How Bam Margera Got His Nickname

2022 has not been a good year for Brandon Cole "Bam" Margera. As the New York Daily News reported on Dec. 9, Margera was placed in the intensive care unit, suffering complications from pneumonia and COVID-19. Earlier in the year, he completed an extensive drug-and-alcohol rehabilitation program, only to be in and out of rehab multiple times throughout the year. Rumor even had it that he'd been placed into a conservancy by his family, in much the same way that Britney Spears had been.

Bam Margera entered the public eye in the early aughts, according to High Beam Research, filming himself doing ridiculous stunts, such as jumping 50 feet from a bridge into a river while holding an umbrella, a la Wile E. Coyote. Margera, of course, did a horrific belly flop in the stunt and in the process, laid the groundwork for his career of exposing himself to danger and horrific injuries, all in the name of screwball comedy. And his nickname, Bam, has similar origins.

The Toddler With A Death Wish

There's this concept called nominative determinism, and it's basically a fancy way of saying that, in some cases, a person's name directly or indirectly relates to their job. The Cambridge Dictionary provides a couple of examples, including a seafood restaurateur named Sandy Fish, or an ornithologist named Sue Starling. Of course, whether or not someone's name assigned to them at birth genuinely sets their career path is a question best left to social scientists, but regardless, Bam Margera is Exhibit A. He wasn't born with the name Bam, but he got it at a young age, and it definitely informed his career of being injured and/or exposed to danger for comedic effect.

According to LADBible, even as a tot, little Brandon Margera couldn't be held back from making a fool of himself in the name of comedic danger. As a 3-year-old, he repeatedly ran into walls, causing his grandfather to give him the nickname "Bam." Needless to say, as he aged, he continued with his, shall we say, antics, and by his 20s, he was making money as a professional klutz, paving the way for him to become a household name on "Jackass."

Riding The Bam Train

Here's the thing about reality TV: If the show is even marginally successful, it's basically a license to figuratively print money. Using "regular people" instead of professional actors, and not having to pay writers to come up with scripts, shaves huge percentages off of the budget. And when the reality TV show you're producing is a sequel/spinoff of another, all you need is a concept and some name recognition, and the checks are going to write themselves.

Just ask Bam Margera. His reality TV star was still burning brightly from the success of "Jackass," and from 2003 to 2005, Bam starred in "Viva La Bam," in which the jokester pranked his parents. The Bam train got going again in 2007 with the miniseries "Bam's Unholy Union," which explored the relationship between Margera and his fiancee at the time, Missy Rothstein.

Unfortunately, Bam's antics have been overshadowed by his addiction issues. In February 2021, it was announced that Magera was fired from the 2022 film, "Jackass Forever" after failing a drug test (per Complex). In October 2022, castmate Johnny Knoxville told Variety, "I only want him to get better. That's the first step. He has to take that step and maintain that step, because everything else is just gravy. 'Jackass' is not important when you're talking about someone's life."

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).