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Jackass Forever Hit Me Hard In The Feels, Let Me Explain Why

Johnny Knoxville and Steve-O play the Quiet Game in Jackass Forever
(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

In the lead-up to the release of Jackass Forever, the fourth (and hopefully not last) entry in the long-running franchise of movies based on the iconic early 2000s MTV series of the same name, I had a feeling Johnny Knoxville, Steve-O, and the rest of crew would play on the audience’s nostalgia. But that did not prepare me for the flood of emotions that overcame me in the theater, on the way home, or every day since. 

The movie did to my emotions what it did to its surprise scene-stealer, but instead of the hitting me in the feels with a hockey puck it ran me over with a shopping cart full of memories (from both the series and my own personal life). My wife, friends, and everyone else I’ve told this to (including my parents) keep asking how one of the Jackass movies could make me take a trip, stumble, and fall down memory lane, so I thought I’d knock it all out here… I’m Philip Sledge and welcome to how Jackass Forever turned me into a bubbling mess. 

Young Bam Margera in Jackass.

(Image credit: MTV)

Let Me Explain My History With Jackass First

When Johnny Knoxville welcomed MTV viewers to Jackass and dropped in a vert ramp for the first time ever on October 1, 2000, I was 12 years old, which had me in the middle of a generation of preteens who would become obsessed with the groundbreaking show. I had cable in my room at this point and would watch the show behind my parents’ back (at least it wasn’t Howard Stern) whenever it was on. And, to say I was a little obsessed would be an understatement.

Two years later, two of my friends and I snuck into Jackass: The Movie after buying tickets to Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. One thing we didn’t count on was the fact that we did this on a Monday night nearly a month after the movie was released, meaning we were three of only a handful of people in the theater, and my friends and I couldn’t have looked more like a trio of 14-year-old kids who snuck into an rated-R movie if we tried.

Johnny Knoxville in Jackass Forever

(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

Seeing The Jackass Forever Crew In Their 40s And 50s Got Me Thinking About The Passage Of Time

Even though Steve-O is still putting his body on the line with insane stunts throughout Jackass Forever, he and the rest of the Jackass cast (outside of the new additions) aren’t the spring chickens they once were when the show started over 20 years ago. More so now than ever before, you can feel the passage of time, especially the parts of the movie where Johnny Knoxville no longer dyes his hair and lets his natural grey shine. This got me thinking about how much has happened in my life since I first met Knoxville and everyone else that fateful Sunday night when I was too anxious to fall asleep and end the weekend.

In that nearly 22-year stretch of time, I’ve completed my secondary and college education, moved hundreds of miles from my family back home, gotten married, had three kids, moved into and out of multiple houses, and made and lost more friends than I can count. And, as crazy as it sounds, watching Jackass Forever helped me put a lot of that into perspective. Here are a group of friends who have largely remained together all these years, and it makes me want to reach out to those long-lost buddies of mine and catch up like we’re talking about old CKY videos.

The Cup Test in Jackass Forever

(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

The Callbacks To Classic Jackass Moments Were Perfect

The crazy thing about Jackass Forever is the surprising amount of nostalgia that is peppered in throughout its nearly two-hour runtime. One of the biggest examples of this (outside of the end credits sequence, but more on that later) is seen in callbacks like “The Cup Test” which sees “Danger” Ehren McGhehey recreate the famous stunt carried out by Johnny Knoxville on the original series (only this time he ups the ante again and again). Something similar happens with “The Magic Trick,” where Knoxville gets destroyed by a bull like in Jackass: Number Two.

But, these scenes, and others like them, are pulled off perfectly, and are done so respectfully and not as quick cash grabs or anything like that. Instead of a “Hey, remember that one time…” type of situation (which honestly could have happened with less nuance), we get a more clever nod to the franchise’s roots.

Johnny Knoxville and the Jackass crew

(Image credit: YouTube)

The Jackass Forever End Credits Sequence Was Really What Did Me In

All of the Jackass movies have featured great end credits sequences, but Jackass Forever takes that to the next level, and the whole segment was way more emotional than it had any right being. Seeing the core members of the cast then and now was one thing, but what really started to get to me was the part where it showed members of the CKY crew (who appeared here and there on Jackass and then more so on Viva La Bam) on the big screen. 

I felt like was in seventh grade at my friend’s house watching CKY2k when Chris Raab, Brandon DiCamillo, and Rake Yohn appeared in an old segment (which was also recreated in the movie). And then came the moment I was expecting to see but still not prepared to fully take in: the touching tribute to Ryan Dunn, the former Jackass regular who died in a 2011 car crash. Honestly, I was not ready for that moment…

Steve-O in Jackass Forever

(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

I Still Can't Believe A Movie With Painful Stunts And Male Nudity Could Turn Me Into A Bubbling Mess

But overall, I’m still surprised and shocked by the fact that a movie that largely centers around dangerous stunts and full-frontal male nudity (there’s so much of it) had this kind of effect on me. But, don’t take that as me admitting I am embarrassed by any of this, because I’m not. I will proudly look back fondly on my past experiences with Jackass and its love of crude, senseless humor until my dying days.

Some people probably won’t feel this way, but it's safe to say anyone who fell in love with Jackass all those years ago had similar thoughts when exiting the theater. And hey, I’m here to tell you that it’s perfectly fine to feel this way.

Although Jackass Forever is not yet available to stream, you can watch all the other Jackass movies streaming right now. And, if you want to know what else is coming to theaters (and streaming services) later this year, check out CinemaBlend’s 2022 movie premiere schedule.

Philip Sledge
Philip Sledge

Philip grew up in Louisiana (not New Orleans) before moving to St. Louis after graduating from Louisiana State University-Shreveport. When he's not writing about movies or television, Philip can be found being chased by his three kids, telling his dogs to stop yelling at the mailman, or yelling about professional wrestling to his wife. If the stars properly align, he will talk about For Love Of The Game being the best baseball movie of all time.