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JackassJackass: Volume One

by Johnny Bray

For those of us who cared, the absence of volume one of Jackass was a disappointing mystery. After having discovered CKY a few months earlier, my friends and I decided to see how things fared when the act went mainstream.

We had doubts, but ultimately discovered that Jackass was a healthy mix of the CKY hijinx and other random, stupid ideas. It could be as simple as people in shopping carts, or farting in people’s faces. It didn’t really matter; they did it well. To have volumes 2 & 3 of Jackass, but not volume 1, left a slight feeling of emptiness (talk about embellishment!). Really, it was just weird to have the later volumes, without having seen the initial trials, and without having seen how they all came about their schticks.

But now, after finally seeing volume one, it’s seriously a little underwhelming. There are plenty of great stunts and gags here, no doubt, but when you’re going back in time, the earlier stunts just seem a little tame by comparison. Much of it is pure gross-out (which is fine), but gross-out plays second-fiddle to the hilarious stunts the guys perform in later Jackasses and CKY. In this volume, there are lengthy pieces devoted to egg-eating and egg nog-drinking contests. Okay, okay, we get the picture: it’s gross and these people are puking profusely. Now let’s move on.


On the other hand, it’s much more fun to watch the guys early on. Some of them are still a bit unsure of what they’re doing, and you can see the dismay on their faces as they prepare for a stunt. And hey, people getting hurt doing stupid things for our entertainment is always a good time.

Steve-O and Ryan Dunn have come a long way from their slightly more humble beginnings. Their show today goes so far beyond Jackass that even those of us who thoroughly enjoy Jackass can’t help but think they cross the line on many occasions. Back in early Jackass days, though, it was still innocent and fun.

It’s true that CKY is better, but Jackass is a reasonable mainstream facsimile. You can’t help but laugh at the stupidity of those involved, but when you factor in the paycheck they’re getting, it seems more like Fear Factor for non-wussies. Recommended for fans of the show who haven’t yet seen this previously unavailable first volume. If you don’t get the appeal, there’s nothing here to change your mind.

Video is presented in full frame with Dolby Digital Stereo. Quality is completely inconsequential for such a disc, as Jackass is generally something you watch after (or during) a night of drinking with the boys. Picture, though, looks sharp and clean, while the audio makes good use of the two speakers. Extras include an uncensored commentary by Johnny Knoxville, Bam Margera, Steve-O, Chris Pontius, Ryan Dunn, Dave England, Wee Man, Ehren McGhehey, Preston Lacy, Dimitry Elyashkevich and Jeff Tremaine. With so many people, it’s hard to keep track of who’s saying what and pay attention to it all, but there’s plenty of fun to be had here. Not the kind of commentary you’d want to listen to normally, but again, after or during a night of drinking with the boys is another story. It’s more than slightly vulgar.

All that can be said in the end, really, is that it’s nice to have volume one of Jackass, finally.

Jackass: Volume One, from Paramount Home Entertainment
120 minutes, 1.33:1 full frame, Dolby Digital stereo
Starring Johnny Knoxville, Bam Margera, Steve-O, Chris Pontius, Ryan Dunn, Dave England, Wee Man, Ehren McGhehey, Preston Lacy

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Updated May 13, 2006