What Jackass stunt still makes your stomach drop?

What Jackass stunt still makes your stomach drop?

Gif: Natalie Peeples
AVQ&AWelcome back to AVQ&A, where we throw out a question for discussion among the staff and readers. Consider this a prompt to compare notes on your interface with pop culture, to reveal your embarrassing tastes and experiences.

Johnny Knoxville, Spike Jonze, and Jeff Tremaine’s indelible comedy franchise Jackass debuted on MTV 20 years ago this week on October 1, 2000. So we’re asking:

What Jackass stunt still makes your stomach drop?

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“The Paper Cuts”

“The Paper Cuts”

One-thousand percent, it’s the Jackass guys giving each other paper cuts. I can’t even think about that bit without feeling a large amount of vomit rising up in my throat. (In that way I very much identify with cameraman Lance Bangs, who practically passed out during this bit.) It’s hard enough to think about ever getting a paper cut myself randomly, but the idea that Johnny Knoxville, Steve-O, and the other dudes knew that the paper cuts were coming—and knew they were coming between their fingers, on their tongues, and beyond… god, I can’t even. I’d say go watch it if you want to be reminded of how bad it is, but maybe don’t. I don’t know. It’s your gag reflex. [Marah Eakin]

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3 / 8

“Poo Cocktail”

“Poo Cocktail”

It’s funny the way our lasting memories of a TV show are often formed by that show’s very first episode—but when the premiere of a series as outrageous as Jackass includes something as gut-churning as “Poo Cocktail,” you’re not likely to forget it. How do you make a “Poo Cocktail”? Well, throw Johnny Knoxville and several gallons of human (and animal waste) into a Porta-Potty, then invert that chemical toilet slowly and gently with the front-loading fork of a garbage truck. That the Jackass guys are still at it in 2020 is testament to the safety precautions Knoxville wraps his head in and at least pays lip service to in the prankish phone call at the top of the segment. Of course, after a certain point, they’ve had to escalate the shit show to greater extremes in order to get the same results—that’s where the high-flying, nauseously damp Jackass 3D showpiece “Poo Cocktail Supreme” comes in. [Erik Adams]

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4 / 8

“The Cup Test”

“The Cup Test”

As someone who has been kicked in the balls, I have no clue how the Jackass guys so routinely punished their testicles. Once? Sure. How bad could it hurt? Once you learn it hurts that much, however, it’s hard to imagine anyone with the guts to subject themselves to it again (and again). And though every member of the crew saw their groin pummeled at some point or another—I see you, Steve-O—I’ve got to tip a steel toe toward Johnny Knoxville, who spent season two’s “The Cup Test” getting his nethers crushed by a sledgehammer, croquet balls, and, most hilariously, the swift kicks of giddy children whose parents told them that he was a “bad guy” and you “gotta kick him hard.” No one comes back the same from that. [Randall Colburn]

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5 / 8

“Bungee Boogie”

“Bungee Boogie”

I now would like to turn this AVQ&A into an inquiry about why Randall was kicked in the balls… But returning to the prompt at hand: There are, of course, stunt people who painstakingly plan out a bit to keep everyone as safe as possible, but the Jackass crew often dove headfirst into a stunt with seemingly no thought to how horribly wrong things could go. One example of this I recall most vividly is Jackass 3D’s “Bungee Boogie,” in which the guys set up a pool with a ramp and a huge slingshot in front of it. Knoxville and co. always hoped things would go awry while filming, but right off the bat this stunt goes wonky in a way they did not expect: Instead of slamming into the shallow pool at a dangerous velocity, the first victim barely gets started before he slides out of the slingshot and slams his tailbone on the sidewalk. After that, I could barely watch even the successful runs of the stunt, knowing that someone could smack their head onto the concrete at any moment. [Patrick Gomez]

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6 / 8

“Super Mighty Glue”

“Super Mighty Glue”

Jackass specializes in stunts that are too painful to watch, but what comes to mind for me is one that’s too painful to listen to: Jackass 3D’s “Super Mighty Glue.” The third feature from Knoxville and company goes big on gross-out gags and the aforementioned “Poo Cocktail Supreme,” but it’s the relatively simple “Super Mighty Glue” that makes me cringe with second-hand pain. Gathered around a kitchen table, Bam’s beleaguered mother April introduces the gang to the titular product, which they proceed to use to stick themselves to one another: Hands on chests, hands on beards, Jason “Wee Man” Acuña on Preston Lacy. It’s relatively easy on the eyes, but the sound of flesh and adhesive ripping off of flesh is downright nauseating. Of course Jackass’s foray into 3D is sensory overload, but I didn’t expect it to be so hard on the ears. [Cameron Scheetz]

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7 / 8

Knoxville shoots himself in the chest

Knoxville shoots himself in the chest

This answer might be a bit of a cheat, since it technically comes from before Jackass was even a TV show, but given it’s one of the stunts that got Johnny Knoxville a TV show in the first place, I think it counts. I’ve never forgotten watching Knoxville shoot himself in the chest while wearing a bulletproof vest. A friend of mine in college said, “Hey, check out this crazy video a guy I know sent me,” and hit play—and I stood there, dumbfounded, as a man turned a .38 revolver around, pointed it at his midsection, and pulled the trigger until it fired a bullet straight into him. For a second, I thought I was watching a snuff film—until he pulls off his shirt to reveal the bulletproof vest underneath. I’ve rarely been so startled. When I happened across Jackass awhile later, I watched for a few minutes before it hit me: “Hey, that’s the guy who shot himself! What skill set is he bringing to this sho—oh, I get it.” [Alex McLevy]

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