And so begins Jackass (2000-2002), either the most horrifying thing ever put on American television, the most awesome thing ever put on American television, the gayest (in more ways than one) thing ever put on American television, or a combination of all three. It all depends on who you ask.Jackass has roots in skateboard culture and the skateboard magazine Big Brother, as well as Bam Margera's humor/stunt video series "Camp Kill Yourself" (or CKY). One of Big Brother's writers, struggling actor Johnny Knoxville, pitched an article for Big Brother about becoming a human guinea pig for various self-defense weapons — which culminated in Knoxville getting shot in the chest to test out a bulletproof vest. His editors decided to film the test, and they found it so funny, they decided to commission several additional masochist-themed videos involving the rest of the staff (including Dave England and Chris Pontius) and ex-Ringling Brothers clown Steve-O contributing material. Around the same time, Margera and his group of skater friends filmed similar material involving themselves and Bam's family members; this material would make up the first CKY video, Landspeed: CKY.The two separate groups ultimately decided to combine forces when Big Brother began talks with Spike Jonze to create a pilot for MTV. After recruiting ex-snowboarder Ehren McGhehey into the mix, the conglomeration of Jonze, Margera, Knoxville, and their friends created Jackass.Media Watchdogs and Moral Guardians more or less had panic-induced heart attacks at the very thought of their kids watching this show, and their outrage resulted in a huge movement to get the show canned (which, ironically, may haveincreased its popularity).The format proved popular enough to spawn three movies — the third in 3D — that allowed the gang to perform stunts and skits not possible on MTV. Several cast members received spin-off shows, ranging from Bam Margeras's Viva La Bam to the And Now For Something Completely Different spin-off Wildboyz, which featured Chris Pontius and Steve-O traveling to exotic locations and performing stunts, getting hurt by wildlife, and trying bizarre local customs.Not to be confused with Jerkass.
Hi, we're TV tropes, and we associate the following tropes with Jackass:
The Ace: Manny Puig, the in-house wildlife expert. This comes through most in Wildboyz.
Ace Custom: Knoxville's hydraulic scooter, from the Old Man segment in Jackass 3D. He can pop wheelies with the thing for extended amounts of time and drives around blaring rap.
Actually Pretty Funny: Bam's reaction to the "Valentine" prank in the second movie: the "valentine" covered up a hole in the wall, which concealed a boxing glove on a stick sticking out of an air compressor; the Jackass guys were goaded into getting hit by it when they had to lean in to read it because the writing suddenly got really really small. Eventually everyone got a kick out of it when they were subjected to it.
In addition, the entire crew's reaction to the "High Five" in Jackass 3D: walking towards him will get a gigantic hand to pimp-slap you out of nowhere: even Ehren, who got hot soup splashed all over him, found it funny.
April Margera in "The Switcheroo", after they freaked her out by swapping Phil for Preston Lacy in her bed while she slept.
Arch-Enemy: Snapping turtles for Steve-O. He dreads all stunts involving them.
Ass Shove: Hot Wheels + Ryan Dunn's anus, noted below.
And then in the sequel, the Strongman challenge. High-speed golden dildo + Bam Margera's ass. It barely misses his anus.)
"Is it wrong to be strong? You be the judge."
Then Bam flies a kite out of his ass with anal beads... and then has one flown into his ass.
The Butt Billows of 2.5, which was part of a production Running Gag of trying to make farts visible (the successful product can be shown in Jackass Number Two). This WAS successful, but for some reason taken out: Lacy farts on Steve-O, who was blowing into Lacy's ass. Yes, it makes sense in context.
"The Apple of My Ass"... which is what it says on the tin. Then they bring out the pig.
The second film's Butt Chug.
Bam: YOU BETTER SHIT PISS, ASSWIPE! *arse plungering*
Averted in Johnny Knoxville's case, THRICE, first in the first movie during the "Rent-A-Car Demolition Derby" where one of the cars crashed into his, having it's wheel smash through the windshield, inches away from Knoxville's face. The second time, later in the first film during the "Golf Cart Antics" when a golf cart with Knoxville and Dunn (who was driving) flipped over a fiberglass statue and got wrecked. Knoxville actually could have broken his neck from it. The third was in Number Two in the "Big Red Rocket" skit, the rocket he was gonna fly up into the air and into a lake ended up misfiring, exploding with him on it. It exploded on one part just inches away from his stomach. Then he tried it again, that time it worked.
Bad Santa: Who promptly gets slammed from a giant tree.
Berserk Button: Preston doesn't like being covered in a hat full of egg-nog vomit or getting his fear of heights exploited. He's walked off the set several times before.
Rake Yohn really hates mustard.
Bam for pretty much everyone... especially his parents. For Bam himself, snakes.
Body Horror: Steve-O gets his buttcheeks pierced together for one stunt, and puts a fishing hook through his cheek for another, fishing-related stunt.
Bowdlerize: The Self-Defense Test sketch; after the taser test, Johnny dons a cheap bulletproof vest and has a friend shoot him in order to see if the vest will protect him (it does). Filmed for a Big Brother magazine video, the gun/vest test was cut from the sketch when it was incorporated into the pilot and thanks to MTV being obstinate bastards, one of the reasons why it took six years for a season one DVD to come out, as MTV refused and WON its struggle to keep Knoxville from including the full sketch on a Jackass DVD.
In Jackass Number Two, he got an entire skit dedicated to humiliating his ass: Terror Taxi, which involved a taxi driver tricking Ehren into believing the Jackass team had been shot and that he was being kidnapped with a real gun.
Ryan Dunn was also a Butt Monkey of sorts. As Bam exclaims in Jackass Number 2:
Bam: What rhymes with Dunn? Fun!
And he's promptly slammed into a garage wall at high speed.
April Margera. All three movies have at least one skit dedicated to terrifying the shit out of her.
And Phil. Poor Phil. Seriously.
In fact, ALL of the Jackasses are Butt Monkeys. But Steve-O has it the worst of them all, eg. Sticking his face into jellyfish, paper cut in the mouth, and let us not forget the Poo Cocktail Supreme.
Steve-O (during his intro for "Tee Ball" from 3D): Ohhhhh, why do I have to be Steve-O?
Spike Jonze (Yes, the real one) and someone totally not Johnny Knoxville put in old people makeup and pulling off sexual acts (the former walking around partially topless or having "her" clothes ripped off, the latter having fake testicles dangling out of his shorts as he walks around: often to the point where you really have no choice but to stare at his balls). They do it in all three films.
Johnny Knoxville as the old grandpa again riding a scooter out of a scooter store. How? Via the glass front, that's how.
Making out with his supposed "granddaughter" and having his "wife" come up and yell at him.
Also the midget bar fight. You think it's a regular "midget people beating each other" skit, but then a midget cop comes in out of nowhere and clubs on of them in the head, and then midget paramedics rush in with miniature stretchers to cart out the wounded. Needless to say, the stares were well deserved.
Mark Zupan, the star of Murderball, also shows up twice in two skits of Jackass Number Two, and shows up once more in the third film.
The Jackasses' homes were the subject of an episode of Cribs. Steve-O's apartment had an entire wall blocked by a stack of empty beer cans, a skate ramp in the kitchen, and he bragged about (and showed off) a pile of noise and ordinance violations. Chris Pontius' "crib" was a Toyota Tacoma.
The Dudesons, Finnish boys whose show is in the same vein as Jackass's, show up for one skit in Jackass 3D, but before that, Bam, Steve-O and Knoxville have shown up on the Dudeson shows.
Determinator: Johnny Knoxville has been punched by boxers (one was a heavyweight, and we do mean heavy) several times, shot by riot control devices, rammed by bulls, nearly been killed by stunts gone wrong, hit with a hundred different kinds of projectiles, a destroyed by wrecking balls, and he keeps on going!
Curb-Stomp Battle: Knoxville's boxing "match" with Butterbean. Knoxville winds up with a concussion and has to get eight stitches in his head.
Knoxville: So, what's the record for fastest knockout? Butterbean: Um...the California state record is 18 seconds—and that includes the ten-count. Knoxville: (timidly) I think you're gonna break that record today...
Also, Ryan Dunn's match with the women's kickboxing champion.
Executive Meddling: Among other things: after season one MTV handed Knoxville and company a list of things that they were not allowed to do, as far as content goes. Similarly, when Sen. Joseph Lieberman tried to get the show banned from airing, MTV caved like cowards, pulling all reruns of the series (which was in season two by that point) and forcing Knoxville to revise the show's warning so as to read it out loud to viewers.
Lieberman's actions also squashed plans for a "Jackass: Too Hot For TV" video release.
Eye Scream: The leech scene in the second movie, wherein Steve-O manages to attach a leech to his eye at an Indian Leech Healer's booth. Sweet dreams.
Follow the Leader: Jackass spawned many shows in the same vein, including Crazy Monkey, and Rad Girls. Sometimes, MTV itself did this (with Dirty Sanchez and Rob Drydek's Ridiculousness). Ironically, Jackass itself is derived at least in part by SuperDave Osborne, a parody of daredevil stuntmen like Evel Kneivel, played by comedian Bob Einstein. Einstein himself doesn't like the comparison, pointing out in this interview that his antics as Super Dave were almost impossible to emulate.
Fruit Cart: The cast of Jackass: The Movie go flying into a fruitcart at the end of the opening credits.
Wee Man: Hola, amigos! Me llamo note Simply using "[Yo] soy" would've worked just fine Wee-Man, y soy un matador... pequeno... Chris Pontius: ...y muerte.(everyone else laughs)
Groin Attack: Happens too many times to count. Sometimes self-inflicted.
Actually invoked: Bam would rather take a dildo up the ass than a weight to his balls. (Hint: he still takes the weight to his balls in the deleted scenes.)
The worst of the worst: One of the crew members (boom operator Seamus Frawley) having his balls slammed in a dictionary.
In the opener for one episode, Johnny Knoxville tests a cup by getting kicked in the groin by several kids, having his it used as a croquet target, getting hit by a sledgehammer swinging on a rope, attempting to have pool balls dropped on his crotch from a 2-storey building (wasn't successful), and shot with a paintball gun from just 2-3 feet away. Of course, even a Jackass has some common sense, so he was wearing a cup.
One involved Steve-O and a stapler even got him arrested on obscenity and assault charges.
Gross-Up Close-Up: In Jackass 2.5, Preston was shot point-blank in his saggy ass by a non-lethal grenade round. Naturally, the camera zooms in on his infected, saggy, obese buttocks three days later.
Humiliation Conga: "Terror Taxi." Gluing pubic hair to Ehren's face is just the start of it. Go Google it.
Bam's punishment for the Rocky pranks (he would splash a random crew member and then punch them to the Rocky theme), which involved a fake floor, rubber snakes, and real snakes. For an added bonus, Bam happens to have a crippling fear of snakes.
Wee Man: Check it out, there's a map to Mianus. Chris Pontius: I don't need a map. I know Mianus better than any man, woman or child.
Johnny Knoxville: Look, Rick (Kosick)'s pumping in Mianus. (cut to cameraman Rick Kosick using a water pump)
I Have What Glued to My Face?: The fake facial hair Ehren wore in "Terror Taxi" turned out to be the Jackass crew and a few of its friends' pubic hair. Some of it got in Ehren's mouth, which he unwittingly swallowed.
Jerk Jock: The football segments of Jackass 3D, each of which has Jared Allen in it, just for laughs. "What's your role?" "MURDER. KNOXVILLE'S. FACE."
"And what's your role, Johnny?" "Catch the ball."
Keep Circulating the Tapes: The only full, uncut episode available on DVD is the hour long Gumball Rally episode, which is only available on the bonus disc for a box set released. All three seasons are only available as a series of "Best Of..." compilations (with V2 and V3 having two releases, with the re-release having extra sketches added) and a "Lost Tape" compilation, which has all of the opening/ending sequences and the MIA sketches that didn't make the previous three DVDs.
Further adding to the mix, the season one "best of..." set was delayed for about 6 years due to feuding between the Jackass crew and MTV; while Knoxville and company have full control over content for the DVD releases, MTV outright refused to let them release season one on DVD due to their not wanting to let the gang wanting to release the Big Brother magazine sketches uncensored. Knoxville and company finally caved, meaning that you'll have to track down the original Big Brother magazine VHS tapes for the full version of the self-defense test sketch.
The Movie: Three even more outrageous movies involved stunts like Ehren peeing, eating, and then vomiting up a snow cone, all in one shot. (And then eating it again). Probably the most extreme thing to ever be shown on basic cable (at one AM on a Sunday morning with A LOT of pixellation but still).
Ironically, even the unrated DVDs are censored. The unreleased trailer hidden in Jackass Number Two reveals Dave England taking a watery shit after the "Firehouse Rodeo" incident in which he scraped his rectum. It gets worse.
No Ending: Knoxville opted to not film a finale for the series; partly because Bam Margera and his crew had left the series midway through season three (as they were starting work on their spin-off) and to leave the door open for possible reunion specials.
[Negative reviews of Jackass: The Movie appear] Unfortunately for [the critics], we just made Number Two. (Spike Jonze promptly flashes the camera, dressed as an old lady)
Obstructive Bureaucrat: Subverted in Jackass 2.5 when Bam informs his mother they were able to get a permit to fly a kite out of his ass on a public beach. His mother is... uncharacteristically happy about it.
Oh Crap: Everyone's face when staring down the "Electric Avenue" hallway of tasers and cattle prods in the third film; they really have to summon up the courage to go through with it.
Bam, whenever anything involving a snake happens.
In the second movie, during the "Fish Hook" skit (Chris Pontius is fishing for sharks with Steve-O as the bait), a mako shark swims up to Steve-O. He ends up kicking it in the face (accidentally).
Post-Concussedly Missing The Point: After getting his ass completely and utterly kicked (he had a concussion and needed several stitches), Johnny Knoxville's first question: "Is Butterbean okay?"
Precision F-Strike: During the first film, Bam notes that since they don't have to bleep any language, he promises to get Only Sane Man April to say "fuck" on camera. A few scenes later, a prank involving an alligator on her kitchen floor does the trick.
April: That is the scariest FUCKING thing I've seen in my life!
Production Foreshadowing: In the cast commentary for Jackass: The Movie, Steve-O comments (during the 90-year-old shoplifter prank) that "There should be a whole movie with nothing but this." As of this writing, Jackass Presents Bad Grandpa is set to be released on Oct. 25th, 2013.
Sequel Snark: The first movie pulls out a final skit after the credits, a future sequel dubbed "Son of Jackass" that involves the elderly cast dying horrible flaming deaths. While there was a sequel, it wasn't called Son of Jackass.
One of the outtakes on the Jackass Number Two credits is Bam pleading that there not be a Jackass 3.
Bam: Please God, don't let there be a Jackass 3! I didn't even like doing Two!
Serial Escalation: They couldn't possibly think up of a crazier, more insanely dangerous/disgusting stunt... right?
Shmuck Bait: A porta potty on the Jackass set. If you use it, they will hold the door shut and tip it over with you in it. Or rig it with paint bombs to cover you in paint as you sit down. Or push it down a hill. Or hit it with a car. Or God knows what else.
Spin-Off: This show has had quite a few, the most popular being Viva La Bam (starring Bam Margera, who tormented his family) and Wildboyz (starring Steve-O and Chris Pontius, and basically Jackassmeets the Discovery Channel).
Unofficial spin-offs: Dirty Sanchez, Tokyo Shock Boys, and Extreme Dudsonit. It should be noted Dirty Sanchez was deemed Too Hot For Television and Extreme Dudsonit came before, though is now popular in the States and has its own America-based TV show.
The sadly short-lived Rad Girls was almost exactly like Jackass. The biggest difference was that it had an all-female cast.
Tar and Feathers: Ryan Dunn was tarred and feathered by Bam Margera and Brandon DiCamillo.
Team Mom: Bam's mother, April, is usually the only person to care when they get hurt. They thank her by turning her staircase into a ski slope, sneaking in Preston to replace her husband in bed while she's asleep, launching rockets at her in the kitchen, and placing a live alligator in her home to scare her. The last one was done because Bam insisted that they had to get April to say "fuck" on camera.
Tears of Fear: Bam, when confronted by the cobra in the second movie.
The victims of the anti-riot mine also shed a tear in the same film. Except Johnny, per usual.
And the victims of the "Electric Avenue" in "3D" too, they really didn't wanna do it, but were made to. Did I mention they had to run, crawl and go over huddles in a hallway full of planted and hanging active cattle prods and tazers?!
Ryan Dunn in the first film after watching his opponent, a woman, training for their match. Not just any woman - a championship fighter who was known for being absolutely vicious in fights.
Third Is 3D: The third move: Jackass 3D. Lampshaded everywhere.
This Is Gonna Suck: Johnny's reaction to riding penny-farthing bicycles (ones with huge front wheels). He faceplants after riding into a pile of snow.
This was also Bam's reaction to "The Brand," for very good reason.
Bam: Here we are at some random-ass ranch, and this is "The Brand." And it's gonna suck...
The Tee-Ball in the 3rd movie. Steve-O couldn't even bring himself to finish the intro, knowing full well that Ryan Dunn was going to hit a tee-ball ball directly into his unprotected nuts.
Steve-O: (hesitant) I'm Steve-O...(whimpering) Why do I have to be Steve-O? I really don't wanna be Steve-O right now...
The Poo Cocktail Supreme, wherein Steve-O is launched skywards in a Port-A-Potty: "You don't look very happy about it." "Yeah..."
Bam: Hey, Steve-O! You ready in there? Steve-O: (downtrodden) No...
Said word for word by Ehren, right before he gets his tooth pulled out by a Lamborghini.
You know it's going to be bad when Steve-O apologizes to his father before a stunt. Ever wanted to know if someone's actually used a plunger on someone's butthole to get beer out? Now you know.
Too Dumb to Live: Between the cast of the show and the people who tried to recreate the stunts, there's gotta be more than a few in there.
Too Kinky to Torture: Johnny Knoxville seems genuinely excited at most stunts even when his fellow cast is terrified.
In one particular stunt in the second movie - getting blown to bits by an anti-riot claymore - Bam and Dunn are on the floor (Bam is crying, rather predictably) and Knoxville? He's happy.
Not only is he happy, but unlike the other two, he's the only one STILL STANDING. Jittering around in pain most likely, but still standing.
Also notice how both Bam and Dunn are wearing full face masks, but Knoxville? All he had was a pair of goggles. Granted, he wasn't hit in the face, but still...
The Tooth Hurts: Ehren gets his tooth pulled... by a Lamborghini. Needless to say, there was a fair amount of blood coming out of his mouth afterward. And Ehren was almost completely incoherent due to the intense pain.
Trilogy Creep: The first movie was intended as a Grand Finale, with the crew doing stunts they weren't allowed to do on TV. Then they made the second movie, after a guest spot on Wildboyz led to Knoxville realizing he wanted to make more Jackass. And then they made the third film - in 3D. To quote Bam: "Please, God, don't let there be a Jackass 3!"
To support Steve-O's rehabilitation, the cast made sure that no beer was available on set during the filming of Jackass 3D, so everyone performed sober. Which may explain why they appear to be noticeably more miserable. invoked