March 05, 2006 12:01 AM by Joe Blackmon
He’s been the President of the New York chapter of the Hells Angels Nomads, a Golden Gloves boxer, a stuntman for some of Hollywood’s biggest stars, a regular on HBO’s “Oz,” Has made numerous guest appearances on the Howard Stern show, was involved with the World Championship Wrestling, a martial arts expert and all-around tough guy. And now Chuck Zito is creating a television show, in collaboration with Original Productions CEO and Executive Producer, Thom Beers.
“Rods, Bods & Bikes,” draws on Zito’s life growing up in the rough-and-tumble streets of the Bronx and Brooklyn, and Beers’ experiences creating and producing such hit shows as “Monster Garage,” “Monster House” and “The Deadliest Catch.”
Each episode will originate from a recreation of Zito’s New Rochelle garage, where he might customize motorcycles and cars, train for the Ultimate Fighting Championship, spar with professional boxers and swap snacks, stories and memories with his show business compatriots – such as Angelina Jolie, Howard Stern, Charlie Sheen, Cher, Pamela Anderson, Sylvester Stallone, Tony Danza, Liza Minnelli, writer-director John Milius, All-Star catcher Mike Piazza, former World Heavyweight Wrestling champion Bruno Sammartino or Zito’s longtime friend and tattooing disciple, Sean Penn, who wrote the introduction to Chuck’s autobiography “Street Justice."
Says Anderson: “Somehow, being a very dear, close friend of Chuck Zito’s has made the world a safer place. He is the real deal. America’s bad boy.”
"I can’t wait to be a guest on the show," Sheen says "It will be as real and as truthful as the man himself."
Piazza predicts Zito’s show will be "The World Series of shows, without a doubt a grand slam, I can’t wait to talk about Rods, Bods and Bikes, especially the Bods!"
"I don’t think I’ve met anybody who’s so strong, yet so gentle, so angry, yet so calm," Beers says. "He’s a character audiences will love. Like a lot of Original Productions’ shows, Chuck’s is for individualists and free-spirits, and those who wish they were."
Says Zito about the show, "I might be training in the boxing ring with Arturo Gatti, or going one on one with my Hollywood friends in the octagon, or working on motorcycles with Mickey Rourke and Michael Madsen, or changing a car motor with Dale Earnhardt Jr. It’ll be fun, different and completely original."
"Chuck Zito’s Rods, Bods & Bikes" marks the latest chapter in Zito’s singular career. The self-styled "Italian Bad Boy" was raised on New York’s meanest streets and grew up to be one of the dying breed of uncompromising men for whom justice and honor are paramount. Whether running the Hells Angels chapter in New York, or providing security for some of Hollywood’s biggest stars, Zito lives by rules of personal integrity, coupled with a take-no-prisoners view toward the rest of the world.
It fits right in with the kind of shows that earned Thom Beers a reputation for creating hit television that focuses on compelling storytelling with a strong appeal to the elusive young adult audiences. Whether it’s the transformation of cars and homes in "Monster Garage" and "Monster House," the transformation of people’s lives in "Plastic Surgery: Before and After" and "Ballroom Bootcamp," or the transformation of spirits in the new series "Dead Tenants" and "The Messengers," Beers’ Original Productions consistently creates TV that speaks to a sizable but discerning TV audience.