By Rick Morris
The point of this post is to celebrate the silly, mindless, necessary humor Ryan Dunn brought to the world through JACKASS and VIVA LA BAM. First, though, some necessary words about why we’re even discussing his life at this time – because it is over.
Roger Ebert is, unfortunately, not alone in his mean-spirited “neener neener neener” sentiments about Dunn and what caused his death (personally, I draw a straight line between Ebert’s behavior and his similarly-expressed thoughts on religion, but that’s another conversation for another day). Twitter and Facebook are full of this garbage.
When you look at what Ryan Dunn had and what he, through stupidity, threw away, isn’t that the greatest cautionary tale about drunk driving that could ever be told? I’m not saying that we owe him a debt of thanks – just the opposite and that’s why I’m not going over the top with “RIP Random Hero” sentiment. His actions also killed his friend Zachary Hartwell, a military hero and that’s incredibly hard to forgive. But to act like his final actions are glorifying a bad lifestyle or like people won’t get the message from said actions about drinking and driving – give me a break. Nobody is going to want to go out like Ryan did. And he paid the ultimate price for drinking and driving.
But to belabor the circumstances is incredibly cruel to those who are left behind. I’m not going to embed the Bam Margera crash scene video here, nor link to it, because it is incredibly disturbing, but it’s necessary to watch to understand the human impact. Ryan Dunn was his best friend and with them both as public figures, he’s got nowhere to hide as he processes the greatest shock of his life. For the sake of Ryan’s friends and family, can’t we show some humanity in their time of loss? Johnny Knoxville’s tribute to Ryan makes this all the more clear.
Now, back to the overall point here – celebrating the fun that Ryan brought us. Frankly, the majority of people I know don’t “get” JACKASS or any of the humor surrounding it. That’s fine, it’s not for everybody. As for me, it made me laugh and I don’t apologize for that. All of us need some mindless entertainment here and there to help us get through our lives and I guffawed endlessly at a lot of it. Make of that what you will. I also appreciated that Ryan seemed the most like a normal guy out of all of the JACKASS folks.
The funny thing is that a lot of people who have given me crap for watching Ryan and his buddies have ended up laughing when I’ve played them some clips. So even if you “don’t like that kind of stuff,” here’s betting that you’re going to be chuckling at some of these clips. RIP Ryan and Zachary.
BMX Tug of War
Ass Kicked By Girl (dubbed in French for some reason, which just makes it funnier!)
Golf Cart Destruction (also in a foreign language)
Digital Bees (Dunn plays a bit role, switching the piñata with the beehive and then laughing from the side)
Golf Course Airhorn (Dunn’s not in this one, but it’s too epic not to include!)