The Absolute Worst Challenges On Jackass

Over the course of three seasons on MTV and three feature films, the boys of Jackass pushed the limits of decency and personal responsibility, performing "stunts" and "challenges" that would make the most inebriated frat dude shudder with horror. For a brief and shining moment during the roaring aughts, Johnny Knoxville, Steve-O, Bam Margera, Ehren McGhehey, Chris Pontius, Dave England, Preston Lacey, Jason "Wee Man" Acuña, the late Ryan Dunn, and an assortment of friends and acquaintances elevated the Jackass property to worldwide notoriety by subjecting themselves to things that nobody in their right mind ever would in a million years. Fortunately for the world of comedy, none of these guys have ever been in their right minds for a single day of their lives.

Many of the stunts on Jackass were merely prankish (such as the infamous "antiquing" or Pontius' running "Party Boy" gag), but some were truly revolting, life-threatening, or both. If this is your introduction to Jackass, take note: You're not going to believe that some of these "challenges" were actually undertaken voluntarily by allegedly sane human beings, although we assure you that this is indeed the case. Also, you're probably going to be wincing and/or gagging, like, a lot. If you are familiar with the antics of Knoxville and the boys, prepare for a hilarious trip down memory lane, and while you probably don't need the warning, the wincing/gagging thing still applies. After all, these challenges are the absolute worst things the Jackass crew ever did to themselves.

Poo Cocktail was a disgusting way to start off Jackass

Jackass announced to its audience exactly what they could expect from its very first episode with the first stunt filmed for the series, "Poo Cocktail," which was every bit as horrifying as it sounds. The segment opened on a porta potty which was shown to be regularly used by the public, and just to make sure it was good and full, various crew members took turns inside the filthy stall, as well. One even took the trouble to bring bags of dog crap from home, emptying those into the toilet just for good measure.

Knoxville then outfitted himself with a swimming cap, rubber gloves, breathing apparatus, and two pairs of goggles before climbing inside and bracing himself. A sanitation vehicle then turned the entire porta potty upside down, absolutely soaking Knoxville in its noxious contents. The second the stall was righted, the poo-soaked prankster burst from the door, attempting to bear hug any crew member he could get his disgusting hands on (to no avail).

Fortunately, the crew was in close proximity to an industrial car wash, where a butt-naked Knoxville was dragged to be sprayed down while a swarm of flies gathered around his clothes. The stunt was reworked for the 2010 feature Jackass 3D, with a significant added wrinkle: The porta potty was rigged to a huge bungee contraption that launched it into the air like a giant, disgusting slingshot, with Steve-O being the victim that time.

Punt Return was an especially punishing challenge

The best Jackass stunts were sublime in their simplicity, and season two's "Punt Return" fit that bill. Knoxville, in full football gear (Tennessee Volunteers, of course) faced off against a phalanx of college players, looked into the camera, and stated his simple mission: "Hi, I'm Johnny Knoxville, and I'm about to return a punt." He was about to do no such thing.

Each attempt to field the ball ended more painfully than the last. On the first try, the ball came nowhere near him, which didn't stop three or four burly, athletic dudes from flattening him the second it touched the ground. On the second attempt, the punting team decided to try throwing the ball for better accuracy. It worked, as Knoxville came close to catching the pigskin, but was thwarted by the defender who arrived at exactly the same time as the ball. On the third try, Knoxville — clearly feeling the pain at this point — didn't get a chance to even touch the ball before just getting annihilated by about a half dozen defenders, and although he could barely get to his feet afterward, he announced to the cheering players, "I got one more in me!"

On that final attempt, the ball hit him right in the hands, but he dropped it, and while bending down to retrieve it, he got leveled by a player who was moving so fast it looked like he was running downhill. Knoxville then mercifully called it quits while his head was still attached.

Knoxville and Steve-O were pretty banged up after Jai Alai

If you've ever had occasion to watch professional jai alai players in action, then you know it can be a dangerous sport. The balls can travel well in excess of 100 miles per hour, and even the most seasoned players can suffer horrifying injuries in the blink of an eye. For the season two stunt "Jai Alai," you may be thinking that Knoxville and Steve-O chose to engage in a practice round of the sport with pro players, but you'd be wrong — that would've been insane. No, they simply allowed those players to whing oranges at them as hard as they could.

The pair started off a little skittish, as one of the jai alai facility's coaches helpfully prepared them for what they would face by showing them clips of players being injured. Then, they strapped on cups and helmets and nervously stared down the strong, skilled athletes who'd been instructed to treat them like targets.

The outing went predictably, as every successful hit caused the jackasses to screech in pain (even as Knoxville continually taunted them, telling one that he "throws like a washwoman"). Eventually, a direct shot to the leg caused Steve-O to tap out, leaving only Knoxville to face the jai alai wrath. He also took a shot to the leg but managed to remain standing long enough to remove himself from the line of fire, having taken all of the orange fury he cared to at that point.

Fisherman's Wharf was an especially smelly challenge

If you've ever gotten a whiff of a can of sardines, then you have the slightest hint what Ryan Dunn was in for during the season two segment "Fisherman's Wharf." Dunn was well aware that the idea was for him to get buried up to his neck in a vat of the slimy fish, but as he, Bam, and Brandon DiCamillo arrived at the wharf, you could tell he was having second thoughts. Part of it was the smell. The other part was a wharf worker' revelation that the water the fish were kept in was a crisp 32 degrees. "He doesn't wanna go in," Bam called to the cameraman, right before pushing Dunn into a giant vat of fish.

After being hauled out by the seat of his pants, Dunn was pressed into taking part in the challenge, complaining heartily the entire time. Bam, of course, was right there to offer some non-stop friendly taunting right up until the freezing, stinking payload came cascading into Dunn's vat. The poor guy could only stomach the situation for a few seconds before being extracted. Despite the obviously chilly weather, Dunn immediately begin stripping off his disgusting clothes, an activity with which he was too occupied to notice Bam coming up behind with an enormous fish. Don't worry, he eventually noticed — right at the moment he got slapped upside the head with it.

Electric Avenue was a shocking segment from Jackass 3D

The Jackass crew seemed to save their more egregiously dangerous challenges for their movies, and for Jackass 3D, they outdid themselves with a segment called "Electric Avenue." They didn't rock down to that fabled location, though. Instead, they careened haphazardly through it, as it consisted of a hallway lined with stun guns and cattle prods, with obstacles blocking the path and tires on the floor.

With the accessories in full operation before getting underway, Bam remarked that, "The sound of it is f***ing terrifying." It didn't get any friendlier once the challenge commenced. To the strains of Eddy Grant's awesome 1983 hit song, a motley crew led by Bam and Steve-O (dressed as convicts, as supervised by correctional officers Knoxville and Wee Man) made a daring, if extremely reluctant, bid for freedom down the menacingly crackling hallway. Bam, the first to make it through, was visibly angrier after navigating the course than we'd ever seen him before. The others were of only slightly better cheer after getting shocked repeatedly all over their bodies, from head to toe. Once the stunt was completed, Bam informed the camera operator that he'd taken away at least one valuable piece of info from the experience: Stun guns were now his least favorite thing in the entire world.

Full Pipe Skating was a disaster waiting to happen

If you've ever skated a half-pipe before, you know that there's always a potential for injury. Add another half of a pipe and double down on the element of gravity, and you have an idea what Dave England was in for during the season three challenge "Full Pipe Skating." The "pipe" used for the stunt was a roughly four-foot diameter, very sturdy cardboard tube, and England tried to shred it while being rolled down a gently sloping hill at a golf course.

England attempted the stunt no fewer than four times, usually lasting only a matter of seconds before beginning to tumble around inside the tube, then being ejected from it with varying degrees of force. As annoyed golfers looked on, England just kept gamely saddling up, even though at least a couple of his wipeouts looked for all the world like they should've had him down for the count (and on bed rest, hopped up on painkillers). 

Fortunately, he was wearing a helmet during the stunt — although headgear only helps so much when your entire body is getting repeatedly slammed into the turf. Hey, at least he gave those stodgy old golfers a heck of a story to tell.

Poo Diving was an incredibly nasty stunt

Falling squarely into the "elegant in its simplicity" category, the season one stunt "Poo Diving" is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. The boys took a field trip to a sewage treatment plant, and once there, Ryan Dunn stripped down, threw on a life preserver, and just freaking jumped into a giant, churning pool of untreated waste.

Insult was added to injury — er, swimming in poo — twice over. First, Bam, who was tasked with holding onto the rope tied to the life preserver, just gave up after a few seconds and let go, meaning that Dunn would have to find a way to extract himself from his crappy predicament. Then, once he did, the camera operator informed him (falsely) that he had failed to get the shot, so Dunn would have to go in again.

Unbelievably, he did, and he actually didn't seem to mind wallowing in poo as much as ... well ... literally anyone else on the planet would have. Once the challenge was completed, he took great and obvious joy in chasing around his cast mates, attempting to give them all hugs. For some strange reason, everybody went way out of the way to avoid him.

50 Egg Challenge ruined our appetite

Season one's "50 Egg Challenge" is pretty self-explanatory. Preston, along with friends of Jackass Chris Nieratko and Stephanie Hodge, competed to see who could eat 50 hard boiled eggs the fastest, with an hour time limit. Of course, this is a challenge that's physically impossible for all but the most iron-willed professional eaters, but that didn't stop the hapless contestants from trying. Oh yes, we almost forgot to mention that puking did not end the challenge.

The first gastric reversal came just a few minutes in, as Stephanie barfed after only three eggs. Chris soon followed suit, blowing chunks after downing eight. Preston somehow managed to down an unbelievable 16 eggs before barfing for the first time, despite the fact that Chris simply couldn't stop vomiting, forcefully, virtually every time an egg touched his lips. 

Poor Stephanie tapped out after nine eggs, unable to stop puking, while Chris and Preston soldiered on, vomiting pretty much constantly. Finally, Preston reached his limit of 30, count 'em, 30 eggs. Chris, however, was declared the winner after getting an assist from Knoxville, who proceeded to jam egg after egg into the dude's mouth in between violent geysers of vomit. When the dust (and puke) settled, his final egg count sat at 39. As for his total regurgitation count, it was impossible to say.

The buzz was high for The Beekini

For the season one challenge "The Beekini," Knoxville enlisted the help of a friendly neighborhood beekeeper to accomplish what should be obvious from the stunt's title. Before the challenge begins, Knoxville can be seen on the phone with his doctor's office, asking for the results of a test to determine whether he's allergic to bee stings. We can hear the distressed lady on the other end of the line informing him that, yes, he does have a slight allergy, but it should be nothing major. Unless, that is, he happened to be in the vicinity of thousands and thousands of bees, which he was.

Wearing nothing but a codpiece, Knoxville allowed the old guy to slather his groin in nectar, and as the bees started to gather around the ol' bikini area, he began to look more and more uneasy. Holding stock-still, he delivered his line — "Hi, I'm Johnny Knoxville, and this is the Beekini" — after which he was pretty much immediately ready to be done with the whole thing. The beekeeper helped to disperse the groin-hive, which appeared to take about ten seconds, or roughly nine more seconds than Knoxville was comfortable waiting for.

Jackass Number Two took things to a dangerous new level with Puppet Show

Chris Pontius was perhaps the most consistently naked member of the Jackass troupe, and while he may have been a bit too comfortable with nudity, there was nothing remotely comfortable about the situation he found himself in for "Puppet Show," a challenge featured in the movie Jackass Number Two. How can we describe this delicately? Pontius' most private of parts was, well, dressed up to look like a mouse. For this, a sock was used which had the scent of actual mice rubbed all over it, and for good measure, it had been heated up with a hair dryer. With his wang convincingly moused up, he was then made to stick it through a hole, on the other side of which was an aquarium with its back removed, containing a rattlesnake.

It's pretty obvious what the idea was here, and yes, it worked. After one strike and a miss, the snake latched onto its prey, causing Pontius to, well, freak out. He was forced to shake the serpent loose while his so-called friends looked on, laughing hysterically. The stunt represented a pretty serious upping of the ante from the types of challenges presented in the first Jackass movie. In our humble opinion, Jackass Number Two is the best of that vaunted trilogy, although Pontius just might disagree.

Self Defense could've turned deadly

The idea for the challenge "Self Defense" predates Jackass, not that it was ever a good idea at any time, ever. Originally pitched as an article for the underground zine Big Brother, it involved Knoxville testing out a variety of self-defense products on himself, with a steadily escalating degree of danger. The challenge appeared in the pilot episode of Jackass, and it loudly announced to the world that Johnny Knoxville was, in fact, insane.

For the first part of the challenge, Knoxville allowed an assistant to full-on pepper spray him in the face, which literally caused him to collapse to the ground in pain. The second involved a stun gun deployed to largely the same result, and for the third, Knoxville took an actual taser to the chest.

The final part of the challenge wasn't shown on Jackass, and it's available only on an underground video produced by Big Brother. In it, Knoxville dons a bulletproof vest and just straight-up shoots himself in the chest. Obviously, he survives, but there's a reason he had to administer the test himself. Even the dude who'd just pepper sprayed, stun gunned, and tased him into submission wasn't crazy enough to actually shoot him.

The Omelette is one of the worst challenges in Jackass history

From season three, we have perhaps the most infamous and terrible segment in Jackass history, starring Dave England in the role of the world's most twisted chef. Dressed in his chef's whites and addressing the camera as if he were hosting a cooking show, England assembled all of the ingredients for a traditional Spanish omelette: onions, tomatoes, sausage, peppers, mushrooms, and eggs. He then proceeded to mix them up in a most non-traditional fashion. He took a giant bite of the onion, a couple out of the tomato, scarfed a few mushrooms, and pounded some cold, raw sausage. Some milk, cheese, and a couple bites of butter followed. Then came the eggs, also straight out of the shell. 

England then — there's no delicate way to put this — barfed everything up into a mixing bowl, heaving until his stomach was completely empty. He then... geez, we can barely bring ourselves to type this ... he then cooked the disgusting mess up in a saucepan, and once it was done, he happily chowed down on it while his fellow jackasses looked on in abject horror.

If you'll excuse us, we just had breakfast, and for some reason, we're not feeling so great. We think we've nailed down a takeaway here, however. Steve-O, Bam, and Knoxville may have hogged the spotlight, but there was no more hardcore jackass than Dave England.