In this fraught American media landscape, who can be trusted? Brian Williams is a faker, and Bill O'Reilly is too. The credibility of our most cherished cultural lodestars is crumbling before our eyes, and the mighty haven't stopped falling. That's right: Xzibit is a fraud, and Pimp My Ride was insane bullshit.
The Huffington Post interviewed several contestants who appeared on the show, and their experiences included barely functioning cars, gadgets that were removed as soon as the cameras stopped rolling, fat-shaming, bad relationship advice, and a little friendly verbal coercion by some dude named Big Dane.
On a show like Pimp My Ride, it would be surprising if the pimped rides actually did run as intended, so lets get the obvious out of the way first: much of the time, the cars didn't work. Of course they didn't! Rest assured that the interview—which you are strongly urged to read in full—contains many more anecdotes like this one.
"There wasn't much done under the hood in regards to the actual mechanics of the vehicle," according to Seth Martino. "For the most part, it needed a lot of work done to make it a functioning regular driver, which they did not do." Martino said he had a hard time even driving the car home. "They added a lot of extra weight but didn't adjust the suspension to compensate so I felt like I was in a boat, and every time I hit a bump the car would bottom out and the tires would scrape inside the wheel well." According to Martino, the car would only run for about a month. Then he had to save up his own money to replace the engine.
Co-executive producer Larry Horchberg, interviewed as a kind of character witness in defense of Pimp My Ride, even admitted to having a tow truck driver on call in case pimped rides broke down. To Horchberg, this constitutes a demonstration of the diligence and care with which the show treated its contestants and their beloved automobiles.
A contestant named Justin Dearinger told HuffPo that years later—and after he'd done extensive work to the car on his own—his pimped ride spontaneously burst into flames while he was driving it. He even took video.
Other pimpees told HuffPo—and Horchberg corroborated—that amenities like TVs, champagne dispensers, 24-inch rims, and robotic arms(!) were added strictly for on-screen appeal and removed before the cars came off the lot. Contrary to the quick turnaround time implied on the show, contestants were left without their rides for up to seven months while the team worked.
But the juiciest bits aren't really about the cars at all. Jake Glazier, whose face you may remember, said that when he didn't appear stoked enough about his revamped ride, Big Dane made him an offer he couldn't refuse.
Jake Glazier had a bit of a different experience, remembering they had to coax him to go "ape shit" as his natural reaction to being genuinely excited is a more silent shock. His first real reaction to the car was just a quiet amazement where he said, "This is good." They immediately yelled "re-do!" And then things got a bit weirder.
"I remember this very clearly, Big Dane, very big dude, he like puts his arm around my shoulder, kind of walks me around the shop for like 10 minutes and he's like, 'Listen, we put a lot of work into this ... we expect you to be a little more fucking enthusiastic,'" Glazier recalled.
Also mentioned: candy stuffed in one overweight guy's car to make him appear more gluttonous, producers urging a contestant to dump his girlfriend because it would make for a compelling storyline, workers purposefully damaging pre-pimped rides so that they looked especially busted.
To be fair, one satisfied pimpee—the guy whose car blew up, incidentally—said Pimp My Ride "gave me some confidence. And it made me the person I am today."
I owe it all to Xzibit, you say, nervously looking over your shoulder at Big Dane, who's giving you that Undertaker throat-slashing gesture behind your back. I sure do love Pimp My Ride!!!!!
Closing things out is a batshit crazy Xzibit story from Glazier, presented without commentary:
"I don't remember why he brought it up, but we were just kind of talking about what we were doing that weekend and he said he's going to go down to hell to kill the devil so he can make some Satan skin boots."
[Image via AP]