The Real And True Story Behind The ‘Jackass’ Fame

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You have probably heard of the show “Jackass,” which is basically a bunch of grown men doing crazy, and often juvenile stunts for our entertainment.

The show was so popular that it led to a few movies and it made several of the guys pretty big stars.

Johnny Knoxville was the ring leader of this wild and crazy circus. He came up with the concept for the show in 1998 and shopped it to whoever would listen.

He pitched it and would demonstrate self defense moves on himself. He was 27 years old at the time.

He finally found someone who wanted to see more when Jeff Tremaine, who was an editor at Big Brother magazine Gabe tje green light. He asked Knoxville to film some footage and get back to him.

Landspeed: CKY by a 19 year old Bam Margera came out the following year. This film showed Margera in West Chester Pennsylvania, his hometown, performing stunts with the members of Camp Kill Yourself. Some of the members were Ryan Dunn, Chris Raab, and Rake Yohn.

The skateboarding community embraced the film and a second one was released in 2000.

Soon, the show was picked up by MTV and the cast was rounded out by Ehren “Danger Ehren” McGhehey, Stephen “Steve O” Glover, Preston Lacy, as well as Jason Acuna, aka Wee Man.

Bam’s Mom recalls how the overnight success of the TV series changed a lot of things for her boy and his friends.

It just kept getting bigger, she told the New York Post. She also said that it took what they knew of filming there at home to another level.

The more popular they grew, the more pressure they were under to push the boundaries of their stunts and general shenanigans.

The show started to feature more and more shocking material which started causing injuries, some serious, to the guys.

McGhehey said that there were so many things they did that he didn’t want to do. Such a as being blindfolded or chased by live bulls. But the shocking things are what boosted ratings and made viewers remember them.

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He said he’s had numerous injuries and 25 operations, on his knees, back and more.

These numerous surgeries resulted in becoming dependent on the painkillers prescribed for the pain of recovery.

Once addicted, they would just pop pills when they got hurt. It’s easy to justify taking a pain pill when you’re in pain, Raab said.

It’s not long before you’re caught up in a full blown addiction. You’re in the midst of many other addicts and alcoholics and nobody is taking responsibility for anything, instead blaming everyone else for anything wrong.

Raab came to the conclusion that acting like a crazy person on the show brought evidence of his addictions to the forefront.

He recalls doing cocaine often and drinking every day, stating that the environment of “Jackass” was an ideal spot for this addiction issue to fester.
He failed to realize right away that he was at the mercy of his addictions to drugs and alcohol. He got to the point of thinking of ending his life at one point.

Raab is now nearly 40 and has been clean for nearly a decade. Once “Jackass” started to lose it’s popularity he had a challenging time going back to a normal life.


Bam Margera, 38, admitted that, he too, had problems dealing with fame and did an episode of family therapy with Dr. Jenn on VH1 to address his alcoholism in 2016.

He revealed that he never had a drink before he was 21, and he began drinking heavily around 2425. He said it slowly became something he did all day long, taking a drink as soon as he woke up in the mornings.

His mother, April, said that he told her he hated his life wanted to die in the middle of a bender once.

Image Source: Paramount Pictures

He was recently arrested for DUI, and is now in rehab in Los Angeles.

Raab says he hasn’t talked to him but has kept tabs on him through his brother.

Image Source: Paramount Pictures

His arrest for DUI brings up painful emotions For a lot of the “Jackass” cast because of their former cast mate and friend, Ryan Dunn, passing away when he wrecked his Porsche while driving under the influence.

Ryan died in 2011. He was originally from Ohio. His car hit a tree and caught on fire. He has tweeted selfies while drinking at a bar just hours before the crash that took his life. His speed was 130 in an area with a 55 speed limit.

He had a near fatal blood clot while filming the movie “Jackass 2” in 2006.

He also suffered being yanked by a horse, which caused a hard fall, hurting his shoulder.

Image Source: PA

Johnny Knoxville suffered many injuries as well, the most notable being when he ripped his urethra after a motorcycle incident. He had to prevent scar tissue from forming by catheterizing himself for two years. Daily. Twice. Ouch.

Image Source: PA

He’s been knocked out cold on the show, and he’s been almost killed by an exploding rocket.

He once carried a grenade in his luggage and was arrested at LAX. Fortunately, it was only a prop and he was unaware that his assistant had packed it.

Image Source: TUMBLR

Steve-O was one of the most popular guys in the group with his larger than life personality and the fact that he would do anything. He got pretty deep into a hard drug addiction and his friends were so scared that they planned an intervention to get him some help.

Once, in 2008, he was put on a hold for 3 days, and then 14, because he tried to take his own life.

He spent a lot of time in rehab for severe cocaine addiction. He told a story of snorting his dealers blood once because he wanted to get high so desperately.

He had been sober for more than five years now and lives a healthy lifestyle as a vegan. Bam began drinking more after Ryan Dunn passed away. He admits to going down a pretty destructive path as a result. Hopefully he gets the help he needs in rehab.

The troubles seem to be on the way out for all the members of the “Jackass” crew. Let’s hope they stay out of trouble and keep their lives on track.

H/T – Source


Written by Amanda Johnson

Amanda Johnson is a former Army brat who resides in southern Alabama. She is married to her wonderful husband, Brian, and has four children; Justin, Nicolas, Molly, and Lucas. She loves reading, writing, cooking, and going to concerts. She also loves spending time at the beach and hopes to retire there someday.

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