‘Jackass’ Star Steve-O Confesses the Franchise is a ‘Bad Influence’ on Young Viewers

by Alex Falls

With the benefit of hindsight, many realizations are possible. Jackass star Steve-O recently sat down for an episode of Mike Tyson’s podcast and looked back on the influence Jackass had on young people. He admits that when the series began, there was an immediate impact on kids who wanted to replicate what they were doing.

“We were genuinely worth vilifying because back then they didn’t have YouTube or video on the Internet and we were legitimately a bad influence,” Steve-O said. “When Jackass came out, little kids were showing up in hospitals all over the country. Maybe the world because they saw us doing this crazy s–t and they wanted to do it themselves. So, little kids everywhere got video cameras and started f—ing themselves up and showing up in hospitals and getting really hurt.”

During its initial run on TV, Jackass was targeted by many advocacy groups for allegedly being a bad influence on younger children. The show ultimately had a short run partially due to the heat they received. The Jackass team eventually moved on to making successful film versions of their shenanigans. Culminating with the release of Jackass Forever earlier this year.

Steve-O Doesn’t Seem to Regret His Time On Jackass

Steve-O looks back at his star-making turn with very different eyes. Back then, it seemed like they were taking on the world. Now that he’s a bit older, he sees the negative influence they had. But he also believes current pop culture fosters the same negative influence.

“At that time you could really point to us as being a bad influence,” Steve-O said. “But I think over the years, because now that there’s so much YouTube, [the MTV series] ‘Ridiculousness,’ so much, it’s not our f—ing fault anymore.”

Overall, Steve-O still looks back fondly at his memories with the Jackass crew. The stuntman grew to worldwide fame and followed an extraordinary journey through addiction and recovery. Still fresh off the heels of Jackass Forever, Steve-O evaluates the big difference between filming stunts now versus when he was a younger and more daring.

“Filming Jackass at this age is much the same as it ever was, with two big differences,” Steve-O said. “Our bones break significantly easier. And it takes less to knock us completely unconscious. Plus longer to wake up.”

Jackass Forever went on to be one of the best-received films in the stunt-focused series. Since its release, Paramount Pictures announced a brand new TV series from Jackass would be coming to their streaming service, Paramount+. It is yet to be confirmed if Steve-O or any of the original cast will return once again. But at their age, they will hopefully relinquish the reigns to newer, younger crew members.