For three long years, our screens both big and small, have suffered a Jackass-shaped hole and undoubtedly life seems a little bleaker in its absence.
Since its humble beginnings in a West Chester, Pennsylvania backyard in 2000, Jackass has faced a lot of criticism for glorifying dangerous stunts.
But undoubtedly, the franchise grew from cult following to worldwide phenomenon and there’s no doubt that the army of fans miss the morbid curiosity in watching this group of fine, upstanding gentlemen push their bodies – and their gag reflex – to the limits.
Although, in our heart of hearts, we all know that the world was a better place with Jackass, Looper has brilliantly quantified these feelings with some empirical evidence.
You can watch the full YouTube video above but the five-pronged argument goes a little something like this…
The Jackass squad respected their audience. They weren’t afraid to get their hands dirty, and they knew their fans would notice if the wool was pulled over their eyes, unlike pranksters today who happily fake stunts, selling their integrity for YouTube views.
They had real camaraderie. The Jackass stars earned their devotees through a genuinely great TV product, but more importantly it was evident that all the members treated each other like family – and that’s heartwarming to watch amid the rocket launchers, fish hooks and pints of sweat.
Jackass displayed high production values. With the success of the Jackass boys came a film franchise of pranks with high production values that show the YouTube prankster imitators of today up as Go-Pro amateurs.
Theses values gave gravitas to their boundary-pushing sketches. The production company behind Jackass – Dickhouse Productions – always used their platform to push the envelope of inclusivity. Steve-O said, ‘We always thought it was funny to force a heterosexual MTV generation to deal with our thongs and homoerotic humour. In many ways, all our gay humour has been a humanitarian attack against homophobia.’
Most importantly though, the programme had an essential sweetness: Jackass was a family show – kind of. It regularly featured berating mothers, and this moral compass was evident in the actual pranks. Rather than goad the public into fist fights, shock or scare them by dressing as killer clowns, Jackass pranks innocently poked fun at those partaking.
Feel free to relay Looper’s arguments back to any Jackass haters who disagree.
Meanwhile, Knoxville has hinted at the possibility of more Jackass, with the rumour mill excitedly circulating the moment he said, ‘We are open to doing another’.
A working title, Jackass: We’re Not Dunn Yet has been championed by Bam Margera as an homage to the late, great Ryan Dunn.
The franchise’s own overgrown toddler Steve-O once said:
If Bam can stay sober and healthy, I suppose it’s possible, but I think it’s unlikely.
While Bam Margera has been in therapy, working on a new project titled Earth Rocker, we can perhaps live in hope that the Jackass crew will one day reunite and Wee Man will save our burning world.
A former emo kid who talks too much about 8Chan meme culture, the Kardashian Klan, and how her smartphone is probably killing her. Francesca is a Cardiff University Journalism Masters grad who has done words for BBC, ELLE, The Debrief, DAZED, an art magazine you’ve never heard of and a feminist zine which never went to print.