Paul Teutul Sr. and son Paul Jr. are returning to reality TV, reports the New York Post, rebooting their long-running show from the early 2000s, American Chopper.
As a new episode of the show about the fiery father-and-son's custom bike shop aired in March on the Discovery Channel, it seems the reboot was already in the works.
However, a meme based on the pair's penchant for arguing was, for a while, unavoidable on social media. It probably didn't prompt re-upping the show, but it didn't hurt. See just one variation is below.
The images are from the scene in which Paul Sr. and Paul Jr., aka Pauly, became estranged in an episode that aired in 2009, father handing son his walking papers. Their business, Orange County Choppers, continued, but they stayed apart. The Post reports that TLC tried to profit from the estrangement with a new show after Chopper was done, but it didn't last long.
The father-son split at the heart of the meme and the end of the original show was apparently real, not drama cooked up for ratings. The men had little to do with each other after the show was done, at one point filing mutual lawsuits. Paul Jr. opened his own custom bike shop and even wrote a book in which he said his dad was a "monster."
How deeply have the pair buried the hatchet? Paul Sr. told the Post he and his son "go to dinner [and] we do family things; I think we’re closer now than we’ve ever been."
The new Chopper will be different in many respects; it's not like Paul Sr. and Jr. will have reason to be in the same shop again. However, the "bottom line is that we do love each other and we’re able to do things together as long as they’re not work-related. I can’t emphasize that enough," Senior told the Post.
Sadly, Paul Sr. did not address the American Chopper firing meme, which would've been fun.
It seems like the Teutuls hope the family drama in the new version of the show will be dialed down to a dull roar no matter what the audience expects.
That, or the internet will be flooded with a host of new, even funnier Chopper memes in the near future. We can only hope.