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Which Jackass Stunt Went Over The Line? Here's What Fans Say - Looper Survey

"Jackass" was born more than two decades ago from the more primitive corners of the minds of Johnny Knoxville, Spike Jonze, and Jeff Tremaine, and the franchise eventually grew beyond the three original seasons on MTV to include several spinoffs, feature films, and video games. Jonze told Maxim that "Jackass" had little  in the way of intended direction other than to go as far out into the unexplored wilderness of television as it could. 

"We thought, 'We'll have 22 minutes on TV every week to do whatever we want. We can do anything. Let's not underestimate what 'anything' is."

"Anything" turned out to include Knoxville himself serving as the test target for an array of personal self-defense products and sharing a kids' ball pit with an anaconda, as well as Steve-O putting a fish hook through his cheek and casting himself out as bait (via Alternative Press). But of all the dangerous and foolish stunts and pranks that Knoxville and company pulled in the various "Jackass" chapters, which ones did fans think went over the line?

In a survey, fans weighed in on the wildest Jackass stunts ever

In a special Looper survey, "Jackass" viewers were asked which stunts  from the three MTV seasons and extended series of films they thought crossed the line. Exactly where that line should be drawn was up to each individual respondent, but of the more than 600 people who answered, nearly a third mentioned one specific bit, and three other stunts separated themselves from the pack by a significant margin. The ones that distinguished themselves from the rest all stand out in a couple of key respects. They were either particularly painful or dangerous, and most of the stunts mentioned also didn't seem to serve any purpose beyond the wanton inflicting of physical anguish, which sums up the thrust of "Jackass" pretty perfectly. While these segments stand out for their foolishness, that was the main draw for the franchise through its long and pain-filled run. But exactly which four stunts distinguished themselves from such a  long-lived and consistently ethically questionable array of bits?

The Brand was the clear winner -- or loser

A full 32.4% of the survey's 600+ respondents named "The Brand" as the single most egregious stunt in the twisted saga that is "Jackass." The segment from the film "Jackass Number Two" featured Bam Margera being branded like livestock with a crude outline of male genitalia. The segment earned this distinction for the clearly excruciating pain Margera suffered, as well as the juvenile choice of brand and the sheer complete unnecessary nature and mindless purpose of the stunt. Margera's screams are disturbing enough, but the parallels between the  stunt and the actual branding of enslaved people in the United States only a couple of generations before were likely  impossible to ignore for many viewers. For those that saw past that connection, the sophomoric choice of brand and Margera's obvious tremendous suffering were probably enough to warrant consideration for this stunt. But while Margera' s branding was the clear top choice among our survey respondents, three other segments were mentioned far more than the dozens of others from the franchise. 

Big Red Rocket was the third-most cited stunt in our survey

Second place in our survey  at 18.26% went to "Blindfolded Skateboarding" (available on YouTube) from the second season of the TV series, where a non-cast member tries to skate down a climbing wall into a primitive half-pipe while blindfolded, only to crash almost instantly, badly injuring his hand. A bit from the second movie,"Big Red Rocket," came in a close third at 17.76%, strangely appropriate considering the Evel Knievel-esque red, white, and blue costume that Johnny Knoxville wore for the stunt. In the brief segment, Knoxville straddles — yes, you guessed it — a live rocket and is launched,complete with fiery trails behind him, high enough over a lake to flip over backwards and have the rocket fall on top of him in the water. Fourth place in our survey went to "Department Store Boxing," where Knoxville puts on boxing gloves and trunks and goes toe-to-toe with former professional heavyweight fighter Butterbean in a department store full of unwitting shoppers. No other segment got even half as many votes in our survey, making these four the standouts as worst of the worst.