Fully Unthrottled

February 1, 2012

Most critics are welcoming the new series of midwinter. But let’s take a moment to bid adieu to a show that’s just ended its third season. TruTV’s “Full Throttle Saloon” aired its finale Wednesday night (catch reruns Saturday at 10 and 11 a.m.).

“Full Throttle” is perhaps TV’s rowdiest reality show (and that’s saying something). The titular saloon opens for 10 days every August for North Dakota’s Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Owner Michael Ballard, who makes an excellent case for why middle-age men should not wear dreadlocks, copes with brawls, pepper spray, counterfeit cash, guys who impersonate law enforcement officers, and things on fire, like flaming Hula-Hoops rotated by the scantily clad Flaunt dancers.

Ballard’s partner Jesse James Dupree, leader of the band Jackyl, emerged from a cannon at the 2010 rally. In 2011, he leapt from a 100-foot bridge. Dupree says the cannon was harder because “it’s a violent exit. You go from zero to 80 in a fifth of a second.”

If the show returns for season 4, you could be part of it! Jobs are listed at Fullthrottlesaloon.com. “Backstage Shower House Attendant” sounds like an awesome career opportunity.

Marc Silver has been watching TV since the days when people wrapped aluminum foil around TV antennae to improve reception.
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