The Jackass films were never going to age that well. Classics for the ages weren’t intended though were they? It’s been more a case of goofing off in dangerous ways and getting paid and famous for it.
But, though we may not be rating J1, J2 or J3D on any all-time lists, we miss those crazy cats. So where have they all been?
Ryan Dunn is the member of the Jackass crew who proved, tragically, that this crazy breed are not invulnerable. In 2011, Dunn was killed in a high speed car crash along with his friend and Jackass production assistant Zachary Hartwell.
Dunn was “attached at the hip” with Bam Margera who he described as his “hands-down best friend”. Besides Bam, he was largely distant from the rest of the crew following a stunt at the end of Jackass 2 that went wrong and gave him a bloodclot. He also suffered from Lyme disease.
Health issues aside, he reunited with the Jackass crew for Jackass 3D prior to his death and is fondly remembered by his co-stars, particularly for his ability to produce hilarious failures to stunts. “If everyone was getting a stunt right and it wasn’t funny, we’d just send in Ryan,” recalled Knoxville in an MTV tribute to the late star.
Knoxville has stayed in the public eye, usually appearing alongside beefcakes like The Rock (Walking Tall) and Arnie (The Last Stand) in action flicks that hover somewhere between mediocre and enjoyable in a brain-switched-off kind of way.
He’s also taken to comedy with The Dukes Of Hazzard, which coincided with Jackass 2, Movie 43 and unspectacular un-PC rom-com The Ringer, in which he plays a guy who rigs the Special Olympics.
The former CKY frontman stayed in the stunt game, though he’s seldom been seen engaging in full-blown Jackass level idiocy since the death of his best friend Ryan Dunn.
Viva La Bam was handed to him immediately after the close of MTV’s Jackass run. Five successful seasons from 2003 to 2005 made him a reality star as well as a stunt icon, helping to pay for the upkeep of ‘Castle Bam’ where he lives in the CKY crew’s hometown. His Jackass 3D highlight? Getting a surprise high-five from a six foot hand. Oh yeah, and he’s still a pro skateboarder.
Steve-O, the Jackass mainstay with a tattoo of himself on his back (and a tattoo of nothing in particular inked in the back of an off-road truck on his arm) can lay claim to having stayed true to the cause perhaps more than any other member of the crew.
And by ‘the cause’, we mean hurting himself.
After the first Jackass movie, Steve-O created Wild Boys alongside his friend Chris Pontius, which was like Jackass but with less punching and more alligators.
But it wasn’t all fun and games for Steve-O. He’s bipolar and in 2008 his friends called for him to enter rehab because they considered him a suicide risk. "I've had horrible mood swings and severe depression,” he said at the time. “My brain is f***ed up from using so much cocaine, ketamine, PCP, nitrous oxide, and all sorts of other drugs."
Nowadays he’s back in the game doing his own touring live show and continuing to perform stunts on his YouTube channel.
You might not know that Wee Man, real name Jason Acuña, was a pro skateboarder before his appearance in the first Jackass series and subsequent films. And he’s still involved in the skate world, if not pulling off quite as many flips as he used to.
Wee Man may be doomed to people asking him to kick himself in the head for quite some time. But that’s a minor inconvenience to bear when Jackass fame has been so good to him. Wee Man continues to act (though straight-to-video release Elf-Man may not be on the Oscar Ballot). He also presents extreme sports show 54321 on Fox Sports and owns a Taco restaurant by the beach in California. We’d kick ourselves in the head to have that lot.
Watch our exclusive 'Bad Grandpa' Q&A with Johnny Knoxville and director Jeff Tremaine, below.