Jackass is a half-hour television series, originally shown on MTV and first produced in 1999 in which a group of grown men do various humiliating, dangerous and/or ridiculous stunts for fun. Its target audience is mainly boys, especially teens. The show ran for three seasons, the first episode aired on April 12, 2000 and the 25th and final episode aired on February 17, 2002. It was followed by the 2002 feature film, Jackass: The Movie, which was essentially an extended, uncensored episode of the TV show.
Though the cast members were often classified as a troupe, in reality most filming was done seperately by different groups. Bam Margera, Ryan Dunn, and Brandon DiCamillo all filmed in Pennsylvania. Johnny Knoxville, Chris Pontius, and others in California, and Dave England and Ehren McGhehey in Oregon.
The members of the Jackass cast are:
Some of the sketches featured on the show are:
- Plunger Wake Up (Bam Margera, Phil Margera) - Bam silently goes into the room where his father, Phil, is sleeping, carefully places a stereo on Phil's bed, and turns it on at full blast. When Phil wakes up, startled, Bam bangs on a pot and uses a plunger on Phil's face.
- Beard of Leeches (Johnny Knoxville) - Johnny wore an Abraham Lincoln-style suit and top hat and had Leeches attached to his face to make the 'beard' that Lincoln had, while giving the Gettysburg address.
- The Human Tricycle (Dave England) - England goes down hills with rollerskates attached to his knees and a pair of wheels held in his hands.
- The Vomelette (Dave England) - Dave swallows eggs, onions, sausages and cheese, and then regurgitates it onto a frying pan to make an omelette.
- Party Boy (Chris Pontius) - A running gag in which Pontius, to the tunes of the same techno beat, tears off his jogging suit and dances around a la Chippendale's in a thong and bowtie to the embarrassment of those around him.
- The Meter Fairy (Ehren McGhehey) - McGhehey dressed in a pink fairy outfit and went around putting change in other people's overdue parking meters. This seeming act of generosity was played for gags both by McGhehey's costume and by ribbing the Traffic Enforcement Police, who informed him several times that putting change in other people's meters is illegal.
- The Human Wrecking Ball (Preston Lacey)- Preston dresses up in a padded black suit, attaches hiself to a crane and ends up being swung into random objects.
- Butt Piercing (Steve-O) - Steve-O goes to a piercing parlor and gets his buttcheeks pierced together.
- Shopping Carts (Bam Margera, Ryan Dunn, Brandon DiCamillo) - Bam, Ryan and Brandon ride shopping carts in a parking lot, crashing into kerbs and getting tossed out of the shopping carts at high speed.
In April 2001 Johnny Knoxville and other cast members participated in the Gumball 3000, a rally from Britain to Russia and back. Video footage of this constituted the entire seventh episode of the third series.
In the summer of 2003, Johnny Knoxville left the show. Remaining cast members are now featured in the spinoff shows Viva la Bam and Wildboyz.
Jackass has been blamed for a number of deaths and injuries involving teens and children imitating the stunts. In 2001, Sen. Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut asked MTV to either pull the show of the air entirely, or tone down its content after several incidents.
The Smoking Gun, a Web site that contains documents of police reports and court documents, made public a suit by a man named "Jack Ass" who sued MTV and Viacom, its parent company.