ him, as Jesse told Daily News.
Though Jesse’s words could have possibly been a marketing strategy, “Monster Garage” officially ended only two months after the documentary aired, leaving us with only that one clue to solve the puzzle of the show’s end.
Is “Monster Garage” Back On TV
Behind any show’s cancellation, there’s always a fanbase hopeful of a reboot or a spin-off which could bring their favorite celebrities back on-screen. Though most of the time that doesn’t happen, “Monster Garage” is lucky to be the exception to this rule.
“Monster Garage” is indeed back on TV after almost 15 years off-air. The good news was released in early 2020 by a Jesse James evidently thrilled at getting his show back: ‘(I’m) excited to work hard and push the limits again. Showing people what you can do with teamwork, skills, and a refusal to quit’. Apparently, Jesse used the time he was away from the entertainment industry to improve his building skills, even joining a blacksmithing school in Israel.
The reboot was set to premiere on TLC only a couple of months after its announcement, but it was ultimately delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. January 2021 finally saw the show’s premiere on the online platform Discovery+, with an eight-episode-long season.
Though a renewal hasn’t been announced to date, seeing “Monster Garage” back on air, even if for a short time, surely makes its fans nostalgic.
What Happened To West Coast Choppers?
If you were a loyal viewer of “Monster Garage” back when it originally aired, you might remember Jesse James’ business West Coast Choppers, which was certainly the reason Jesse became so famous locally to the point of getting his own show because of it.
West Coast Choppers was founded in the early 1990s, when Jesse started designing and selling brand merchandise, showcasing the business’ iron cross logo. Though the shop’s main focus was expected to build motorcycles designed by Jesse himself, it was the clothes and tools that actually gained the business huge popularity. West Coast Chopper eventually became so renowned it could sell $150,000 bikes to celebrities and sport stars without much trouble, on top of gaining free advertising thanks to its clients’ popularity, and then “Monster Garage”.
Unfortunately, West Coast Choppers was shut down in 2010, when Jesse moved full-time to Texas to allegedly focus on his other businesses and spend more time with his family, though possible financial problems were speculated too. In 2013, Jesse reopened West Coast Choppers in Texas, which is still active to this day. The business often releases merchandise as in the old times, but it’s unknown if their entire profits still rely only on that.
What Happened To Jesse After Monster Garage Ended?
Following the end of “Monster Garage” in 2006, Jesse James appeared in a couple of TV specials, documentaries and short videos. However, his next big project came in 2009, by appearing in “The Celebrity Apprentice”, the spin-off of the internationally famous “Apprentice” show. In this new reality series, celebrities competed to raise funds for the charity organization they represented.
Although Jesse played for the Long Beach Education Foundation, he admitted to Daily News that his motivation to join the show was to apologize to his fellow contestant and Olympic champion Scott Hamilton, for stealing from him back in the 1980s. Apparently, Jesse’s lack of money at the time pushed him to steal and strip the man’s Porsche, for which he was never caught: ‘I was sorry. It was like a huge monkey off my back’, Jesse admitted after revealing the truth to Hamilton following the latter’s disqualification from the show.
Unfortunately, Jesse only got to raise $20,000 before his participation in “The Celebrity Apprentice” ended in the 12th task, as his inability to use old contacts in favor of his organization was made evident.
Jesse James Is A Dead Man
Jesse’s next long-running show “Jesse Is A Dead Man” premiered in mid-2009 on Spike, but this series’ concept was nothing like “Monster Garage”, and instead showed Jesse performing all types of bike stunts.
Jesse was quite excited with the series to say the least. Not only did “Dead Man” allow him to ‘cut a new groove’ and keep setting his path in the entertainment industry, but also for showing his ‘adrenaline junkie’ side to the world: ‘a lot of people get killed doing it, but here we’re kind of putting the danger right out in the open’ he admitted to Daily News.
Despite being injured several times in the show, there’s no doubt that “Dead Man” was a thrilling experience for the thrill-seeker Jesse. However, while the show was widely watched and even broke Spike’s audience records during its premiere, it was ultimately not renewed for a second season.
After taking a break from TV for a couple of years, Jesse James returned in 2012 with “Outlaw Garage”, his new show which centered in his business Austin Speed Shop. At that point, his new shop had been active for a couple of years, but its concept was definitely different from West Coast Choppers’, as it showed Jesse and his team building custom hot rods, but in a more toned-down and personalized way.
However, after only five episodes on air, Discovery cancelled “Outlaw Garage”, which caused Jesse to fire back at the network for it. On a now-deleted blog post, Jesse reportedly called Discovery’s productions a ‘fake, phoney, staged, scripted, bullish*t’, also adding that he was definitely ‘done’ with the network.
Though Jesse’s attitude led people to think his annoyance at the company went deeper than a business disagreement, a network’s insider affirmed to Radar Online that “Outlaw Garage” cancellation was due to ‘very poor’ ratings, and was nothing to do with anything personal.
Besides gaining huge popularity through reality shows, Jesse James also had his stints as a producer. After establishing his company Payupsucker Productions in the late 2000s, Jesse created documentaries such as “History of the Chopper”, and several specials including “Metal Church” and even his popular “Jesse James Is A Dead Man” show.
Nonetheless, there’s no information about Payupsucker Productions’ current activities. In 2021, its status passed from being ‘active’ to becoming ‘in existence’, as seen on businesses’ online databases.
Considering how varied his career in the entertainment world is, it’s pretty obvious Jesse James doesn’t like to do the same thing twice, and that applies to his business as well. Besides being the owner of West Coast Choppers, Jesse tried his luck in the fast food business with Cisco Burger, established in 2006 in California, shortly before the cancellation of “Monster Garage”.
Though his restaurant stayed in business for four years at least, Cisco Burger was severely affected by Jesse’s personal scandals, the downfall of his popularity, and on top of all, it was reportedly in tax debt as well. In 2010, Cisco Burger California’s location was shut down, along with West Coast Choppers; though the restaurant opened a second location in Texas, that was short-lived, and put an end to Jesse’s ambition of starting a fast food chain of 100 locations throughout the country.
Austin Speed Shop in Texas didn’t suffer the same fate as his other businesses, but Jesse separated from it in 2013 to open a new West Coast Choppers, which he still owns nowadays. He also owns Jesse James Firearms Unlimited, a gun manufacturing company also established in Texas, with the trademark model of an engraved 1911 Pistols having gained the business huge popularity.
What’s Up With Jesse James’ Personal Life?
Although Jesse James’ career on TV and as an entrepreneur wasn’t the easiest following the end of “Monster Garage”, his personal life took an even greater hir afterwards.
Jesse married the multi-awarded actress Sandra Bullock in 2005, though the relationship was plagued by rumors, scandals and legal disputes for most of the time. At first, the couple fought for the custody of Sunny, the daughter of Jesse with his ex-wife Janine Lindemulder, who was accused of being an ‘unfit mother’ due to her issues with drugs.
Jesse won sole custody of his daughter in 2010, but that wasn’t the end of his issues. That same year Jesse was accused of having several ex-marital affairs with women, during the years he was married to Sandra Bullock, allegations he publicly acknowledged.
Nonetheless, the scandal was so big it affected his businesses, career on TV and of course decimated his reputation. After being described by the media as the ‘most hated man in America’, Jesse admitted to People.com: ‘It’s because of my poor judgment that I deserve everything bad that is coming my way’.
Following his divorce from Bullock, some time in rehab for his alcoholic tendencies, and an off-and-on engagement with the reality star Kat Von D, in 2013 Jesse married car racer Alexis DeJoria, but from whom he ultimately divorced in 2020.
As if his marital problems weren’t enough, Jesse James’ legal disputes also raised eyebrows after “Monster Garage” ended.
For starters, in 2007 he paid $271,250 in fines to the State of California for violating its clean-air laws, as his custom builds apparently surpassed the limitations for hydrocarbons.
The following year, he was sued for breach in contract for not finishing a custom-built car, and apparently charging more than was stipulated. Later that year another lawsuit came around, this time from his former lawyer to whom Jesse allegedly owed $327,533 in professional fees. He was also sued by the clothing company Fortune Fashions Industries, for the apparent damage Jesse caused to the business after convincing one of its head executives to work for him.
2010 also saw Jesse’s reputation wane as his several extra-marital affairs were brought to light, including one related to a sexual harrasstment allegation dating from 2007, which involved a former employee who showed evidence of Jesse’s constant sexual advances towards her in the work place.
Though the case had already been settled for $725,000 years ago, some pics of Jesse doing a Nazi salute in 2004 were published by the media not long after his cheating scandal came to light, definitely marking 2010 as his worst year.
Was “Monster Garage” Real?
Now that “Monster Garage” has returned after being off-air for so long, it’s normal to find people wondering whether the show is fake or not.
To put it simply, any reality show is staged in some way, and “Monster Garage” is no exception. However, despite the seemingly difficult challenges introduced in the show, the building processes are confirmed to be real. On the other hand, it’s okay to take the dramatic situations with a grain of salt.
Does this take the credit off “Monster Garage”? Definitely not, and sure enough, people who waited for the show’s return for so many years can definitely digest a bit of drama and scripted dialogues.