Fans of the American multi-national TV network Discovery Channel, have certainly come across the popular reality documentary show “American Chopper: The Series”, which follows Paul Teutul Sr. and his sons Paul Jr. and Michael as they’re running their custom motorcycle fabrication company Orange County Choppers, located in Montgomery, New York State; it’s interesting to note that the show had moved to the TV network TLC from 2008 to 2010, was then cancelled in 2010, but returned on Discovery Channel in 2018, under the new title “American Chopper: Senior vs. Junior”. The series shows the three men while they’re working at the company, making brand new choppers from scratch, as well as improving other people’s choppers.
The show aired its first episode in 2003, and today numbers more than 230 episodes, while it’s won four of the six awards for which it has been nominated – two BMI Film & TV Cable Awards for the music composer Matt Koskenmaki in 2005 and 2006, and two Astra Awards for Favorite International Program and Favorite International Personality or Actor in 2007.
Michael ‘Mikey’ Teutul eventually left the show, wanting to spend some time away from the media’s attention and all the cameras, stating that he also wanted to focus on his personal life. He has since given only an interview or two about his life, including relationship with his father and siblings, and many of his fans are wondering what he might be doing today.
Where is Michael Teutul today?
Michael didn’t leave the show solely because he wanted to, as one can also say that he was somewhat forced to quit working at his father’s company.
Throughout the entire season six which aired in 2009, his father and brother Paul Jr. were seen arguing about numerous matters, especially about how the company should be run. Michael tried to calm them both down, and to help them find a solution which would benefit both of them, but his father then turned against him, and according to various sources, ‘Michael was forced out of the business’.
His father went on to state that he had given Michael a plethora of opportunities to succeed at Orange County Choppers, but that he’d failed to make the best out of them.
After he left his father’s company, Michael helped his brother Paul Jr. launch his own lifestyle brand motorcycle customizing company – Paul Jr. Designs, officially founded in Montgomery in 2009; Paul Jr. wanted to launch the business a year earlier, but had to wait for his non-compete clause with Orange County Choppers to expire.
The company opened for business in April 2010, and the new reality show “American Chopper: Senior vs. Junior” was launched years later, following the father and son working at their respective companies.
Michael left the new show as well, as he was tired of being on TV, so the business Paul Jr. Designs is today run by Paul Jr. and his wife Rachael Teutul.
Michael’s addiction to alcohol
It’s also said that it was Michael’s addiction to alcohol that had ruined the relationship which he had with his father, and that this was partly why he was let go from Orange County Choppers in 2009. This was apparently also why Michael had less important duties at the company, as he was in charge of taking out the trash and answering the phone, and could have rarely been seen helping them build choppers; at one point, he built himself his own bike. He was also the funniest amongst the trio, and the show ‘used’ him to add comic relief to it.
In 2009, following his falling out with his father, Michael checked himself into a rehabilitation center, where he had stayed for more than a year to work on his alcohol addiction. It took a couple of years for Michael and Paul Sr. to fix their relationship, but the two are today on good terms, and occasionally spend leisure time together.
He has launched his own business
Although not a lot is known about it, Michael has launched his own business FarQueue LLC, which deals solely in pasta sauces; it has been described as ‘the ultimate gourmet all natural homemade pasta sauce’. The company is said to be successful, but not nearly as successful as his brother and father’s companies.
Michael’s love life
Many fans have been wondering if Michael has perhaps met the right woman and settled down, but it would appear that the former TV personality is yet to tie the knot.
Most of his siblings have already married, and some people on the internet have started to wonder if Michael could perhaps be gay and not yet ready to come out of the closet. He has refused to comment on his love life, as well as on his sexual orientation, and this part of his life remains a mystery.
More about Michael’s life
Michael Joseph Teutul was born in Montgomery, on 26 November 1978 – his zodiac sign is Sagittarius, and he holds American nationality. He only gained recognition after he began starring in the show “American Chopper: The Series”, although he also has two acting credits, and has appeared in around 15 other TV shows.
Michael was raised in Montgomery alongside his older siblings Paul Jr., Dan and Christin Teutul, by their father and their mother Paula Teutul; Paul Sr. and Paula married in 1969 but divorced in 1995. Paul Sr. then went on to marry Beth Ann Santos in 2007, but their divorce was finalized in 2015, following a five-year separation.
In front of, or behind, I can WORK a camera! #throwbackthursday #tbt
Michael began working at his father’s company in 1993, aged 14, in the same year when he started attending a local high school. He spent most of his spare time at the company, learning about building choppers from his father and his crew members – so upon matriculating in 1997, Michael didn’t enroll at college.
He began appearing in talk-shows as early as 2004, usually guest starring alongside his father and brother. His first appearance was in “Late Night with Conan O’Brien”, when the trio talked about their company, their show and how they were getting along with each other. In 2005, Michael appeared in an episode of “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno”, and the same year saw him guest star in an episode of the talk-shows “The Tony Danza Show” and “The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch”, as well as in the episode “’63 Chevy Sting Ray Corvette Part 2” of the documentary series “American Hot Rod”.
It’s believed that it was in 2005 and 2006 that “American Chopper” was at the peak of its popularity, and all the popular talk-shows wanted to have the Teutul family as their guests; even two video games about “American Chopper” were developed, with Michael voicing himself in the second game, “American Chopper 2: Full Throttle”, which was released in 2005.
In 2006, Michael could’ve been seen appearing in the documentary series “101 Guiltiest Guilty Pleasures” and the documentary movie “Rollin’ Out: Gearheads Hit the Road”. In 2008, he made a guest appearance in an episode of the hit “The Ellen DeGeneres Show”, the talk-show “Last Call with Carson Daly”, and the game-show “Celebrity Family Feud”, in which the Teutul family faced the American actors Christopher Knight and Corbin Bernsen, and the American stand-up comedian and actress Margaret Cho.
It seems that the American TV host and comedian David Letterman especially liked Michael, and between 2004 and 2008, Michael had made five guest appearances in his “Late Show with David Letterman”. He has since appeared in only one show unrelated to his father’s or brother’s company; in the 2009 episode “Bikes & Trikes” of the documentary series “Jon & Kate Plus 8”.
One can say that Michael’s also a bit of an actor. He voiced a supporting character in the 2006 episode “Hank Fixes Everything” of the animated comedy series “King of the Hill”, which was quite popular, and follows the lives of a propane salesman from Arlen, Texas and his dysfunctional family. Michael also appeared in the 2008 episode “Stole a Motorcycle” of the critically acclaimed comedy series “My Name is Earl”, which tells the story of an unsuccessful man who wins $100,000 in the lottery, and is using the money to right all the wrongs in his life.
It’s also interesting to notice that Michael and his father and brother were featured in the music video “Rockstar” by Nickelback.
About Michael’s father Paul Sr.
Paul John Teutul was born in Yonkers, New York State USA, on 1 May 1949 – his zodiac sign is Taurus, and he holds American nationality. He’s considered to be amongst the best manufacturers of custom motorcycles in the US, but is today perhaps known better for his show “American Choppers” than for his motorcycle building skills.
Paul was raised in Pearl River, New York State as his family moved there not long after he was born; he hasn’t shared any details concerning his parents and siblings with the public, as he respects their privacy. Paul studied at a local high school, and upon matriculating in 1967 served as a US Merchant Marine, becoming involved in the Vietnam War.
After his service ended, Paul founded his own fabrication company Orange County Fireworks, and in his spare time built custom bikes, mostly inspired by the custom motorcycles which he’d seen in the streets and in movies. Paul founded Orange County Choppers n 1999, leaving his son Daniel in charge of Orange County Ironworks; Daniel has been successful at running the company, and has since expanded it, nearly tripling its size.
All four of Paul’s children are from his first marriage with Paula, and he’s quite proud of them all, often speaking about them in his interviews; his daughter Christin is working in New York City as a nurse. Paul has a total of seven grandchildren. Since 2011, he’s been in a relationship with Joan Bulger-Kay, and they are today living together; it seems that the two have agreed not to marry. They spend most of their time together riding motorcycles, while they are also both huge lovers of animals, and enjoy rescuing them.
Paul is a huge fan of tattoos, and has numerous inked onto various parts of his body. He often acquires new tattoos, and usually finds inspiration in his feelings and the things which he sees during his everyday life. A tattoo on his left arm reads ‘OCC New York’, inked because people often confuse Orange County in New York State with Orange County in California. Paul also has a tattoo of his pet Bullmastiff dogs Marty and Gus.
He was once addicted to both alcohol and drugs, and this lasted between 1970 and 1985. It was his first wife who had helped him enter rehab, and the day before he was about to do so, as a way to say goodbye to alcohol, Paul drank two liters of wine, half a liter of brandy and took six Valiums. He never returned to drugs and alcohol following rehab, but his son Paul Jr. developed the same addictions at a very early age, and had entered rehab when he was 16.
Fake things in Paul Sr.’s show “American Chopper”
Just as any other reality TV show, the producers of “American Chopper” have scripted several scenes in the show, in an attempt to make it more appealing and interesting to viewers.
It’s believed that some of the customers seen in “American Chopper” were talked into having their choppers made in the show by its producers, and were given a special discount for it. It has also been reported that many of the conversations between the Teutuls were scripted, as a way to keep the viewers intrigued.
It’s widely believed that the relationship between Paul Sr. and Paul Jr. is also fake; the online magazine “Inquisitr” has reported that Paul Jr. indeed wants him and his father to be friends again, but that Paul Sr. has agreed to star in the new show “American Shopper: Senior vs Junior” only because he has found himself in a financial crisis, and needs the money paid by the producers.