Jackass ForeverSpencer J. Quinn
I entered the theater to see Jackass Forever with equal parts hope and trepidation. For years, Johnny Knoxville and the Jackass crew have been a guilty pleasure of mine which, believe it or not, I have grown to cherish. They were never our guys in a political sense, not even implicitly. Given the flagrant degeneracy, delinquency, and irresponsibility of some of them, I wouldn’t want to know where they stand politically, or if they even have the presence of mind to take a stand at all.
Further, a drunken Ryan Dunn’s highly-publicized car wreck in 2011 which killed him and a passenger did drape a heavy pall upon the franchise. Still, throughout this century I have often found myself returning to Jackass as a much-needed refuge from political correctness and our increasingly perverse woke culture. Ingenious stunts and wicked pranks never threatened to make the show highbrow or subversive, but at least it was honest about what it offered and pure in its efforts to entertain.
Springing out of the skateboarding culture of the late 1990s, Jackass began as a white male phenomenon. It was where boys could be boys, and their ids could beat the living shit out of each other for the sake of provoking profane, juvenile hysterics. Watching them consistently find clever ways to subvert norms of common sense and decency (to say nothing of self-preservation) was quite liberating. Sometimes their ideas alone were chuckle-worthy. Beehive Tetherball, the Golden Snow Cone, the Toro Totter, Demolition Derby Rent a Car — the stunts just write themselves, don’t they? If you take Candid Camera, Evel Knievel, Buster Keaton, sports bloopers, and Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom and mix them all up with a giant bag of farts, barf, and excrement, you’re pretty much going to end up with Jackass.
At their apocalyptic best, they could produce large-scale stunts ranging from the sickeningly vivid to the gloriously near-suicidal. For examples, see the Poo Cocktail Supreme from Jackass 3D or the Big Red Rocket from Jackass 2, which quite literally put Knoxville within a few inches of death. With the help of pyrotechnics, Newtonian physics, and slow-motion photography, they could also produce a kind of weightless, slapstick ballet, the appreciation of which goes well beyond the ironic. See the panoramic finale of Jackass 3D for a great example.
Prior to Jackass Forever, woke scolds and other Left-wing progressive types tolerated the program largely because Jackass was apolitical and never tread upon the three pillars of cultural Marxism: race, gender, and sexuality. And if you hate white people, what’s not to like about watching Knoxville get kicked in the nuts repeatedly by a queue of kindergarteners, or Bam Margera getting a cattle brand on his ass, or Dunn getting pummeled by a female Japanese champion kickboxer, or Dave England screaming in terror as he rides a firehose 20 feet in the air like it’s a bucking bronco?
Regardless, Jackass was still a white guy’s thing. It was where we could go to enjoy some good, old-fashioned degeneracy and escape from the more insidious degeneracy found almost everywhere else in today’s pop culture. Indeed, what would you rather have, Steve-O eating a “vomlet” or drag-queen story hour with your five-year-old? At least in the former case, you won’t lose your career if you call the stunt disgusting.
But like all things, the pure must become tainted, the great must be laid low, and the high-flying Icarus must sooner or later come crashing down to Earth (more on that later). Seriously, the previews for Jackass Forever showed quite a bit of new blood, which is reasonable considering how the cast members are now in their mid-to-late forties and are getting a bit long in the testicles for this kind of tomfoolery. Unfortunately for people like me, however, over half of the new cast members are black and one is female. I can imagine the Hollywood executives telling Knoxville and long-time director Jeff Tremaine that Jackass Forever would be a no-go unless the boys injected some much-needed diversity into their idiotic production, regardless of quality.
And the result is . . . not terrible.
Jackass Forever succeeds in spite of its woke convergence, but still suffers from it. The stunts certainly meet the group’s previous standards of ingenuity. We have Chris Pontius’ penis dressed up like Godzilla and getting bitten by a turtle. We have Wee Man dangling in the air from a wedgie. We have Steve-O lighting a fart underwater. We have Danger Ehren in an electric chair getting shocked while a bear eats salmon off his crotch. We have Dave England getting covered in pig semen. We have the boys vomiting milk while on a high-speed carousel. We have the marching band treadmill, which ends with Steve-O lying unconscious next to a trombone. And for the pièce de résistance, we have Johnny Knoxville reaching new heights as a winged Icarus being shot from a cannon. Nothing terribly surprising, given the group’s extensive body of work, but still impressive if you’re into this sort of thing.
The new crew is a disappointment, however, mostly due to lack of character. With the original team, one gets a feel for their individual personalities. Not so much with the new folks, with the exception of the extroverted (and very black) Jasper Dolphin. But even he cannot replicate the irreverent joy the original cast expresses during all this insanity. And what his inarticulate ex-con father contributes to these stunts is anyone’s guess. Zach Holmes, on the other hand, is little more than obese and durable. Watching his tattooed blubber ripple in the air before he crash-lands in a cactus patch is breathtaking, sure. But then he gets up and walks away like it’s nothing. Part of the fun of Jackass is watching the guys writhe in pain after their stunts. If they were truly tough, they wouldn’t be so funny. And Zach Holmes is, if anything, tough — which means he isn’t very funny.
A word must be said about Rachel Wolfson, the female addition. Her two stunts were lame, to say the least, and the movie would have much stronger without her. The only stunt of hers I remember is her getting bitten on the lip by a scorpion — and her reaction is boringly stoic. I apologize for my high-handed attitude, but she just doesn’t fit in with Jackass — nor should any woman, for that matter. Could any of us imagine a woman in a room with Knoxville, Steve-O, and the others, stripped down to her underwear and setting fire to her farts or slicing paper cuts between her toes? How about having her eat dried cow manure while getting pelted with paintballs, or getting blindsided on the dome by a boxing glove while the Rocky theme plays? Call me a purist, but it rankles me just to think about it.
One final point. Jackass Forever did something I never thought possible. It made me feel sorry for one of its cast members: Danger Ehren McGhehey. Jackass is not supposed to cause such reactions. We’re supposed to gawk and guffaw, not well up with distress and compassion. In the middle of the movie we are treated to an extended version of Knoxville’s “cup test,” in which a person wearing a jockstrap and athletic cup suffers repeated blows to his junk. In this case, Ehren is the victim and, in continuous succession onscreen, gets punched by black UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou, pelted with a softball by softball pitcher Danielle O’Toole, beamed with a hockey puck by black hockey player P. K. Subban, and stomped with a pogo stick by another cast member. It’s not that they went too far with this stunt; they went too often. It was funny the first couple of times. After that, it was squirm city.
Moreover, is Jackass now in the business of emasculating white men? Eh, probably not, since it’s still consistent in relation to similar stunts they performed in the past. But still, would black audiences sit still while watching one of their own getting jammed in the jewels over and over by a succession of snickering white guys? Again, probably not. So then why did Tremaine and Knoxville expect their white audience members not to feel the same way about Ehren? Why did they select a black hockey player when there were so many white ones to choose from?
Well, we all know why. Whites are not allowed to view race as blacks view race. Blacks can become protective of their own, while whites cannot. This double standard has become so ingrained in the minds of whites that major motion pictures can now depict blacks abusing white manhood in real life and expect nothing but laughs.
Despite these major hiccups, Jackass Forever delivers well enough on what it promises. The stunts are clever and real. Guys split their sides laughing, and some go to the hospital as a result. Despite its aging cast, the Jackass franchise is as committed as ever to high-concept sophomoric entertainment. And, yes, a 49-year-old Johnny Knoxville really does get tossed on his head by a bull. Bully for him, and bully for his fans.
Jackass has shown over the years that it can actually pay to be a glutton for punishment. The irony of Jackass Forever, however, is that during several moments it’s the racially-aware audience that finds itself being punished.
* * *
Counter-Currents has extended special privileges to those who donate $120 or more per year.
- First, donor comments will appear immediately instead of waiting in a moderation queue. (People who abuse this privilege will lose it.)
- Second, donors will have immediate access to all Counter-Currents posts. Non-donors will find that one post a day, five posts a week will be behind a “paywall” and will be available to the general public after 30 days.
To get full access to all content behind the paywall, sign up here:
Paywall Gift Subscriptions
If you are already behind the paywall and want to share the benefits, Counter-Currents also offers paywall gift subscriptions. We need just five things from you:
- your payment
- the recipient’s name
- the recipient’s email address
- your name
- your email address
To register, just fill out this form and we will walk you through the payment and registration process. There are a number of different payment options.
IQ Doesn’t Matter
Nuclear Families: Threads
Of Donkeys and Men: A Review of The Banshees of Inisherin
IQ Is a Phenotype
Trevor Lynch’s Classics of Right-Wing Cinema
Race and Ethics in John Ford’s Stagecoach
John Wayne’s The Alamo & the Politics of the 1960s
Do You Have What It Takes to be a Dissident?
Of course Jackass had to follow the enriching multicultural path that infects everything. Sure, Jackass was successful and has a large fanbase, but how much better it could be once blacks are inserted into it. How much more diverse the stunts could be. Imagine Knoxville’s face as he gets pushed off the subway platform into a subway train that’s loaded with black homeless and smells of crap. Imagine Knoxville running through Harlem like Bruce Willis in Die Hard With A Vengeance, wearing a sandwich board with the n-word. All of this injecting blacks into places is being done to humiliate Whites. A side effect of it is the ongoing fetishization of blacks by Whites. “Look at our cute new pets, the blacks! Aren’t the beautiful? They’re so exotic! Did you know that they’ve been living among us for years now? Oh, they’re so cute!”
Apparently, nothing exists until it’s been blessed with the black stamp of their bursting culture. Want to take up a new hobby? Wait, what’s the racial makup of participants? Do you like model trains? Nope, not enough blacks. How can I enjoy it knowing that little black hands aren’t placing track, painting models, or creating the HO-scale city scene of the Edmund Pettus bridge in Selma as a basis for their model trains? What ethnic paint scheme might blacks create that would enrich my model train experience?
It’s like the new Amazon movie that forces blacks into The Lord of The Rings world. They didn’t exist in the books but the geniuses at Amazon KNOW that the series would be much better, nay, the series was nothing, repeat NOTHING without a black influence. How can Jackass be all that it can be without the enrichment of blacks.
While I have never been a Jackass fan, I have liked Knoxville in the occasional movie role. I do appreciate the absolute hilarity of people doing stunts that turn out poorly. I’ll suggest an excellent show that aired on Spike TV from 2003 – 2007 called MXC (Most Extreme Elimination Challenge). It uses video from a Japanese game show called Takeshi’s Castle that aired from 1986 to 1990 and was wildly successful in Japan and then several other countries. Takeshi’s plot was to take around 100 young contestants and under the guidance of General Tani, these kids would undergo several very hard-to- complete physical stunts, trying to storm Takeshi’s Castle. Most of the contestants fail, most times rather spectacularly. The Spike show, MXC, used the video but stripped all audio and added hilarious, non PC voice-over audio. Add a healthy, healthy dose of teenage humor and it’s quite funny. MXC is not a translation of the original Japanese. It’s pure American humor. For example, one of the questions that is asked of contestants before they fling themselves bodily onto a large card with numbers is: “In Da Vinci’s painting of The Last Supper, how many of the apostles ordered the shrimp cocktail?” There were 81 episodes and both of these shows paved the way for Wipeout.
Now the kids follow Captain Tenneal (the puns come fast and furious) as he officiates each physical contest. People fall into sketchy, dirty water, fall off ropes into mud, face plants are numerous, and it’s just plain fun. MXC can be seen for free on IMDb TV (owned by Amazon), there may be a few episodes on Youtube, and twitch.tv (search for MXC). Twitch shows random episodes 24/7 and is free. Here’s the URL for twitch:
In interviews about the show, several of the voice over actors have said that they are conservative and would inject conservatism into the scripts. Everyone gets made fun of and it’s never preachy. It’s what TV used to be: funny. While the physical humor isn’t near the same level as Jackass, it’s quite entertaining. Get it on!
I actually think Jackass is a form of dissident humor of sorts.
I remember when the first jackass movie came out about 2002 or so, and I absolutely loved it as did all my skater friends. I was incredulous that my Aunt seemed to really detest it and sneer at that humor. In hindsight, however, I understand. She is a typical mother hen domineering, up-tight, smug boomer leftist. A misandrist who thinks all public spaces (incl digital) should be wiped clean of all displays of genuine masculinity. Shes the type to have a BLM sign and a ‘Thank you, Dr Fauci!’ sign in her yard (she has both). She has a meek and neutered husband who never challenges her reckless and hateful behavior. She is the aunt who subtley favored the girls and believes that women should dominate men, even if we must instill that by force or shame. In short, she is at war with nature, entitled, arrogant, and generally a piece of shit.
These are the types of people who hate Jackass. I certainly know people who dont care for jackass, esp women, fine. Everyone has their preferences. But these ‘bossy’ arrogant women who feel entitled to control everyone and everything are the ones who hate things like this. I supposed you cover her in your ‘woke scolds’ comment but I find these woke scolds are almost always old, bitter feminists.
Interesting. I have never encountered anyone who hated Jackass. Further, I’m unaware of anyone ever really protesting Jackass except maybe for animal rights people (and I think it’s a safe bet that the humans come off a lot worse than the animals do in Jackass).
Still, your comment makes me think I should have researched it a bit more.
I hate Jackass.
I like your article, because you write well, but I guess I’ll be that guy.
I do hate the franchise.
There’s a place for rough-house male bonding, certainly, but not for this kind, for this profane degree of one-upmanship. The prospect of serious injury or even death isn’t acceptable for a prank.
Additionally, and this is where it hits home, the bad influence this series has had on millennial (?) white males is hard to overemphasize. The message is basically: be known for being “crazy” and audacious stupidity; nastiness is a virtue; fucking with people is cute and excusable, as long as you pay them after you’ve broken their stuff.
The heavily tattooed, deracinated, substance-abusing young white man, distracted by “fun” from all consideration of virtue and decorum, of maturation: that’s my nephew’s, my younger brothers, their friends. That’s Jackass.
Jackass as a racial statement! This is hilarious. Since the start, it has been nothing but spoiled (until now) white rich brats making fools of themselves and their embarrassed families in a hugely homoerotic and pathetic and disgusting braindead prick-pull-fest.
These self-fellating disgusting yucking chimps minted the template used by every untalented, attention-seeking, bone-breaking troglodyte on the net over the last two decades, and are nothing but an embarrassment to humanity, no matter what the color.
Nobody said jackass is a racial statement. Its young man humor, the kind of shit young men like and women and nerds/dorks despise. More of a men being men thing. As distasteful as it may be to yall more ‘respectable’ people, it is an expression of white American masculinity. I wouldn’t be surprised if CC crowd didnt like it, but that’s just your preference. You can’t relate to it.
But but but but…Beehive Tetherball! Come on, that’s genius!
Seriously, I’m not going to argue with anyone about this since opinions here are so strong and Jackass is certainly not the Hill I’m going to die on.
When I mentioned people hating Jackass I assumed it was from the Left. I have never encountered anyone from the Right who hated the franchise until now.
And your points are well taken and help explain why Jackass has been a guilty pleasure for me for so long.
“Springing out of the skateboarding culture of the late 1990s, Jackass began as a white male phenomenon. It was where boys could be boys, and their ids could beat the living shit out of each other for the sake of provoking profane, juvenile hysterics.”
Kind of like The Jerky Boys in the mid-1990s. If you were a white kid in middle school, high school or college in the mid-1990s you know exactly what I am talking about. You know what I’m saying tough guy?
But unlike Jackass, The Jerky Boys were based. “I’ll sue everybody!”
Frank Rizzo would know how to handle antifa …
The Fightsters from Pittsburgh prank-called the Jerky Boys. Maybe the best prank call ever.
I was an early 00s skater, which was the golden era in my humble opinion. If you know you know. CKY, Jackass, Tony Hawks Pro Skater, Playstation/PS2 etc. I remember being at a Tony Hawk Demo and meeting Bam Margera. He came out of a bowl after skating it and slapped my hand so hard in an epic moment I will never forget. It’s sad he’s not in the movie and all the issues he’s working thru. I haven’t seen the new movie but hearing of the new cast members being almost all diverse & some random chick is just so forced and lame. As discussed prior Jackass started as a white male phenomenon. I wish I could’ve seen video footage of Hollywood executives telling Knoxville & Co that they needed to inject diversity/feminism into the movie for them to green light it.
I have fond memories of renting the movies and watching them in my basement. Simpler times indeed. The boys have never been are guys in a sense even though they still are our”guys” if you’ve grown up with them. I find this whole thing very nostalgic and will have to see the movie when its streaming. So no I don’t hate Jackass and its ok if others do. I understand it is seen as a bunch of idiots who are degenerate and have influenced a lot of millennials horribly. But now the boys are all older and sober/cleaned up & domesticated. It’s a success story of shorts in a bizarre way. You can be an outcast. You can be a black sheep. You can be a dissident. And still win.
Jackass has its place in the lowbrow realm… you’re not going to listen to all the Bach Cantatas back to back are you? But even dumb white guy jokers are forced to diversify, I think it fair for more well paid black groups to do the same (e.g. Fergie joining and usurping the Black Eyed Peas for awhile). We are in a low phase of art quality as the culture demands you have to throw a little bit of every ingredient into every recipe…. it all tastes like the same pap.
Comments are closed.
If you have Paywall access,
simply login first to see your comment auto-approved.
Note on comments privacy & moderation
Your email is never published nor shared.
Comments are moderated. If you don't see your comment, please be patient. If approved, it will appear here soon. Do not post your comment a second time.
Edit your comment