So, at this point it's widely accepted that 2020 is a wash and nothing will save it – so if you're anything like me, you're retreating to happier times where we tuned in to the TV to get our fix of dumb shenanigans. As someone who grew up on Jackass, I was of prime age for all the spin-offs and shows heavily influenced by the fine young men of Jackass. I could be here all day just writing about Wildboyz, Viva La Bam, Ridiculousness, Impractical Jokers, and the likes. Stunt and prank shows were born in the "x-treme era" of the late 1990s/early 2000s, but here in 2020, we've come a long way from the comedy of skateboard fails, streaking, and getting sprayed by skunks.
…Or have we? As part of the "Jackass Generation", I still find all of that hilarious, if not in need of an update. Now, the new Jackass movie is sort of in production (thanks, COVID-19), but that's just the guys back and doing the same hilarious stunts, which I'm all for…But what about letting Johnny Knoxville and the crew spend some time with their few remaining unbroken bones?
So, that's where I come in: I'm "Eden Tennessee," and this is what I'd like to see in the next generation of Jackass.
Girls, Girls, Girls: The future is female, and what better way to bring Jackass into the 20s than by being an equal opportunity abuser? Though, not in that way, you perv – I'm talking about adding some ladies just as crazy as the original crew (who are all men, in case you didn't notice with how they all acted). I propose an all-female version called Bitchass. It's got a great ring to it, and instead of all the dick punches, there could be boobs everywhere. Tell me that doesn't sound like a winner, Jeff Tremaine!
Back to Basics: Yes, it's now been close to 20 years of Jackass stunts (20+ if you count their "Big Brother' years filming "skate videos"), and that's the problem current and future generations face: everything has been done before. Especially dumb stunts, thanks to Vine, YouTube, TikTok, and social media. However, the beauty of Jackass is that you know it's all real. There won't be some scandal of "oh no, turns out it was a faked stunt". No. These guys are the real deal and go hard, and you know it. With some of these YouTube "stunt" idiots….eh, not so much. So, the Jackass reboot will be true to form: a real crew, real crazy, doing real stunts. That adds up to real laughs because if it were fake, it would be a sitcom.
Blessing from the Boys: Ideally, the original Jackass crew would be back for this show in a producing capacity, well, really more of a "professional instigator" capacity, but it really boils down to the same. At the very least, for a Jackass reboot to be anything like the original, the original creators would need to be involved or sign off on it. I mean, just look at how Punk'd failed without Ashton Kutcher – nobody wants a reboot like the hack-job Quibi did.
Oldies are Goodies: Honestly, everything may have been done before, but it hasn't been done by these people in this time in this way. Some stunts are classic, like roller buffalo or the "electric avenue" taser hallway; but so many other stunts could be just as great if done again or even improved upon. I know, a sacrilege to even say, but even the guys themselves improved on their own stunts, like the slingshot into the lake. I really think a lot of stuff can be improved on 20 years later – we have the technology now, and it won't stop the classics from being well, classic.
Walk the Line: The number one thing I'd like to see in a Jackass reboot is humor. There's a very fine line between shock and gross-out humor and just being mean and showing people getting seriously hurt just because. Jackass was great because they took calculated risks – still risks and still injuries, but never instant death or stuff for the sake of getting hurt. I do think that having to conform to cable TV standards and censorship made Jackass walk that line, which led to the prolonged success of the series. With videos released online on social media or shows on streaming, there's no group of mothers or an irate first lady there telling creators what they can and can't put in their show before it reaches public consumption, which is both a blessing and a curse. I'm not advocating censorship, but it's good to remember where the line is, especially in comedy.
And that's my wishlist for a Jackass reboot. Everything is getting rebooted these days because everything has been done before, so why not show some fresh meat doing dumb sh*t? I mean, with all the idiocy in 2020, shouldn't our TV shows go back to what entertainment has been for ages? The crew of Jackass is basically just modern court jesters and village idiots, so let's make Jackass great again…or something.