Jackass cast member Steve-O says the show was a “really bad influence” for kids.
Steve-O appeared on the podcast Hotboxin’ with Mike Tyson, in which the 48-year-old Jackass star explains why the series earned its edgy reputation.
“At the beginning of Jackass we were really into skinning I think because there was no YouTube or video on the internet back then and we were genuinely a bad influence,” he explains.
“When Jackass showed up, little kids were hospitalized all over the country and maybe all over the world because they saw us doing crazy shit and they wanted to do it themselves,” he adds. “So little kids got video cameras everywhere. and started wrecking themselves and ended up in hospitals with serious injuries.”
The show originally aired on MTV in 2000 and follows a cast of performers like Johnny Knoxville and Steve-O who perform dangerous yet hilarious stunts and pranks.
The series was heavily criticized for copycats getting injured. During the show’s original run, Jackass became a massive franchise with spin-offs and four feature films, including the recent jackass forever† The rise of YouTube has made Jackass more acceptable.
“At that point, you could point to us as a bad influence,” Steve-O said. “But over the years, because there’s so much YouTube, Ridiculousness, so much, it’s not our f**king fault anymore.”
Steve-O is expected to return in a new Jackass series and recently appeared in Jackass Forever.