Jackass (TV series)
Jackass warning screen
|Created by||Johnny Knoxville|
Jason "Wee-Man" Acuña
|Opening theme||"Corona" by Minutemen|
|No. of seasons||3|
|No. of episodes||25|
|Running time||22–23 minutes|
|Original run||October 1, 2000 – February 17, 2002|
|Followed by||Jackass: The Movie|
Jackass is an American television series, originally shown on MTV from 2000 to 2002, featuring people performing various dangerous, crude, ridiculous, and self-injuring stunts and pranks. The show served as a launchpad for the television and acting careers of Johnny Knoxville and Bam Margera. Since 2002, two Jackass theatrical films have been produced and released by MTV corporate sibling Paramount Pictures, continuing the franchise after its run on television. It is one of MTV's most popular shows and sparked several spin-offs including Viva La Bam, Wildboyz, Homewrecker, Dr. Steve-O, and Blastazoid.
The show developed from Big Brother Magazine, a skateboarding-related humor magazine that Jeff Tremaine, Dave Carnie, Rick Kosick and Chris Pontius all worked for, and featured regular contributions from Johnny Knoxville and Dave England, among others. The concept of Jackass dates back to 1999 when struggling-actor-turned-writer Johnny Knoxville birthed the idea to test different self defense devices on himself as the basis for an article. He pitched the idea to a couple of magazines and was turned down until meeting with Jeff Tremaine of Big Brother. Jeff hired him as a journalist and convinced Johnny to videotape this idea and other stunts for stories. The footage, which involved Knoxville being tasered, maced, and ultimately shot while wearing a bulletproof vest, appeared in the second Big Brother skateboarding movie Number Two (which is also the title of the second Jackass theatrical film) Johnny and the videos quickly became a hit. Future Jackass castmember Wee-Man made an appearance in the videos, and Florida clown Steve-O would send in submissions to be part of the videos.
Big Brother would go on road trips, which is believed to be where Johnny met Bam Margera and they became good friends. In addition to skateboarding, Bam Margera had recently released a movie entitled Landspeed:CKY which consisted of himself and his friends, which he dubbed the "CKY Crew", in West Chester, Pennsylvania performing various skits and stunts. The Crew included the colorful cast of Ryan Dunn, Brandon Dicamillo, and Raab Himself, as well as Margera's family April, Phil, Don Vito, and Jess Margera. Jeff Tremaine saw the tapes and drafted Bam and his crew into what would become the cast of Jackass. Later, the Jackass crew would personally recruit Steve-O in a Florida Flea Market where he worked as a clown for part of the show. To round out the cast, Dave England brought in his friend Ehren McGhehey, a fellow Oregon resident and extreme stunt participator.
Tremaine drafted his friend, director Spike Jonze to get involved with the show, and together, he, Jonze, and Johnny Knoxville served as executive producers. The idea show was pitched, and the cast was initially given an offer by Saturday Night Live to perform the stunts weekly for the show, though the offer was turned down. A bidding war eventually occurred between Comedy Central and MTV, which MTV eventually won. It was then that Jackass was born.
Since the first episode, Jackass frequently featured warnings and disclaimers noting that the stunts performed were dangerous and should not be imitated, and that recordings of any stunts would not be aired on MTV. Such warnings not only appeared before and after each program and after each commercial break, but also in a "crawl" that ran along the bottom of the screen during some especially risky stunts, as well as showing their 'skull and crutches logo' at the bottom right of the screen to symbolize the stunt performed as risky. Nevertheless, the program has been blamed for a number of deaths and injuries involving teens and children recreating the stunts.
On January 29, 2001, U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman publicly condemned MTV and Jackass in connection with a dangerous stunt that led to a copycat incident in which a 13-year-old Connecticut teenager was left in critical condition with severe burns. Lieberman followed up with a February 7, 2001 letter to MTV's parent company Viacom urging the company to take greater responsibility for its programming and do more to help parents protect their children. MTV responded to the criticism by canceling all airings of Jackass before 10:00 PM, but Lieberman's continual campaign against the show led to MTV refusing to air repeats of the later episodes, a move which angered the cast and production crew of the series who were furious with MTV's "caving into Lieberman's demands."
A man named Jack Ass sued MTV for $10 million, claiming the series was plagiarizing his name. Jack Ass, formerly known as Bob Craft, changed his name in 1997 to raise awareness for drunk driving, after his brother and friend were killed in a vehicle accident.
In a 2001 interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Johnny Knoxville announced that the show would end after its third season aired so as to allow the show to end on a high note. He also stated discontent at MTV and the censors, who, from the start of season two, began to hound the show's producers with notes regarding what the show could and could not depict. When the third season ended in 2002, MTV (who owns the rights to the name "Jackass") contemplated keeping the show going with a new cast of characters (even running a teaser for the show's return during the 2002 VMA Awards Show) before opting to let the show die. Because of problems with MTV's standards and practices department as well as the sudden departure of Bam Margera and the CKY Crew halfway through season three, the Jackass crew did not attempt to create a finale to bring the show to a close.
MTV released a DVD box set in December 2005. The box set included the three Jackass DVD volumes (which were not composed of all 3 entire seasons, but just 1:30-2:00 highlights of each season), a bonus disc that included the crew's trip to Gumball 3000, a "Where Are They Now" documentary, MTV Cribs Jackass Edition, TV spots, and a 48-page book of photos and inside stories.
Life after Jackass
When the hit show ended, each member of the cast found new work in movies and television, each gaining their own degree of success. Knoxville pursued a career as an actor, appearing in such films as the 2004 remake of Walking Tall, The Dukes of Hazzard, Men in Black II, The Ringer, A Dirty Shame and Big Trouble.
Margera and the CKY crew were given their own spin-off show Viva La Bam, which follows Margera and his family, who are often made the victim of the clique's practical jokes. Bam and the crew also have Radio Bam on Sirius radio. Margera has also been featured in Bam's Unholy Union, following him and his fiance Missy in the run-up to their wedding, while Brandon DiCamillo and Rake Yohn featured in Blastazoid, a short-lived show about video games. When Viva La Bam finished its run, Ryan Dunn, who was part of Bam's crew on Viva La Bam, was given his own show Homewrecker, in which he finds revenge for helpless victims of practical jokes by renovating the prankster's room according to the original incident. The show only lasted one season.
Pontius and Steve-O were also given their own spin-off show Wildboyz. Unlike Jackass and Viva La Bam, Wildboyz rejected the formula of practical jokes and instead features the two traveling the world in search of wild and exotic animals. Directed by Jackass director Jeff Tremaine, Wildboyz featured frequent guest appearances by fellow Jackasses Johnny Knoxville, Manny Puig, and Jason "Wee Man" Acuña.
Jackass: The Movie
After the show went off the air, the cast reunited in 2002 to film what they believed would be the conclusion of Jackass: a full-length motion picture version of the show entitled Jackass: The Movie. The cast made it clear that the film was their "farewell" to the fans of the show, and with the franchise taking the movie format, the cast and crew were now allowed to circumvent the censors, showing more vulgar stunts than the ones featured on the TV show. Despite earlier disagreements, MTV Films assisted in the movie's distribution.
The movie, filmed on a budget of just $5 million, went on to gross over $60 million in the United States alone, and finished in the number 1 spot at the box office during its debut weekend.
Jackass Number Two
With the release of Jackass: The Movie, director Jeff Tremaine and the rest of the Jackass cast believed that Jackass was finished and there would be no further projects under the franchise. However, during the final season of Wildboyz, Johnny Knoxville joined his former castmates Chris Pontius and Steve-O on various expeditions around the world. It was said that Knoxville went so far out during the filming of the show that Tremaine pulled him aside and said "If you're willing to go this all out, why not get all the guys together and shoot another movie?" Knoxville agreed, and with both Viva La Bam and Wildboyz finishing their runs, the entire cast was available to reunite and film the sequel.
Jackass Number Two was released on September 22, 2006, produced by MTV Films and distributed by Paramount Pictures. As was the case with its predecessor, Jackass Number Two topped the box office in its debut weekend, earning $29.01 million. Footage for several stunts featured Bam Margera's uncle Vincent "Don Vito" Margera, but the footage was removed from the theatrical and DVD release due to his arrest in August 2006 and the nature of the charges.
On September 7, 2006, MTV featured a half-hour documentary of Jackass: Number Two. When asked if the film meant the end of Jackass, cast member Steve-O jokingly commented that the people who made money from the Jackass franchise still wanted money, hinting that the cast would still continue the franchise in one form or another. At the conclusion of the documentary, Johnny Knoxville reveals that he "had a hard time letting go" because he is "so hooked on doing stunts." Cameraman Dimitry Elyashkevich reveals that weeks after the film, Knoxville was so desperate to shoot that he would film himself running into street signs just for the sake of additional footage.
On September 5, 2007, Margera announced on The Howard Stern Show that Jackass 2.5 will be released. He said that Jackass 2.5 is a compilation DVD of stunts that did not make it to Jackass Number 2. One example of a stunt that Bam gave was where he pulled Don Vito's teeth out with his Lamborghini, however, the stunt also didn't make to cut into Jackass 2.5 in the wake of his probation sentence in December 2007.
Jackass MTV Takeover
On February 23, 2008 MTV broadcasted the TV special Jackassworld.com: 24 Hour Takeover to coincide with the official launch of Jackassworld, a web site which will house everything Jackass from now on, including classic and new stunts. The TV special allowed the core members of Jackass to take over MTV and its studios for 24 hours, broadcasting new pranks and stunts, along with a tribute to stunt man Evel Knievel shot days before. During the takeover, Jeff Tremaine was asked about a third Jackass movie. He stated "there are no plans to make a Jackass 3 right now." To which Johnny Knoxville joked, "We may never make Jackass 3, we may start shooting tomorrow." Bam was also asked about the possibility of a Jackass 3, and all he said was that "he had some funny stuff for it".
In a August 2009 interview with Johnny Knoxville for The Times-Picayune, Knoxville on the topic of Steve-o's recovery and rehabilitation said "He's taking to sobriety like he took to drugs and alcohol, I'm very proud of him. I think we'll see him doing some stuff here really soon. As a matter of fact, I know we are." And later stated "Something's coming. We're pretty excited". Later, he added: "I think it'll be a big year next year, but I don't want to talk about it yet."
In September 2009, Margera revealed to Iltalehti, a Finnish newspaper, that a Jackass 3 will be made and filming in places like Mongolia, South Africa and Finland as well as the United States will start in January 2010. He then confirmed it again on Radio Bam on September 21, 2009. In early December Knoxville later confirmed that Jackass 3 was being made. .
Jackass: The Game
Jackass: The Game was released on October 2, 2007. It was developed under a license by Sidhe Interactive in Wellington, New Zealand for the PlayStation 2 and Playstation Portable. The game was first shown at the 2006 E3 behind closed doors. It is mentioned in the Jackass: Number Two commentary that the stunt where several members get punched in the face by a spring loaded boxing glove hidden behind a fake valentine on a wall had just come upstairs from shooting a promo for the video game. Johnny Knoxville and other members of the Jackass team also provided stunt ideas to the developer based on unused stunts from the show. A trailer and the cover art was released in June 2007 on the game's official website.
Cast and crew
Main cast members
- Johnny Knoxville
- Bam Margera
- Chris Pontius
- Ryan Dunn
- Jason "Wee Man" Acuña
- Preston Lacy
- Dave England
- Ehren McGhehey
Recurring cast members
- Stephanie Hodge
- Brandon Dicamillo
- Raab Himself
- Rake Yohn
- Phil Margera
- April Margera
- Jess Margera
- Vincent "Don Vito" Margera
- Manny Puig
- Loomis Fall
- Chris Nieratko
- Eric Koston
- Jeff Tremaine – creator, director
- Spike Jonze – creator
- Dimitry Elyashkevich – producer, cameraman
- Rick Kosick – main cameraman
- Knate Gwaltney – cameraman
- Greg "Guch" Iguchi – cameraman
- Sean Cliver – producer
- Lance Bangs - documentarian
- Tony Hawk – pro skateboarder; performed 'the loop' with Bam Margera
- Mat Hoffman – professional bmx rider, participated in "The Loop" and also appeared in "Jackass The Movie" during the "Clipper Cam" scenes and the "Sweaty Fat Fucks" segment with Margera and Hawk.
- Brad Pitt – participated in the "Abduction" and "Night Monkey 2" skits
- Shaquille O'Neal – participated in one skit, in which he dry-humped Wee Man and Steve-O during the filming of a music video
- CKY – Drummer Jess Margera appears in several episodes. Jess and Deron Miller wake Phil up in the "heavy metal alarm clock" segment.
- Fatlip – slid down an escalator, member of the rap group The Pharcyde.
- Ruby Wax and Maximillion Cooper – Gumball Rally special
- Diddy – slapped Bam and performed the "I'm Johnny Knoxville, welcome to Jackass" intro
- Quinton Jackson – gave fighting tips to Ryan Dunn in a skit where Dunn eventually lost the fight after almost getting knocked out
- Daewon Song – in the "carpet skating" segment.
TV, films, and releases
- Jackass (TV series) (MTV, 2000-2002)
- Jackassworld.com: 24 Hour Takeover (MTV Special, 2008)
- Jackass: The Box Set (2005)
- Jackass: The Lost Tapes (2009)
Various groups have created shows based on or similar to Jackass. These include:
- Extreme Duudsonit aka The Dudesons
- Dirty Sanchez AKA Team Sanchez
- Tokyo Shock Boys
- Crazy Monkey
- Rad Girls
- ↑ Jackass, Johnny Knoxville | 100 New TV Classics: No. 75-51 | The EW 1000 | Photos | EW.com.
- ↑ Epstein, Daniel Robert, "Number Two director Jeff Tremaine".
- ↑ "Where Are They Now?", Jackass: The Box Set (2005), Paramount / MTV studios, 2005, ASIN: B000BDH69O.
- ↑ "AbsolutJacakss: Your Official Source for Johnny Knoxville - Biography"  (accessed July 19, 2007).
- ↑ Senator Joe Lieberman: News Release.
- ↑ Senator Joe Lieberman: News Release.
- ↑ The Smoking Gun: Archive.
- ↑ "The Making of Jackass: The Movie", Jackass - The Movie (Unrated Special Collector's Edition) (DVD), 2006, Paramount Pictures / MTV Films, ASIN: B000GBEWHK.
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 "The Making of Jackass Number Two", Jackass Number Two (Unrated Special Collector's Edition) (DVD), 2006, Paramount Pictures / MTV Films, ASIN: B000JLTRJK.
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Bam Margera, September 5, 2007 on The Howard Stern Show
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 Scott, Mike (August 04, 2009). "Johnny Knoxville: 'Jackass' star Steve-O almost ready to dive back into his work". The Times-Picayune. http://www.nola.com/movies/index.ssf/2009/08/johnny_knoxville_jackass_star.html. Retrieved 2009-09-01.
- ↑ "Bam Margera Confirms Jackass 3 Filming Date". Iltalehti. September 14, 2009. http://www.iltalehti.fi/nettitv/?8165157. Retrieved 2009-10-15.
- ↑ Expected 'Jackass 3' filming locations.
- ↑ IGN: Jackass: The Game Preview.
- ↑ Jackass to painfully become a video game this September @ Gaming Target.