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‘The American’ Won’t Be Returning in Season 2 of ‘The Grand Tour’

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The American

NASCAR driver Mike Skinner, who featured as “The American” in the first season of The Grand Tour, announced on Twitter earlier this week that he would not return for the second season that launches next month.

When the Amazon Prime show was first announced after Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May left the BBC, many wondered how they could possibly replace Top Gear’s “The Stig” or if they would even try—to outdo that segment and the popularity of the mute driver would be next to impossible, after all.

When The Grand Tour first aired it was revealed the segment was indeed back but instead of The Stig we got The American—which seemed fitting, given how much that first episode seemed to celebrate the show’s departure from the constraining BBC and the arrival at the Land of the Free. But while The American would have been forgiven for not living up to the popularity of The Stig, his segment could nonetheless have been a lot better.

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“My character wasn’t developed as I was told,” Skinner said on Twitter, and that certainly seemed the case to many TGT viewers. The American, while skilled behind the wheel, was introduced as a driver who took a liking only to American muscle and called just about anything that didn’t have a V8 under the hood “communist.”

Skinner’s character was obviously meant to be a representation of the fat, xenophobic American stereotype—but it quickly became repetitive, predictable, and more importantly, not funny—and the same went for Clarkson’s scripted responses to The American’s behavior.

It’s a bit of a shame for Skinner, who actually did enjoy driving those cars. “By the way…I enjoyed some of those cars I got to drive and I don’t really hate the brits,” he said, adding that “driving the s**t” out of the cars was fun despite his age.

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