When Andy Warhol made his prophetic comment about fame, he could not possibly have anticipated the lengths some would go to get their 15 minutes. Consider Johnny Knoxville and his posse of merry pranksters. These are America's funniest home videos, a generous and representative sampling of segments from the notorious MTV series Jackass
, which capture men behaving very badly, and very stupidly. Knoxville and company are mostly content to do injury to themselves and each other (their poor and battered groins alone must be eligible for combat pay). Other segments have a demented Candid Camera
quality. In one, Chris Pontius dons a werewolf suit and runs amok through London. In another, two hockey players continue their "fight" inside a store. Throwaway bits, such as the popping of a blackhead, cleanse the palate between stunts. As one observer notes: "You'd have to be an idiot to try this." Watching this, however, is another matter. And by the way, there is no volume 1; go figure.
Volume 3 is everything you want in a Jackass compilation, and more: more arrested adolescent behavior, more outrageous stunts and pranks, more "poo." Pogo-stick skateboarding, ice-block downhill skating, and backwards bull-riding are representative of the way-extreme stunts that have made Johnny Knoxville and his posse folk heroes to Generation BMX. But Jackass turns it up to 11 with its fearless forays into public performance art. In one of the more benign segments, Rick Kosick shaves his head and dons a frightful toupee, which he proceeds to drop in front of people. Funnier are the bits with Knoxville convincingly costumed as a 90-year-old man. In a more grisly segment, Knoxville and a partner subject an unsuspecting carpet cleaner to a bloody scene of escalating mayhem. And it wouldn't be Jackass without frontal assaults on the groin. Guaranteed to get the party started, this volume, at 78 minutes, has tremendous shock value. --Donald Liebenson
Due to some random haggard circumstances, Volume 1 of the Jackass TV series isn't coming out anytime soon. But in the meantime here's Volume 2 & 3. Volume two of the Jackass series contains a random, haggard selection of segments and bits that aired on our crappy little television show. Remarkable moments in this half-ass collection include Chris Pontius masquerading as an American werewolf and creating panic in the streets of London, Johnny Knoxville sticking his arm right up a cow's butt, Bam Margera and Brandon Dicamillo taking the hockey gloves off and brawling in the middle of a café, Ehren McGhehey falling flat on his pink face while skateboarding blindfolded, and a bunch of other absurd stunts, pranks and queer misbehavior from our bumbling cat and crew of idiots. Volume three of the Jackass series contains a random, haggard selection of segments and bits that aired on our crappy little television show. Memorable moments in this half-ass collection include the recitation of the Gettysburg Address by Johnny Knoxville while a beard of leeches is applied to his ruggedly handsome face, Chris Pontius stripping down for the pleasure of five other dudes, Wee Man and Preston Lacy pulling a "poo switcheroo" with a porta-potty, Dave England digging through the trash and unearthing a tasty treat in a diaper, and a bunch of other absurd stunts, pranks and queer misbehavior from our bumbling cat and crew of idiots.