Full Throttle Final Episode Reaches 1.9 Million Viewers

Michael Ballard heads the demented circus at The Full Throttle Saloon

Michael Ballard heads the demented, but profitable circus at The Full Throttle Saloon

The Full Throttle Saloon capped its fourth season with the marriage between co-stars Michael and Angie Ballard, and left fans wondering about the fate of Jackyl front man Jesse James Dupree.

(Spoiler alert)  It doesn’t take a Scotland Yard detective to figure out Jesse is alive as fans of the show have pointed out on Facebook, since there’s no entry on his Wikipedia page listing his death and the band has tour dates and are still selling tickets.

Have you heard the one about the jackass that walks into this bar…? Michael and Angie Ballard interview 2010

But all that drama translated into the one of the largest audiences for the biker bar reality show.

Almost 2 million viewers watch the final episode which was a 29% boost from the previous week.  According to TruTV,  Full Throttle Saloon has averaged 1.9 million viewers, 1.2 million adults 18-49 and 675,000 men 18-49.

For those of you who don’t know the show,  Full Throttle Saloon is a behind-the-scenes look at Michael Ballard’s enormous, 30-acre indoor/outdoor watering hole (Full Throttle Saloon) during South Dakota’s annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.   Each year, “The Throttle” has nine days to generate enough cash to cover its 300 employees, 100 of which are voluptuous go-go dancing bartenders. The expansive venue features large and small performance stages, a burn-out pit, a tattoo parlor, a wrestling ring, restaurants, dozens of stores, hundreds of cabins for rent and parking for the thousands of bikers who come to town for the annual motorcycle fest. “This is the ultimate destination for people who love badass motorcycles, kick-ass rock and roll, beautiful women and a cold belly washer,” says Ballard’s business partner, Jesse James Dupree.

Full Throttle Saloon is executive-produced by Arthur Smith, Kent Weed and Frank Sinton of A. Smith & Co. Productions; Jesse James Dupree of Mighty Loud Entertainment; and Arnold Rifkin of Cheyenne Enterprises. The project emerged from a newly formed partnership between Dupree and Rifkin.

The Antics Continue On Season Three at the Full Throttle Saloon

Sturgis, SD — Full Throttle Saloon founder Michael Ballard, and Tru-TV have announced that Full Throttle Saloon will return to the air on November 30th at 10PM EST for season three. The drama that unfolds this year as the cast takes on staging Michael Ballard’s Full Throttle Saloon for the 71st Sturgis Motorcycle Rally goes to a whole new level from what has been witnessed in the past.

 

Michael Ballard heads up the demented circus at The Full Throttle Saloon

In Sturgis, The Throttle is the “World’s Largest Biker Bar,” a 30-acre enormous indoor/outdoor bar with several large stages, a burn-out pit, a tattoo parlor, zip lines, a wrestling ring, restaurants, dozens of stores, hundreds of cabins for rent and parking for thousands of bikes. It opens for only two weeks annually around the rally, and the indelible color of the sights and sounds of Sturgis are documented and aired on the Tru-TV series.

After taking on the corporate competition last year and coming out ahead, best friends Michael Ballard and Jesse James Dupree, alongside Ballard’s long-time girlfriend Angie Carlson, have upped the ante this year to deliver the ultimate Full Throttle experience. As Ballard faces the challenges of delivering a profit with an economic downturn, there is no shortage of drama as the season unfolds. The constant challenges of managing a personal relationship with both his girlfriend and best friend, while maintaining his focus on the business yields many tough moments to navigate through during this season.

Story lines for season three include Michael, Angie and Dupree’s attempt to rededicate the Sturgis Rally back to the family who started the gathering, once again having the event known as the Pappy Hoel Motorcycle Rally, activities altruistically taken to celebrate the troops and in turn generate tens of thousands of dollars to support Wounded Warriors, and the ensuing chaos when Dupree (assisted by stunt legend Hal Needham) explores plans to jump from the legendary Bismarck Bridge Ballard meticulously had relocated to the grounds of the Full Throttle Saloon. The characters that come together once a year and become Michael Ballard’s Full Throttle Saloon family are each indelible in their own rite. Together, they become a menagerie of personalities that deliver a viewing experience that is filled with moments of euphoria, despondency, love, hate, and together a program that is as engaging as any on television.

Click here to read the interview he gave USRN last year.

Season three also captures an amazing line-up of talent on-site this past August including Ted Nugent, Hinder, Jackyl, and others, alongside Angie’s Flaunt Girls, a one-man band, assorted freak shows, and acrobatic pole dancers.

Ballard shares, “This season we are giving the phrase taking it to the next level a whole new meaning.” Dupree echoes the sentiments in offering, “The Throttle is beyond Thunder Dome for people who love beautiful women Hot Bikes and Rock & Roll.” While Angie has the final word stating, “We are proud to be rededicating the Rally back to Pappy and Pearl it is Pappy’s Rally.”

For background Pappy and Pearl Hoel started the rally in Sturgis, SD which has now been running for 71 years. Michael Ballard, Angie Carlson and Jesse James Dupree have always maintained not only a relationship, but a partnership with the Hoel family. In managing the name, the likenesses, and the brand, the duo oversee and preserve the integrity of anything that the city or Sturgis Museum may wish to use in telling the story of the rally in relation to Pappy and Pearl.

This year prior to the rally held in August, Michael Ballard and Jesse James Dupree headed to Laconia, NH with three tractor trailer rigs in tow. The caravan travelled 2000 miles and erected Michael Ballard’s Full Throttle Saloon in all its glory for the Laconia Rally June 11-19. For the coming calendar year, there a multiple initiatives in play to bring the Full Throttle experience to cities across the U.S. These plans will be announced shortly.

Currently seen in 91 million U.S. households the 17-year-old network Tru-TV features high-stakes, action-packed originals that give viewers access to places and situations they can’t normally experience.

 


Easyrider Returns to Charlotte

The popular Easyrider Bike Show tour returns to the Charlotte Convention Center this weekend with hundreds of motorcycles running the gamut from high dollar customs to barely running rat bikes.

This year the rat rods and hot rods also occupies the hall with a couple dozen four wheel entries.

For the younger set the show also provides a “kids zone” entertainment area to provide a nice diversion for the little ones.

Michael Ballard and Angie Colson, direct from the Full Throttle Saloon in Sturgis South Dakota will also be on hand selling merchandise and signing autographs and meeting their fans.

For more information and prices and times click here.

Have you heard the one about the Jackass that walks into this bar…

Only it’s not a joke, the jackass is real (his name is Emmett) and the bar is the Full Throttle Saloon in Sturgis South Dakota.

If you’re waiting for a punch line, there isn’t one unless you count the patrons & employees who are the real stars on the hit reality show Full Throttle Saloon.

If the world is laughing at them, instead of with them,  no one seems to mind.  And in the home where the buffalo roam and the deer and the antelope play, no one is uttering a discouraging word.

In fact they’re lining up to get into the bar during the rally and viewers are tuning into the show in spades.

Conceived and built  by Tennessee native Michael Ballard, the Full Throttle Saloon was nothing more than empty grazing space for bison when construction started less than a decade ago.

Today the entertainment complex can take it’s rightful place among the top venues in Sturgis, right up there with long established Buffalo Chip Campground and One-Eyed Jacks saloon as must see destinations during the annual August motorcycle rally.

Coming from a background of construction, Ballard cashed out a successful business in Tennessee and went northwest, with the idea that if you build it, they will come.

And build it he has.  Going so far to rescue  the Bismark Bridge, a historic steel structure built in 1912 that spanned the Belle Fouche river on the old trail from Deadwood SD to Bismark SD.  Ballard  and his crew worked 36 hour days and waded through reams of governmental red tape  and took insane risks to move it to the site.

Not to mention bringing in three semi-tractors and installing them as DJ booth (inside) and sound board (outside).

That dream and vision attracted Jesse James Dupree, front man for the rock group Jackyl.

Ballard says Dupree, who is a big supporter of the Full Throttle is also the executive producer of the television show and a partner in the franchise end of the business.

Together the pair are expanding the brand by opening up themed saloons in Cincinnati Ohio and Madison Wisconsin in 2011.

Attached to his hip (although not by marriage) is Angie Carlson.  The lovely and talented Sturgis native was nicknamed “Mouth of the South” by her father but is called  the“Worlds Most Perfect Ass” by the bikers who frequent her bar (Angieland) inside the Throttle.

The second season of Full Throttle Saloon premiered Wednesday November 17th on TruTV and we called the two to get an inside look at their life in the fishbowl of reality television and how a rock star turns to dentistry during the largest motorcycle rally in the world.  (listen to the unedited version here)

Michael Ballard heads up the demented circus at The Full Throttle Saloon

USRN:  What makes the Throttle so special?

Michael:  The Full Throttle is just built around blue collar America. I mean we got 18 wheeler in the air, we got an 18 wheeler inside that’s a DJ booth, we’ve got old school buses with tops cut out that are bars…

Angie: (Interrupting) “We got chicks!”

Michael: (laughs)  lots of women, lot of hot bartenders ..the Flaunt girls out there, we got Angie with Angieland… through the years of adding all kinds of crazy shit all the way down to the midget wrestling, and this year we had our freak show out there..and we had acrobatic pole dancers …you’ll see a lot of that in the new season coming up..

USRN:  Sounds like PT Barnum thrown in here..

Angie:  It’s a demented circus for sure..

Michael:  I like to call it spring break for adults..laughs

USRN:  In the season premier, seeing Jackly’s lead man out there pulling a tooth, I mean what’s all that about?

Angie:  It’s insane!   (laughs)

Michael  (laughing) That’s just that good ole southern way you know..we try to save money every way we can…we’re just helping a brother out..

USRN: do you wake up each day wondering what’s coming in the bar during that month of rally week?

Michael:  You never know what going to walk through the front doors of that bar at that rally…it’s from one extreme to another for sure.

USRN:  I’ve got  to ask about the donkey…is he getting his own show?

Michael:  I don’t know… he’s working on it!  (laughs) he might wind up being the star ass in this one…Angie’s got a little competition running around..(laughs) but no, he’s cool man…I bought him for Angie and everybody fell in love with him at the bar…and his name is Emmett.

USRN:  Emmett the donkey…

Angie:  The jackass!  (laughs)

Brett Michaels performs at the Full Throttle Saloon

USRN: Speaking of that, Angie, tell me how you came up with Angie Land and do you get offended when someone comes out there and says “show me that perfect ass?”

Angie:  uh..no I get offended if I don’t get asked!  (laughs)   Angieland just kinda happened upon me. ..you know there always getting the boob shots all over Sturgis and a gentlemen was kinda sick of getting the same pictures so he asked me to do something different so I turned around, I had a little thong bikini on and I sat on his shoulder and they took the picture and thought it was great but his buddy thought he had to do one up on his friend so he asked me if I’d sit on his head…and (after that) I had a line for a mile.

USRN:  You guys are not married, but you work together, have a personal and professional relationship and then you throw in the television element, there’s gotta be some behind the scenes going on..so tell me a little about that..

Mike:  Man we fight like cats and dogs, but the make-up sex is great!  (laughs)  You know it’s tough, especially during the week before rally and the week of rally when…you’re trying to control chaos already, you know and you kinda lose patience with each other and it seems that you always take it out on the closest people to you…you kinda put a smile on to everybody else and behind the scene you take it out on the people that’s closer to you so, we have our ups and downs for sure.Those two weeks are really a tough time for us, but we’ve been doing it together for so long now that we know we’re going to have those ups and downs, and we’re just gonna work our way through it and fight through it, and roll on after the event’s over.

Angie: Go home and practice making babies!

USRN:  If there is wedding bells in the future is it going to be a big event for television or will you keep it quiet and just do something at the justice of the peace?

Angie: Well, you know I have to run everything through Jesse (Dupree)  so I guess I’ll have to ask for his permission to keep it quiet, but you know how he is, the showman that he is, he’s not gonna want to keep it quiet.

USRN: I can see Jesse with his chainsaw running the show, taking the preacher out..

Angie;  He’s actually an ordained priest so he’ll actually probably will be the one that marries us.

USRN:  Is that ok with you Michael?

Mike   I don’t know about all that…he always teases Angie all the time about she’s gotta go before the committee before she can get married..and he’s the head of the committee.

USRN:  Tell me what it means to have a tv crew in the middle of trying to run a business?

Mike:  You know, I think what makes our show so great is that we just ignore the cameras.  I’m not an actor..(laughs) so we just ignore the cameras and do our normal thing that we normally go through…I mean when something happens we don’t know that it’s going to happen. …it’s not a staged show… we have no idea what’s taking place, and the cameras are just there capturing everything.

Angie:  And we warned them beforehand, we told them how busy we are and how fast paced we have to go to make everything happen…we told them…whatever you capture is what you’re going to get..so be where you need to be..

USRN:  How many cameras do they have on site typically?

Angie Carlson, “the worlds most perfect ass”

Mike: They had a 50 person production crew there this year.  Between the sound guys, camera crew, producers and writers 24/7 …there was camera’s running all the time.

USRN:  One thing we’re hearing is that viewers want an uncensored DVD version?

Angie:  They just gotta come to the Throttle!