When people think about the “stars” of Jackass, a relatively limited list of names come to mind. Everyone in the troupe has their special role to play, but Johnny Knoxville, Steve-O, and (up until recently) Bam Margera have long stood out as the most prominent members of the group. In many ways, this continues to hold true in Jackass Forever, as both Knoxville and Steve-O have wonderful roles to play in the new movie and do some terrifically gnarly stuff – but there is another member of the gang who I feel compelled to highlight as a special Most Valuable Player: "Danger" Ehren McGhehey.
In the hierarchy of “prankers” and “prankees” in Jackass, McGhehey is most certainly part of the latter group, as one of his most famous bits in the franchise is in Jackass Number Two when he is tricked into having pubes glued to his face and set up to be held at (fake) gunpoint by a taxi driver played by an undercover Jay Chandrasekhar. Jackass Forever doesn’t disrupt this reputation in any way, as he is far more often the butt of the joke than one setting a trap, but the man deserves a special standing ovation in recognition of the spectacular amount of anguish he goes through in the movie, and his delivery of reaction gold.
Like in the aforementioned Jackass Number Two prank, there are moments when Danger Ehren’s friends serve up some earned pain – like the penalizing crotch hit he gets for his cockiness in “The Dum Dum Game” – but there are three specific bits where he receives punishment and simultaneously earns respect for his remarkable endurance. There isn’t a single member of the movie-going public who would switch places with him in “The Cup Test,” “The Spider Helmet,” and “The Lie Detector,” and for living through those experiences alone he deserves special praise.
Danger Ehren McGhehey Goes Harder Than Johnny Knoxville In Reprising The Cup Test
Jackass Forever uses “The Cup Test” as a standout nostalgia button, as Johnny Knoxville notes the stunt being performed 20 years to the day after he originally performed the same bit for the MTV series – but Danger Ehren is the one put in the crosshairs for the film, and the ante is legitimately up-ed.
This is not meant to take away from what Knoxville did back in 2001, as what’s captured in the Season 2 premiere of Jackass is no joke: the star gets kicked by children, pelted by a tennis ball machine, struck by a croquet ball, hit with a sledgehammer, shot with a paintball, and crushed by a dropping pool ball. In Jackass Forever, though, it’s the use of professional athletes and the grand finale that give McGhehey the edge.
As noted by Steve-O, MMA heavyweight Francis Ngannou packs a punch equivalent to a Ford Escort crashing at top speed, and he delivers a fist right to Danger Ehren’s genitals. Olympian Danielle O’Toole can pitch a rock hard softball 67mph, and she hurls one square below the victim’s belt (after hitting him in the thigh a few times, of course). NHL star P.K. Subban can hit a slap shot at 98.7 mph, and he nails McGhehey right in the junk.
All that alone is a ridiculous and over-the-top amount of punishment to take, even with protective equipment… but then comes along Cup Test #4, which sees cohort Dave England hop on a pogo stick and bounce on Danger Ehren’s privates. As previously reported, this particular act resulted in him rupturing a testicle, and that’s as extreme a result as any Jackass stunt injury ever.
“The Spider Helmet” Has The Vibe Of A Saw Trap, And Danger Ehren Suffers Through Like A Champ
Being next-level arachnophobic, I will confess a personal sensitivity to the concept of “The Spider Helmet” in Jackass Forever. The mere proposal of having that thing strapped on to my head would have me not just looking for the nearest exit, but the nearest airport. This naturally gives me an extra level of respect for Danger Ehren’s role in the bit in Jackass Forever, but the appreciation doesn’t stop there.
In “The Spider Helmet,” McGhehey is strapped in opposite Compston "Darkshark" Wilson – the father of newcomer Davon Lamar Wilson a.k.a. Jasper – and that immediately sets a tone for the whole proceeding. Because Darkshark is coming into the terrifying competition as an outsider, you want to see him freaked out, but you also inherently want to root for him. It creates a perfect and organic lose/lose situation for Danger Ehren, and then things manage to actually get even worse.
As if it’s not bad enough that he has the experience of the arachnid climbing around his face, he then is basically forced to volunteer as the victim of a bite – which he takes right on the nipple. If I had to choose between that and the bull charge that Johnny Knoxville takes toward the end of Jackass Forever… I’d choose the spider, but I’d definitely have to think about it.
“The Lie Detector” Will Be Remembered As One Of The Scariest Animal Pranks In Jackass History
When you think about it, secrets between the members of the Jackass gang must be seen as exceptionally important, despite their close friendships. If anyone knows what your deepest fear is, they are likely to exploit it – a perfect example being the prank in Jackass 3D that sees the ophidiophobic Bam Margera trapped in a pit with a bunch of snakes. Being strapped to a polygraph, Danger Ehren is put in a position where he has to reveal the truth, and things immediately go bad for him when the machine says that he lies about being allergic to bees, and he is delivered a literal shock.
As bad as that circumstance is, though, it’s remarkable how things actually manage to get worse. The look of utter terror plastered on Danger Ehren’s face when the bear enters the room is so pure and natural that clips of it should be kept handy on the sets of horror movies whenever an actor is having trouble finding a proper mental space.
Watching the scene unfold as a member of the audience, the back of your brain tells you that extreme safety precautions were taken in the production and that the footage wouldn’t appear in the movie if everything went terribly. But the front of your brain halts your breathing and prepares you for the imagery of a live bear gaping its fang-filled maw and biting down on more than just the salmon dumped in McGhehey’s lap.
Eventually things get too extreme, and a bear wrangler comes in to temper the situation – prompting the terrified prankee to utter, “Is it actually over?” It’s a wholly relatable and understandable question given not only the ursine encounter, but everything he goes through in Jackass Forever, and it’s a perfect capstone to the high point of his standout performance in the new film.
Johnny Knoxville and Steve-O will get all the love they deserve for the sequel, as will Wee Man, Chris Pontius, Preston Lacy, Dave England, and all of the newcomers, but Jackass Forever is Danger Ehren McGhehey’s time in the spotlight, and is deserving of specific celebration.
Jackass Forever is now playing in theaters everywhere, and you can discover all of this year’s big streaming and streaming feature releases via our 2022 Movie Release Calendar.
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NJ native who calls LA home and lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran who is endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.