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ICONS ARE BETTER #46: JACKASS

Warning. The following paragraph contains words from a non-professional…

We all know the opening sequence. The warning, the unmistakable steel guitar and most importantly of all, the lesson in juxtaposition that is the Jackass logo.

Combine a most ordinary typeface (Helvetica) with a cuss word and let the legend begin.

That one iconic logo represents not only a show, but also an attitude, a lifestyle. A group of friends who care not for how they look or how they are perceived. Simply caring for the moment and for what laughs can be seized from it.

The show has been often imitated but never equaled. Shows like Dirty Sanchez came and went but Jackass lives on. This is because one did not simply watch Jackass, but became one with it. You were friends and you went out to join their madness. Jumping into bushes in Bracknell and getting pulled over by the bobby for waltzing around a well-behaved suburb with no trousers on.

Their mischievous mindset adds to the iconic status. Heading out with minimal budgets, no permits and no shooting plans, they would capture spontaneous madness – resulting in viral video before there was viral video.

Like a true icon, Jackass smashed the boundaries for what was considered norm. The macho, homophobic mindset of skate punk America was challenged. In a tough guy scene these lads would get naked together and be cool with it. They even named their production company dickhouse and proudly donned a rainbow as their icon, ‘cos why the hell not.

Jackass created a lifestyle, defied convention and had a hell of a laugh whilst doing so. That has to be iconic.

Dave Wigglesworth

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