In many ways, the Jackass franchise is peak Americana. After all, what’s better than a group of friends getting together to hurt and humiliate one another for the entertainment of others? Nothing is a more sublime portrait of friendship, even after 25+ years. Point is, Jackass is an American cultural institution and should be treated as such.
Even though some may deride the low ideals of the Jackass movies, the truth is that it is the living embodiment of one man’s trash being another man’s treasure. While it’s been over a decade since the last Jackass film hit theaters, the crew is finally back and better than ever with the latest installment in the franchise, Jackass: Forever. If there’s anything that heal our broken world in 2022, it’s Jackass.
So with that in mind, we’re entering the way back machine to look back at some of the most memorable moments from the movies.
Cover Photo: Paramount Pictures
Golf Course Air Horn
Some of the best Jackass gags are also the simplest. A golf course is a place meant for peace and quiet, so naturally, the funniest thing you could do is to use an air horn on unsuspecting golfers. Part of the reason why this skit works so well is the retired guy’s reaction. “I’ll give you something to play with” is a perfect one-liner.
Rental Car Destruction Derby
On the opposite end of the spectrum, The Rental Car Destruction Derby is absolute perfection in terms of highly thought-out skits. The best part about this gag is how it plays out like a silent film. Even better is the fact that it’s packed with classic one-liners from Johnny Knoxville, as well as a good ol’ blow-up doll or two for good measure.
The High Five
The High Five is a simple, yet effective bit. It takes the classic “mechanical boxing glove” gag to the next level, which feels like the most Jackass thing ever. If anything, it proves that you can never go wrong with an amazing mechanical gag.
The Jet Engine
One of the funniest physical bits in Jackass 3D is the Jet Engine gag. Aside from being absolutely hilarious visual comedy, it reminds us how insanely dangerous this whole venture is. Sure, the whole appeal of something like Jackass is seeing people hurting themselves. But at the end of the day, this is one stunt that is memorable purely for the danger factor.
The Butt Chug
The Butt Chug is arguably the most rediclious skit in any of the Jackass movies. Perhaps the most shocking revelation from this segment is that it actually works. The plunger bit is an iconic third-act turn, just masterful storytelling here. In other words, it’s a classic Steve-O bit.
A huge part of Jackass is the pranks that the crew play on each other. While some of these pranks achieve varying levels of success, there’s no doubt that the Terror Taxi gag is arguably the best. Aside from the fact that they were commenting on post-911 Islamophobia, there is something endlessly funny about a classic double-cross that builds layers on layers of comedy gold.
Steve-O has shown the willingness to ingest just about anything, so it comes a no surprise that he’d be willing to snort wasabi. It’s a simple gag, but one that is remarkably effective. It’s memorable because no one in their right mind would ever do that, and yet you can’t take your eyes off of the madness (and vomit) that ensues.
The Toro Totter skit isn’t the most dangerous or disgusting, but it does get to the essence of the Jackass movies – take what was done on the show to the nth degree for the films. The crew (and Knoxville in particular) has the propensity to piss off angry animals with large horns, so why not quadruple the devastation. Ryan Dunn is easily the one who gets it the worst here, while Knoxville nearly gets gored by the bull. Riveting stuff.
Poo Cocktail Supreme
There’s something about human feces that amplifies just about any Jackass skit. Great artists always adapt to their medium, so the fact that they were able to stage the Poo Cocktail Supreme in 3D is about as gross as it gets. Naturally, this is a gag that only someone like Steve-O could pull off.
The butt X-Ray is arguably the funniest sketch in the first Jackass film. There’s something endlessly funny about the deadpan delivery and the pure shock of the doctor. It’s simply a classic Ryan Dunn bit, which only makes us sadder that he’s not with us anymore.
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