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Remembering Christopher “Big Black” Boykin

Star from "Rob & Big" and "Fantasy Factory" dies an early death at the age of 45.

Image by Collin Scheiner

Image by Collin Scheiner

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Christopher Boykin, AKA “Big” from Rob & Big, died on May 9th as a result of a heart attack.  He was only 45 years old.

mtv.com
Rob and Big in an early teaser for their show Rob and Big

When I initially heard the news, I had the same reaction to when I found out that some of my other childhood stars had died.  When I think about Robin Williams and Alan Rickman, and how it didn’t seem real that they were gone.  This is the same feeling.

Most people will remember him from MTV’s Rob & Big, where from 2006 to 2008, he served as Rob’s body guard.  As Dyrdek skated around California, Big was there every step, ollie and kickflip of the way.  He didn’t gain the nickname “big,” without reason.  His enormous physique provided him with the ability to put away meals as if he was designed to do it.

While Rob went chasing skateboarding world records, Big set some records of his own.  Dyrdek set the record for the largest skateboard, and the longest 50-50 grind.  Meanwhile, Boykin set the record for the most bananas peeled and eaten in a minute (three bananas) and the most powdered donuts eaten in less than three minutes (five donuts in 2 minutes 45 seconds).

It sounds as funny as it was to watch, which is what made the two of them so perfect together.  The dynamic of the high-energy, low body mass Rob Dyrdek, and the low energy, slow moving Big Black, was what had so many people coming back.

mtv.com
Rob and Big on the set of Rob’s second show “Fantasy Factory”

The first episode of Rob and Big aired on November 2nd, 2006.  At the time, I was seven years old.  The show stayed on MTV until I was ten years old.   The last episode of Rob & Big was called “Baby.”  In the episode, Big has to break the news to Rob that he was expecting a baby girl (who was born healthily and named Isis Rhea Boykin.)

After this initial breakup, fans and watchers of the show thought that Rob and Big were done forever, but when Rob Dyrdek’s new show Fantasy Factory aired, the fourth season served as a surprise for everyone.  Season 4, episode 1 of Fantasy Factory guest starred Justin Bieber, but he wasn’t the main attraction.  The title of the season premier: “Welcome Big Black.”

The return of Big Black and the reunion of the comedic duo brought relief and nostalgia to those who watched and enjoyed back in the days.

I’m sure there are hundreds and thousands of people who remember sitting down as a kid to watch Rob & Big play with their two dogs “Meaty and Mini.”  People forget that the two of them also bought a mini-horse.  Those are only a few of the adventures they embarked on, in three seasons of Rob & Big and seven seasons of Fantasy Factory.

Everyone that worked with him says they will miss him, and I will too.  I think I’ll go home and binge-watch Rob & Big.  I suggest that you do the same, whether you watched them back in the day or haven’t seen an episode in your life.

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Remembering Christopher “Big Black” Boykin