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Between Jackass and its various spinoffs, the guys participated in a lot of dangerous and disgusting stunts. From an outside point of view, it may have looked like a free for all, but it turns out there were actually boundaries MTV refused to cross, especially in the early days. Unfortunately for beloved cast member Steve-O, he was apparently on the wrong side of the line so much that production had to throw away all the stunts he shot before Season 1.
Why? Well, it turns out MTV was especially weary of two things: extreme heights and fire. Conversely, Steve-O was apparently very into two things: extreme heights and fire. So, most of the stuff he shot contained at least one, and as a result, Johnny Knoxville, Jeff Tremaine and the other higher ups had to leave it on the cutting room floor. Here’s what Steve-O told Big Cat and PFT on Pardon My Take…
When Jackass first came out, the director Jeff Tremaine said, ‘It’s not a pilot anymore. We got like 8 episodes. So, I need you to take all of your video and send it in so we can license it and put it right onto the show.’ I sent in all the shit I had. Then I followed up and was like, ‘Yo, what are you using?’ And he was like, “Man, not one fucking clip you sent in is allowed on TV.” MTV was really touchy about fire, and my rule was always like no matter what you do, it’s cooler if you’re on fire. I was always on fire so that ruled out a ton of footage. They had another rule, if you’re gonna jump off something, it can’t be above a certain height. I was constantly jumping off shit that was way too tall while I was on fire.
Outside of merely being a funny story, that’s actually a good lens into what made Jackass so special. All of the guys jumped in so hard to whatever they were doing, and even though they were performing for television, that was almost happenstance, especially in those early years. They were performing to make each other laugh and see how far they’d go first and foremost. It was like they wanted to go harder because they just had this inherent need to push things and prove themselves. Even with fame and money, it hasn’t gone away for most of them. It’s why Steve-O is still making headlines, most recently for taping himself to a billboard.
There have long been rumors about a fourth Jackass movie. The flick is currently earmarked for September of 2021, but given everything going on in the world, we’ll just have to wait and see what transpires. Until then, we’ll just have to pass the time by watching all the greatness the guys have already given us and/ or the new footage of Steve-O and company that occasionally finds its way to social media.