The Untold Truth Of Danger Ehren

For fans of the legendary and long-lived MTV reality stunt show "Jackass," Ehren "Danger Ehren" McGhehey is familiar, beloved face. The performer was one of eight original cast members on the program, and he quickly established a name for himself by performing humiliating or dangerous feats of folly, many of which resulted in him suffering terrible injuries

McGhehey has been through a lot during his time in the "Jackass" fold, and in an appearance on "Steve-O's Wild Ride!," a podcast headed by his "Jackass" co-star, it became clear that some of the stunts so beloved by viewers may have been brought about through bullying (via YouTube). Those stunts reached their epoch during the film "Jackass Number Two," where McGhehey is tricked into wearing a beard made out of clippings of his castmate's pubic hair while he plays a terrorist attempting to take a taxi driver hostage. 

McGhehey will be returning for the upcoming "Jackass Forever," the fourth big screen "Jackass" film, on which he is also credited as a writer (per IMDb). If you've ever wanted to know a little bit more about him, please read on.

Danger Ehren's father had an unusual occupation

McGhehey has been skateboarding and snowboarding since he was a child, but the most interesting tidbit about his childhood takes us all the way back to his father's profession. Via NBC Sports, McGehey grew up above the family mortuary and funeral home for 12 years. Per his NBC Sports profile, this led the young man to "learn a lot about life, death and how to prank people when theyre [sic] least expecting it." An Inverse article about the cameraman who worked on "Jackass" declares that McGehey's parents were "conservative and religious" and that his father was a mortician.

The stuntman hasn't ever elaborated on what sort of pranks he played back home, but one can surely imaging the sort of mischief he might have gotten up to. In any event, it appears his upbringing definitely impacted his performance on the show. According to cameraman Lance Bangs, as quoted by Inverse, "[h]e would constantly question what Jesus would think about the stunts we were doing, or take a pass because he was trying to go to Heaven."

Per a Willamette Week interview, living over the funeral home taught McGhehey "[T]hat you don't have a lot of time being alive. And I like to say I'm not just living but I'm alive and I'm fully going for it." He added that he "fell off this cliff" when he was riding his bike at 5 years of age and "cracked my head open." Yet his fearlessness didn't disturb his parents. "My mom and dad got pretty used to me being a wild child. They support me 100 percent."

He's had 25 surgeries thanks to his Jackass stunts

In spite of his apparently cautious nature, working on "Jackass" wreaked quite a physical toll on McGhehey's body. According to Page Six, he underwent 25 surgeries related to various pranks, stunts and sketches he had performed on the show. Among other surgeries performed on his body, he broke his back three times and had nine knee surgeries. Astonishingly, he had already been through a serious injury before joining the show. Per The Daily Mirror, his previous career as a professional snowboarder had to be abandoned when he broke his neck.

It probably goes without saying, though, that the most infamous stunt that McGhehey ever performed was related to his teeth — specifically, their extraction. A running "Jackass" stunt involved McGhehey having one of his teeth pulled via outrageous means. The last time this occurred, it was yanked free via fishing wire attached to Bam Margera's speeding Lamborghini (via YouTube). According to the aforementioned Willamette Week interview, "[W]e had the idea of tying it off to Bam's Lamborghini with fishing line and then ripping the tooth next to it out of my face. And it was perfectly healthy, totally good tooth. It was a little crooked, so that's why I chose that one, but we ripped that out with some really strong fishing line. And I broke my face all the way up to almost my eye."

The aftermath of such dangerous stunts has continued to effect McGhehey's body. "The pain is real," he told Page Six in 2018. "[W]ith the way that we live as humans now with sports and stuff we do, it's almost like people live like it's a video game. I'm here to tell you it's not. You only get one body. Take care of it."

He was a recurring performer on Portlandia and appeared in Grimm

Though the majority of McGhehey's onscreen work has been connected to his "Jackass" days, he's also stepped before the cameras as a genuine thespian. Per IMDb, McGhehey appeared in five different episodes of IFC's "Portlandia" in nonspeaking but notable parts. He played "Man on Line" in four episodes and popped up as "Motorcycle Guy" once. While these are very brief roles, it's definitely fun to see him outside of a "Jackass"-related setting.

McGhehey later landed a speaking role in NBC's "Grimm," where he played Luke Virkler in Episode 16 of Season 5, "The Believer." He also appeared in independent pictures such as "All Hell Breaks Loose," "TV: The Movie," "Dishdogz," and "Grind." 

In addition, he was also a familiar face on several reality and game shows. For instance, he appeared as himself in the MTV show "Ridiculousness" and "Bam's Unholy Union" and he was a guest judge on "Wanted: Adventure Host."

The stunts he was required to perform for Jackass pushed him past his comfort zone... and led to bullying accusations

As detailed above, McGhehey was very cautious about his "Jackass" work, but in hindsight, it seems that he definitely ended up performing stunts that he later admitted he did not actually want to do. "I don't know any human being that would want to be chased by bulls or be blindfolded — that sucks — or drink [their] own pee," he told Page Six. But since those moments brought the audience joy and were memorable, then they were worthwhile to him. Per his comments in Page Six, a lot of the more extreme moments in "Jackass" history came about because the men involved were competing for airtime.

During the aforementioned interview on the podcast "Steve-O's Wild Ride!" Steve-O noted that McGhehey became the show's "whipping boy," arguably to the point where his treatment might be considered bullying. "It's hard for me sometimes, for any purpose of someone being bullied. I'm in a sense being outcast and bullied and it's all in good fun so everyone says, but the reality of it is no matter what you get tired of the same, repetitive jokes being thrown at you," responded McGhehey. He added that "we're all human beings, we need to take care of each other."

He has worked as a professional photographer

With those dangerous "Jackass" days largely behind him, McGhehey has turned his attention to a rather surprising creative outlet — professional photography. In recent years, he worked as an on-tour photographer for bands like The Eagles of Death Metal and Queens of the Stone Age. Per Page Six, he also plans on compiling pictures he's taken throughout his "Jackass" career in an as-of-yet unannounced format. For fans who'd love a coffee table book featuring shots of the group's stunt work, this would be quite a boon.

McGhehey maintains a professional website for his photography career where fans can see some of the shots he has taken — or, if they happen to have enough cash on hand, perhaps hire him to photography an important event of theirs. In that regard, his official Instagram is also a good source for those wanting to see more of his work. McGhehey has a Twitter presence, as well, but he has not posted anything there since 2018.