Is anybody else out there as excited about Jackass: The Movie as I am?
You may think you are, but I jack-assure you that you are not.
This is how excited I am. I'm so excited I couldn't even wait until next Friday, when the movie actually comes out, to write this column. I'm so excited that I'm reserving every evening of next week to watch quality MTV programming such as: "Making Jackass: The Movie Special," "MTV Cribs: Jackass Edition," "Jackass Backyard BBQ: Movie Special" and an episode of Celebrity Deathmatch featuring the cast of Jackass.
I've already voluntarily watched "Making the Jackass Video with Andrew W.K." three times which, for most people, would be about two and a half times too many. I even wrestled with the idea of not going out last night just to stay home and watch Johnny Knoxville on Conan O'Brien. (Unfortunately, the bars won.)
So, of course I can't wait to see the real thing. I've been in Jackass withdrawal for the past year, ever since the series was canceled because it inspired some kid to light his feet on fire after watching it.
To back up and brief those of you who may not be familiar with the show, it basically centered around people hurting themselves and humiliating others. For three seasons, it glorified random, stupid stuff such as bobbing for jellyfish, snowboarding in San Francisco, masochistic skateboarding stunts and many, many poo gags.
And the cast is, well, talented. There's Steve-O, who in one episode waxed his entire body, armpits and everything, and Chris Pontius (aka Party Boy), who always wanted to be naked, and Wee-Man and Bam and Dave England... I mean, they're just the kind of guys you'd want to hang out with on a rainy afternoon.
Then there's Johnny Knoxville, the sexiest man alive (and married with a 5-year-old daughter). And not only is he beautiful, but he's also from Sunsphere City, Tenn. He moved to Hollywood to become an actor, had the bright idea of videoing himself trying out a stun gun, pepper spray, a taser and a .38 on himself and then MTV gave him a show.
But Johnny, you don't know what you're missing. Really and truly, if I met someone who was brave or stupid enough to ramp a skateboard into a lake, I'd immediately kidnap him, sedate him, drive him to Pigeon Forge and marry him before he ever knew what happened.
I don't exactly know how to explain the beauty and appeal of the Jackass concept, but I think it has something to do with our ever-increasing need to jump off the deep end, at least vicariously, in this shallow kind of world. Audiences don't want the fake. We want something real, something visceral, something that strikes at the core of our existence. Enter reality television.
But Jackass is more than just reality television. I mean, my heart has never gone out to someone who messed up a tribal challenge; I've never been able to feel that much sympathy for Anna Nicole Smith; and Big Brother can kiss my (jack)ass.
But when I see Party Boy sitting on a pool table, legs spread, wearing nothing but a spandex thong, and he is staring down the barrel of a queue stick aimed at a ball aimed at his crotch, I totally feel his pain. It evokes in me an empathy so powerful that it transcends time, space and gender.
Then, after the deed has been done and I'm sitting at home crossing my legs and wincing, Party Boy looks straight into the camera and says, straight-faced, "That did not really feel cool at all." And then he spreads his legs and does it again! Now that is a real American hero.
I don't know what Jackass: The Movie has up its sleeve (although I've heard rumors of Steve-O snorting wasabe in a sushi joint and Bam waking up his parents at 1 a.m. with an in-bedroom fireworks display).
But I'm sure that whatever it is, it's going to be real. Really gross, really raunchy and really ridiculous. And I'm really, really excited.