“Jackass”: Charming Idiocy

Jackass grew out of the skate-flick genre of the 90s, where the goal was to do gnarly tricks that your friends would dig. The Jackass crew took that aesthetic and applied it to any stunt that was both daring and funny. They exploded as a MTV show, and once the lawyers clamped down, had a successful movie trilogy. There is no shortage of copycats, but the originals excelled due to their self-deprecation and easy camaraderie. Although their legacy has been clouded through drug and alcohol abuse, the Jackass crew long ago cemented their legacy as lovable idiots.

An Oral History of ‘Jackass: The Movie’

Vice.com, 10.3.17

MTV’s “TRL”: “The Frosted Tips Era”

Total Request Live, better known as TRL, will always be remembered as a product of its time, a kind of pop music zenith before filesharing and streaming would help reshape the industry. Britney and Christina, N’Sync and the Backstreet Boys, all broadcast live from Times Square in front of thousands of screaming teenagers. Carson Fucking Daly. In honor of MTV’s reboot, Billboard takes a look back at a modern pop-culture institution, and one that its principals show a remarkable amount of perspective in evaluating.

An Oral History of ‘TRL’: Trump’s Demands, Mariah’s Meltdown and Anthrax Scares

Billboard.com, 9.28.17

MTV’s One-of-a-Kind “Rock N’ Jock”

What was this pitch meeting like? “Let’s get a bunch of random celebrities together and have them play carnival versions of sports?” In the 90’s, when celeb culture really took off, it worked. Did people want to see 80-pound Leo DiCaprio dribble circles around Tone Loc and launch 25-point baskets? Yes, they did. Don’t judge. Do you remember Dan Cortese? Well, you can read about his career highlight in this oral history by Complex.

The Oral History of MTV’s Rock N’ Jock

Complex.com, 2.26.15

Redman and his Staten Island Duplex on MTV’s “Cribs”

MTV’s Cribs was famous for chronicling the outragous material excess of music’s superstars, from Master P’s gold Louisiana mansion to Richard Branson’s private island resort. And then there was the Redman episode. He had bought a rundown duplex on the outskirts of Staten Island as a rehab project but he ended up liking the space and not doing much/any rehab. When MTV called he said come on out. They showed up early one morning, woke his ass up, and he proceeded to give a sleepily hilarious tour of a confirmed bachelor pad, complete with pizza boxes, shoeboxes full of money, and passed-out houseguests. Never change, Redman. Never change.

An Oral History of Redman’s Notorious MTV Cribs Episode

Thrillist.com, 9.10.15

The “Jackass” Boys Blow Up

Jackass grew out of the daredevil ethos of the skater community of the early 90s, prior to the internet the boys tried to one-up each other with gnarly tricks and stunts. A group of L.A. skater punks (Wee Man, Steve-O, Chris Pontius) hooked up with some insane dudes from West Chester, PA (Bam Margera, Ryan Dunn) to create a sketch show centered on outrageous stunts and pranks. They found their ringleader in the charismatic and fearless Johnny Knoxville. Maxim revisits this pop-culture rocket ship, and touches on some of the bad vibes that followed due to alcohol and drug abuse.

Jackass: An Oral History

Maxim.com, 10.26.10

I Don’t Want My MTV: Convincing Old Media to Rock Out

In 1981 some headstrong kids tried to start a music TV station, trumpeting low costs and an advertising pipeline to American youth culture. In general the establishment yawned, but the iconic “I Want My MTV” ad campaign was a sensation, and the cable operators had to fall in line, soon to be followed by the advertisers.

Birth of an MTV Nation

VanityFair.com, 6.4.08